IBS Newsletter

April 2000

Institute of Behavioral Science
University of Colorado

Program Activities

Problem Behavior Program

Richard Jessor gave the keynote address at the WHO/UNICEF meeting on "Protective and Risk Factors for Adolescents from Different Countries" in Geneva, Switzerland, on March 6-8. The title of his address was "Risk and Protective Factors in Adolescent Health and Development," and it reported on research carried out in collaboration with Frances M. Costa and Mark Turbin. During his time in Geneva, Jessor served as Temporary Advisor to the World Health Organization’s Programme on Adolescent Health and Development.

In Print

Menard, Scott. 2000. "Coefficients of Determination for Multiple Logistic Regression Analysis," The American Statistician, 54(1), pp.17-24. Coefficients of determination for continuous predicted values (R-square analogues) in logistic regression are examined for their conceptual and mathematical similarity to the familiar R-square statistic from ordinary least squares regression, and compared to coefficients of determination for discrete predicted values (indices of predictive efficiency). An example, motivated by substantive concerns and using empirical data from a national household probability sample, is presented to illustrate the behavior of the different coefficients of determination in the evaluation of models including dependent variables with different base rates, that is, different proportions of cases or observations with "positive" outcomes. One R-square analogue appears to be preferable to the others both in terms of conceptual similarity to the ordinary least squares coefficient of determination, and in terms of its relative independence from the base rate. In addition, base rate should also be considered when selecting an index of predictive efficiency. As expected, the conclusions based on R-square analogues are not necessarily consistent with conclusions based on predictive efficiency, with respect to which of several outcomes are better predicted by a given model.

Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence

Delbert S. Elliott was recently identified as the third most frequently cited scholar in American criminology journals in 1995 [Cohn and Farrington, 1999]. He was also ranked 7th in American and International criminology and criminal justice journals in that year, up from 14th in 1990.

On March 7-8, Elliott attended the Arizona Effective Practices Symposium in Tempe, Arizona where he presented on the national direction of effective practices. Elliott participated in the Centers for Disease Control Advisory Committee for Injury Prevention and Control meeting on March 21-22, in Atlanta, Georgia. On March 28-29, Elliott attended a meeting in Washington, DC to work on the U.S. Surgeon General's Report to the Nation on Youth Violence—2000. On March 29-30, he was the keynote speaker at a conference, Juveniles in Adult Court: Our Children, Our Future (training conference), in Miami, Florida, for the Public Defender's Office—11th Judicial Circuit of Florida. While there he also met with the Mayor and community leaders and participated in a panel discussion.

Sharon Mihalic and Jane Grady attended the Western Society for Criminology Conference in Kona, Hawaii, on February 24-26, where they presented and hosted an exhibit for Blueprints for Violence Prevention.

On March 10, CSPV hosted a School Mental Health Mini Conference. Guest speakers included Dr. Howard Adelman of UCLA and Dr. Mark Weist from the University of Maryland. Delbert S. Elliott, Jane Grady, and Tonya Aultman-Bettridge also spoke on the Safe Communities—Safe Schools Initiative. Tiffany Shaw, Holly Bell, Jennifer Carroll, Michelle Beaulieu, and Landa Heys, along with a number of invited guests, also attended.

The Safe Communities—Safe Schools Initiative was presented by Jane Grady to the Nevada Commission for School Safety on March 7 and presented by Tiffany Shaw at the Social Work 2000 Conference on March 23 in Denver.

On March 23, Holly Bell, Jennifer Carroll, Tonya Aultman-Bettridge, and Michelle Beaulieu attended a Safe Schools Planning Task Force meeting with Sheridan School District. On March 30, Grady, Shaw, Bell, Carroll, Beaulieu, Aultman-Bettridge, and Heys, attended the Boulder County Safehouse Symposium "Immigration Challenges in Boulder County." The symposium was held at the CU Law School in Boulder.

Environment and Behavior Program

Charles W. Howe presented to the Denver staff of the Bureau of Reclamation at the Federal Center in Lakewood, a speech "The Bureau of Reclamation’s Role Revisited." This was part of a seminar series entitled "Conversations in Reclamation History" sponsored by the Bureau's history staff. The speech presented part of the evolution of water development policy in the United States. Howe emphasized that every major policy statement and document of the White House, the (older) Bureau of the Budget, and other federal agencies called for the use of multiple objectives in the design and evaluation of water projects and programs. These objectives generally were economic efficiency, environmental protection, social and cultural values, and regional development. Practices of the Bureau were compared to these objectives, arriving at recommendations for change.

Gilbert F. White took part in a meeting on March 22–23 of the State/Federal planning committees for the Upper Mississippi and Lower Mississippi River basins at Cape Tirardequ, Missouri. A critical review was made of possible programs to achieve economic and environmental sustainability through floodplain management. White joined in the discussions and offered concluding observations on promising government policies.

In Print

White, Gilbert F. 2000. "Quaker Volunteer Service: A 70-Year Prospective," Friends Bulletin, 71(2), pp. 12-14. A review of problems facing people who are concerned with policy and management of volunteer social services. Although it initially outlines one volunteer’s experiences as related to current issues, it points out that there has been no careful investigation of the effects of such service upon later behavior of participants since a study by Henry Riscken and Gordon Allport of Harvard in the early 1950s.

Natural Hazards Center

Dennis S. Mileti was elected to the Board of Directors of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI). The Institute has operated since 1949, and is an interdisciplinary international association of professionals interested in furthering the mitigation of earthquake losses. Among its many activities, EERI is responsible for dispatching interdisciplinary teams around the world to conduct research in the immediate aftermath of earthquakes.

