IBS Newsletter

July-August 2000

Institute of Behavioral Science
University of Colorado


Jane Menken of the Population Process Program was featured in an article in the March 17 issue of the University of Colorado’s Carillon entitled “Prominent Sociologist Studies Women and Fertility.”

Program Activities

Population Processes Program

In Print

Pampel, Fred C. and Kirk R. Williams. 2000. “Intimacy and Homicide: Compensating for Missing Data in the SHR.” Criminology, 38(2), pp. 661-680. The Supplementary Homicide Report (SHR) of the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program remains the most accessible and widely used database on lethal violence in the United States. However, researchers using this database must address the problem of missing data, which typically is the result of the failure to file, inconsistent filing of reports to the FBI by local police agencies, or incomplete records about the characteristics of specific incidents of homicide (particularly, missing information about perpetrators), even when reports are filed. Williams and Flewelling (1987) proposed methods of compensating for missing information, and this paper revisits their assessment by again determining the extent of the problem and the consequences of adjusting for it. Alternative methods are proposed and analyzed, with a focus on relationship-specific rates (i.e., rates of family, intimate non-family, acquaintance, and stranger homicide). The implications of the results for further use of the SHR are discussed.

Pampel, Fred C. 2000. Logistic Regression: A Primer. Sage Publications: London. The author calls this book a primer because it makes explicit what treatments of logistic regression often take for granted. Some treatments explain concepts abstractly, assuming readers have a comfortable familiarity with odds and logarithms, maximum likelihood estimation, and non-linear functions. Other treatments skip the logical undergirding of logistic regression by proceeding directly to examples and the interpretation of actual coefficients. As a result, students sometimes fail to gain an understanding of the intuitive logic behind logistic regression. This book aims to introduce this logic and with elementary language and simple examples.

Environment and Behavior Program

Charles W. Howe participated in the “Symposium on Climate, Water and Transboundary Challenges in the Americas,” on July 16-19, hosted by the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, University of California, Santa Barbara, and sponsored by the Inter-American Institute and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of Global Programs. The objective of the symposium was better to understand the complexities of water and environmental management when scientific, management, and political boundaries don’t coincide, especially in the context of North, Central, and South America. Likely impacts of climate variability and climate change on water problems were debated. Howe’s presentation dealt with the general problem of “jurisdictional externalities” and the extent to which water markets can improve water system performance.

Gilbert F. White participated in an invitational forum in Washington, DC, on June 8 on policy problems facing the federal flood insurance and disaster management administrations. A summary report will be issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in due time.

In Print

White, Gilbert F. 2000. “Foreword,” Pages xiii-xiv in The Hidden Costs of Coastal Hazards: Implications for Risk Assessment and Mitigation. Heinz Center for Science, Economics and the Environment, Washington, DC: Island Press, xiii-xiv. This calls attention to the contributions of the extensive Heinz Center study to greater precision and understanding in study of social and health effects and business losses from natural hazards.

“A Conversation with Gilbert F. White.” 2000. Environmental Hazards, 1(2), pp. 53-56. Questions and answers from a session at the 1999 Annual Hazards Workshop.

White, Gilbert F., one of 18 members of the steering committee for the report on Evaluation of Erosion Hazards. 2000. Washington, DC: Heinz Center. 208 pp.  A report on an investigation, financed by the Federal Emergency Management Administration, and mandated by the Congress on an evaluation of coastal ero­sion hazards and the implications of those findings for federal flood insurance policy.

White, Gilbert F. 2000. “Foreword.” Pages xi-xii in The Mekong: Environment and Development. Tokyo: United Nations University Press. A comment upon the evolution of international efforts at planning for integrated development of water resources in the Mekong basin. White had chaired an assessment of social and economic aspects of water management in the lower basin in 1961-62 and had participated in 1970 in an intergovernmental appraisal of possible next steps.

Natural Hazards Center

A total of 333 hazards researchers and practitioners—the largest attendance ever (by one)—participated in the Natural Hazards Center’s 25th annual workshop July 9-12, in Boulder. Highlights of this silver anniversary event included a special welcome made by the Honorable Mark Udall; a keynote address by Scott Gudes, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Deputy Undersecretary for Oceans and Atmosphere; and plenary sessions on the political economy of hazards; disasters, diversity, and equity; and hazards past, present, and future. New features of the workshop included a field trip, organized by CU engineering PhD candidate, Len Wright, to the Environmental Center of the Rockies, and an open house at the Hazards Center library (IBS #7) hosted by Sarah Michaels. The workshop barbecue this year had a special guest appearance by the world-famous band, “Spurs of the Moment,” featuring, among others, IBS’s own Jani and Zeke Little. They were enjoyed by all who attended including several former IBS graduate students or affiliates including: John Sorensen, Mike Lindell, Bob Alexander, Susan Tubbesing, Trish Bolton, Marv Waterstone, Sarah Nathe, Zhenya Gallon, Burrell Montz, and Jay Baker.

Following the Workshop, on July 13, a “Research Round-Up” meeting was organized by Texas A&M University. There, John D. Wiener presented a report on a survey of 15 years of the World Bank's World Development Report, the World Watch Institute's State of the World Annuals, and the Natural Hazards Workshop, and raised issues concerning the problems of application of the concepts of social creation of vulnerability to natural and technological hazards.

Mary Fran Myers participated as a member of the National Science Foundation’s Site Review Panel which conducted a mid-term review of the Institute for Civil Infrastructure Systems (ICIS) at New York University July 24-26. ICIS, which in some ways is designed to serve as a networking node for the critical infrastructure community similar to the work done by the Natural Hazards Center for the hazards community, is half-way through its initial five year program.

Problem Behavior Program

In Print

Bryan, A.D., J.D. Fisher, and T.J. Benziger. 2000. “HIV Prevention Information, Motivation, Behavioral Skills, and Behavior among Truck Drivers in Chennai, India.” AIDS, 14, pp.756-758.

Bryan, A.D., J.D. Fisher, W.A. Fisher, and D.M. Murray, 2000. “Understanding Condom Use among Heroin Addicts in Methadone Maintenance Using the Information-Motivation-Behavioral Skills Model.” Substance Use and Misuse, 35, pp. 451-471.

Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence

Delbert S. Elliot traveled to Bologna, Italy, as an invited participant at the fifth annual Biennial Conference on "International Perspectives on Crime, Justice and Public Order.” Elliott presented “Violent Offending over the Life Course” at the Conference held June 5-9. He attended a meeting on June 28-29 in Washington, DC, of the Planning Board for the Surgeon General's Report on Youth Violence. Elliott is the Scientific Editor for the Report and Chair for the Planning Board. On July 10, Elliott attended a meeting with Attorney General Ken Salazar and organizers of the Dr. Michael P. Espinoza Challenge for Success Program. Elliott was a keynote speaker at the 6th Annual Violence Prevention Summer Institute, “Creating Safe Learning Environments for Youth” at Oregon State University July 18-20. Elliott spoke on “Violence Prevention Programs—What Works?”

Tiffany Shaw and Tonya Aultman-Bettridge gave a presentation on the Safe Communities—Safe Schools Initiative at the Colorado School Mediation conference while Landa Heys hosted a CSPV exhibit at the conference held in Golden, Colorado on June 13. 

On June 7, Jane Grady, Tiffany Shaw and Landa Heys attended a meeting with the Colorado Department of Public Safety Partnership at CSPV. The meeting was held to discuss possible future collaboration. Heys and Grady attended a Colorado Coalition meeting on July 27 at IBS 9 where Heys gave a presentation on the background and function of the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence.

Holly Bell gave a presentation on the Safe Communities—Safe Schools Model at the Community Assets Forum at Western State College in Gunnison on June 10. She also attended a meeting in Leadville with the Build a Generation group on July 13. She spoke to the group about the Safe Communities—Safe Schools Initiative.

In Focus:

Researching within the Framework of Human-Environment Interactions

Lori M. Hunter, Assistant Professor of Sociology, recently joined the Professional Staff of IBS as a Faculty Research Associate in the Program on Environment and Behavior. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Washington in 1986, and received her Ph.D. from Brown University in 1997. From 1996-2000, she was an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Utah State University.

My primary research areas are Demography and Environmental Sociology, with the intersection between the two areas providing a framework for studies of human-environment interactions. In a broad sense, my research interests encompass the interrelations between human populations and their environmental context. In a more specific sense, my work to-date has examined four areas of human-environment interactions.

Migration and Environmental Risk

The American public has become increasingly aware of environmental issues especially during the past three decades. This increasing awareness has generally translated into more attention being focused on the effects of pollution and higher value being placed on surroundings free from environmental risk. My research within this area has been motivated by the possibility that such environmental concern may be reflected in the choice of residential location. My recent research, funded by the National Institutes of Health, revealed that counties with environmental hazards, such as air and water pollution, hazardous waste and Superfund sites, do not lose residents at greater rates than areas without such hazards. However, areas with such risks gain relatively few new residents. This line of research is continuing with breaking down of migration streams, allowing a better understanding of the age, education, and racial composition of migration streams in association with the presence of various forms of environmental hazards.