Mileti presented the keynote speech at an international conference held in San Endres, Colombia, hosted by the National University of Colombia and the Colombian Agency for International Cooperation. The title of the speech was "Hazards Mitigation and Sustainable Development," and it formed the basis for a two-day long discussion by representatives of fourteen different nations regarding merging hazards mitigation and development planning.

Mary Fran Myers was one of three speakers at a workshop on "Succeeding with the National Science Foundation (NSF)" held March 9 at the University of Colorado, Boulder campus. The workshop involved learning how to write successful proposals to NSF, and is part of a series sponsored by the Graduate School that focus on "Faculty Research Opportunities."


Jani S. Little attended the annual meeting of the Population Association of America in Los Angeles from March 23–25. In a session on Impacts of Immigration on Receiving Countries she presented a paper "Immigration and Neighborhood Change: A Multilevel Analysis of Mexican and Anglo Integration in Southwest Cities." This paper (co-authored with James O. Huff) documented and modeled changes occurring in the local settlement patterns of the Mexican population residing in 73 metropolitan areas of the Southwestern region of the United States between 1980 and 1990.

In Focus

New Methodologies for the Social Sciences: The Development and Application of Spatial Analysis for Political Methodology

On the weekend of March 10-12, 73 participants attended workshops and paper sessions at the University of Colorado associated with the "new methodologies" conference. John O’Loughlin (IBS) and Michael Ward (Political Science, University of Washington, formerly of IBS) organized the conference, supported by the Institute of Behavioral Science, the Council on Research and Creative Work, the Arts and Sciences Fund for Excellence, and the Department of Political Science. Significant funding for support of the graduate student attendees from around the country was provided by the Center for Spatially Integrated Social Science of the University of California at Santa Barbara, a National Science Foundation-funded infrastructure institute.

The motivation for the conference lay in frustration with disciplinary boundaries that hinder the adoption and use of new methodologies in the social sciences. In particular, by bringing recent advances in spatial analysis and parallel developments in visualization and exploratory spatial data methods developed in Geography to the attention of the political science community, the organizers wanted to initiate cross-disciplinary fertilization of methods and research emphases. Leading practitioners of these methodologies in Political Science and leading users of spatial methods in Geography applied to political problems made presentations. Several of the paper presenters are graduates of the IBS Program on Political and Economic Change with Ph.D. degrees in Geography and Political Science. Michael Shin (Miami), Colin Flint (Penn State), Mohan Penubarti (UCLA) and Kristian Gleditsch (Glasgow) returned to Boulder as established scholars and paper presenters.

Of the 73 participants, about 45 were visitors to CU-Boulder, with the remainder of the attendees comprised of CU faculty and graduate students in the social sciences. IBS faculty, staff, and graduate students played an important role in the conference as presenters or commentators on the papers. Jani Little, Keith Maskus, Jim Huff, Debra Javeline, Takashi Yamazaki, and Paul Talbot acted as commentators on some of the presenters. Faculty from Political Science (John McIver, Steve Chan, and Claudio Cioffi) and Geography (Barbara Buttenfield) also filled important roles in making the conference a success, as paper discussants or workshop presenter (Buttenfield). Campus faculty, staff and graduate students from the departments of Anthropology, Geography, Political Science, Sociology, and Economics were in attendance at the workshops and paper sessions. The conference thus offered a model of the new social science that is inter-disciplinary and links directly to the new IBS-based graduate certificate program in Applied Behavioral Science. The spatial methodologies discussed at the conference are important for all social scientists that use aggregate data. The format and organization of the conference contributed significantly to its success. Individuals attending the conference were a diverse set of people who shared a strong common interest and a strong sense of mission and discovery. Inter-disciplinary was evident in the sessions and in conferences can be treated more explicitly in terms of "why our field wants what you have" and so forth. Substantive interests do not supersede the need for methodological development, and they will receive more recognition in future meetings. That will keep the motivation high and keep the value of dissemination throughout the social sciences present as well. Each 30-minute paper received an equal amount of commentary and discussion with strong engagement of the attendees in both the substantive subject (political subjects such as electoral choice or international behavior) and methodological issues (the special features of aggregate spatial data, ecological inference, or measuring spatial relations).

The details of the methodologies, the list of paper presenters, the drafts of the papers, and list of attendees are available on the conference website (http://www.colorado.edu/IBS/PEC/spatialconf.html). A follow-up conference is now being planned for next March in Florida. Revised versions of the papers will be published in special issues of Political Analysis and Political Geography in early 2001, and a book in the political methodological series of the University of Michigan Press is also being prepared by the conference organizers.

Research Proposals Funded

Problem Behavior Program

D.S. Elliott
Evaluation services for the ADL’s Interrupting the Pathways to Tolerance: a youth hate and bias offense intervention program
ADL, 01/01/00 - 06/30/00, cont, $10,000

Research Proposals Submitted

Political and Economic Change

L.A. Staeheli and J.V. O’Loughlin
Transnationalism, international migration, race, ethnocentrism and the state
FL Int’l Univ, 08/01/00 - 07/31/03, new, $45,735

Problem Behavior Program

D.S. Elliott and S. Mihalic
Blueprints for violence prevention, drug program
DOJ, 03/01/00 - 02/28/03, new, $4,964,110

Upcoming Colloquia

There is an online listing of upcoming and recent colloquia.

Institute of Behavioral Science

Richard Jessor, Institute Director

IBS Newsletter

Julie Klauss and Sugandha Brooks, Co-editors
Richard L. Cook, Web Site Coordinator

Institute of Behavioral Science
University of Colorado at Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309-0483

(303) 492-8147