Environmental Justice

Relatedly, my work has also examined the social distribution of hazards. Several studies undertaken over the past decade suggest that minority and lower-income communities are disproportionately exposed to environmental hazards relative to the rest of the U.S. population, resulting in an issue of “environmental equity.”  My research has examined the equity issue in relation to the foreign-born in the United States with results suggesting that counties with higher proportions of immigrants and non-English speaking households are characterized by greater numbers of large quantity hazardous waste generators and proposed Superfund sites. 

Perception of Environmental Issues

Human-environment relations are greatly affected by the ways in which individuals perceive their environmental context. Within this area, my research has contributed to the body of literature examining social variation in environmental perception. In particular, my work has explored the differences in environmental awareness, concern, and environmentally-friendly behaviors among native-born and foreign-born U.S. residents. Environmental concern is the result of a complex process of socialization involving family, friends, peers, and teachers, as well as external forces such as media. As such, while each of us possesses unique perspectives created through complex social interactions, particular aspects of the socialization process are experienced in the aggregate (e.g., local or national environmental debates, media coverage of environmental issues, policy debates and implementation). This particular research project offered an examination of environmental awareness among individuals presently living within the context producing contemporary American environmental concern, but who originated from contexts socially, environmentally, and economically distinct. Results suggest that immigrants living in the U.S. do, indeed, express similar attitudes toward environmental issues as compared to native-born residents. However, shorter-term immigrants (those residing abroad at age 16) in particular express significantly higher levels of concern with regard to environmental problems as compared to native-born residents. In addition, shorter-term immigrants are more likely to engage in “environmentally-friendly” behaviors as compared to native-born residents, although they appear less likely to have signed an environmentally-oriented petition.

Population and Land Use Change

As a final example of my current research agenda, I have been involved in a multidisciplinary project, supported by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Defense, examining land use change in the California Mojave Desert. Within all environmental contexts, sociodemographic, economic, and biophysical factors interact to yield important landscape changes. As an example of the interactions between these factors, regional economic shifts can bring population redistribution, which, in turn, impacts biodiversity through attendant land-use change. Within this project, spatial and statistical models are designed to develop possible alternative land use "futures" resulting from various human-environment interactions within the California Mojave Desert. We evaluate these futures with regard to habitat disruption. Within the context of the California Mojave region, our results suggest that high-density development could reduce conflict with threatened or endangered species habitat by over 80 percent.

The above aspects of my research agenda have come together in a recently completed review undertaken for the RAND Corporation as a component of their publication series Population Matters. The publication entitled “The Environmental Implications of Population Dynamics” should be available by late fall, 2000.

In a broad sense, my research interests encompass the interrelations between human populations and their environmental context.

Research Proposals Funded

Problem Behavior Program

A.D. Bryan Alcohol use and HIV risk among adolescents on probation
NIAAA 07/01/00 - 06/30/01 new


D.S. Elliott Blueprints for violence prevention, drug program
S. Mihalic DoJ, OJJDP 03/01/00 – 02/28/03 new


D.S. Elliott

S. Mihalic

Blueprints for violence prevention: training and technical assistance
DoJ, OJJDP 05/01/00 – 03/31/01 supp


D.S. Elliott Safe communities—safe schools training conference
State of Colorado 04/01/00 – 09/30/00 new


J. Belknap Assessing the needs of delinquent and pre-delinquent girls in Colorado: a focus group study
State of Colorado 06/01/00 – 06/30/00 new


Political and Economic Change

L.A. Staeheli REU supplement to: collaborative research: changing structures of knowledge and relevancy: understanding the sociology of geographical research on public space
NSF 06/01/00 – 08/31/00 supp


Population Processes Program


R. Silvey Transnational identities: southeast Asian-Americans, gender and employment in Colorado
NSF 08/15/00 - -1/31/02 new


Research Proposals Submitted

Political and Economic Change


E.S. Greenberg The alcohol and health outcomes of work restructuring
NIAAA 05/01/01 – 04/30/05 renew


J.V. O’loughlin,
E.S. Greenberg, R. Jessor
J.A. Menken, L.A. Staeheli

IGERT: pre-proposal: globalization and human well being
NSF 08/15/01 – 08/14/06 new


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