IBS Newsletter

January-February 2001

Institute of Behavioral Science
University of Colorado


David H. Huizinga received a National Leadership Award from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) for his research work related to the protection of children and prevention of juvenile crime. The award was presented at OJJDP's National Juvenile Justice Conference held in December in Washington, DC, where he gave an invited presentation on "Early Childhood Risk for Adolescent Violence."

Program Activities

Environment and Behavior Program

Lori M. Hunter gave the opening lecture at the RAND Corporation's "Population, Environment, and Health Workshop" in Santa Monica, California, January 11-13. She also acted as an "expert discussant" for one of the research presentations. More information on the workshop can be found on the Web at: http://www.rand.org/organization/drd/labor/phew/.

The Independent Review Panel of the City of Boulder, of which Mary Fran Myers and Gilbert F. White are members, has been requested to review plans for floodplain management along South Boulder Creek where a major engineering report has just been completed by a consulting firm employed jointly by the City, the University of Colorado, and the Urban Drainage District. The work would be similar to that completed last year for the Upper Fourmile Canyon Creek.

Natural Hazards Center

On December 15, Mary Fran Myers gave an invited paper "Social Choice in Dealing with Hurricanes," at a special hurricane symposium organized as part of the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the Galveston hurricane which killed 8,000 people. In the paper (co-authored with Gilbert F. White) the authors discuss issues surrounding the accuracy of reported losses due to hurricanes, including methods of data collection, trends in losses, and missing data. They also address the concept of beneficial uses of hurricane prone areas and findings from pertinent social science research that provide insight on the evolution of knowledge regarding the effectiveness of social choices for dealing with hurricanes with a particular focus on the wide range of mitigation measures used to adapt to the hurricane threat. What is known about the effectiveness of these tools in reducing social vulnerability to damage from hurricanes is described. The paper concludes with some observations about the challenges that remain for dealing with hurricanes in the 21st century.

On January 9-10, Myers participated in a meeting sponsored by the World Bank's ProVention consortium and the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School in Washington, DC. The meeting focused on a review of innovative financial catastrophic risk management tools and how they can be used to help the world's poorest of the poor following disaster.

Population Processes Program

Richard G. Rogers spent two weeks in November and December on a Big 12 Fellowship at the University of Texas at Austin. Rogers continued to engage in collaborative research with Dr. Robert Hummer and with other faculty and graduate students at the Population Research Center and the Department of Sociology. At University of Texas-Austin, Rogers taught one graduate class on social determinants of longevity and presented "The Effects of Income Sources and Portfolios on Adult Mortality." While in Texas, Rogers, Hummer (UT), and Parker Frisbie (UT) were invited to present "Social and Race/Ethnic Differentials in Health and Mortality" to the Department of Sociology at Texas A&M University. This visit to Texas came at a fortuitous time as Rogers has been on sabbatical leave for the fall and therefore did not miss class time to participate in the fellowship. Moreover, he was asked to present "Black-White Differentials in Adult Homicide Mortality" to the Department of Sociology at Rice University and the School of Public Health at the University of Texas at Houston. This presentation was based on earlier research conducted with Becky Rosenblatt, Bob Hummer, and Patrick Krueger.

In Print

Ellison, G., Hummer, R. A., Cormier, S., & Rogers, R. G. (2000, November) Religious Involvement and Mortality Risk Among African American Adults. Research on Aging, 22(6), 630-667. This article examines the effects of religious involvement on mortality risk among African Americans. The authors use a relatively new and innovative nationally representative data set--the National Health Interview Survey matched to the national Center for Health Statistic's multiple cause of death file--to model this relationship. The results show that, compared with African Americans who attend religious services more than once a week those who never attend are more than twice as likely to die during the nine-year follow-up period, even net of a large number of confounding and mediating factors. The strong effect of nonattendance on mortality risk is robust, pervasive, and remarkably strong across all subgroups on the population, whereas a moderate level of attendance is associated with higher mortality risk among young adults, men and Southerners, but not among older adults, women and non-southerners. Among African Americans, lack of religious involvement appears to be associated with risk of premature death, whereas frequent religious involvement stand out as a critical protective factor that contributes to lower mortality and longer life.

Political And Economic Change Program

On January 10-13, Elizabeth C. Dunn attended the "AGORA: Arbeit--Wissen--Bindung (Work--Knowledge--Social Relations)" in Berlin, Germany at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (Institute for Advanced Study). She led a panel discussion and also presented the paper "Negotiated Universals, or, Why Things Don't Turn Out as Planners Plan." On what grounds could values, worldviews, and practices, that have been successful in one civilization, claim universal validity? One can refer to "Negotiated Universals," provided such claims are negotiated, not imposed. Therefore, within AGORA, we have made a distinction between "Negotiated Universals" and "Imposed Universals." This distinction proved useful in the discussion to describe the effects of globalization and technological change, and how individual actors, groups, NGO's, transnational institutions, and states forge new relations with one another.

Problem Behavior Program

Richard Jessor participated in a research planning workshop in Cairo, Egypt, January 14-16, sponsored by UNICEF/Egypt and the Population Council. The purpose of the workshop was to design a comprehensive intervention program to improve the life-chances of 13-15 year old adolescent girls in rural villages along the upper Nile. The girls are out of school, have little freedom of movement, and are under pressure for early, arranged marriage. The intervention will target the girls, their parents, and the community, and will seek to expand opportunity, to enhance skills, and to change community norms. Implementation of the program and its effectiveness will be evaluated against control villages over a three-year period. Funding is from the Rockefeller Foundation, the United Nations Foundation, and Save The Children, an NGO very active in Egypt. The project will also be replicated in Jordan.

Elaine A. Blechman attended the "Pre-Adolescent Screening Instrument Expert Panel Meeting" held by Westat and gave a talk "Screening Adolescents and Children for Violence Risk" on November 28-30 in Washington, DC. She also attended the American Association of Behavior Therapists Annual Meeting and presented "Prosocial Communities Model for Violence Prevention: A Guide for Behavioral Practitioners" and "Prosocial Communities: Community-based Youth Violence and Substance Abuse Prevention" on November 16-20 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

In Print

Blechman, E. A., Maurice, A., Buecker, B., & Helberg, C. (2000). Can Mentoring or Skill Training Reduce Recidivism? Observational Study with Propensity Analysis. Prevention Science, 1(3), 139-155. This research compared juvenile-offenders' recidivism following nonrandom assignment to juvenile diversion (JD, n=137), JD plus skill training (ST, n=55), or JD plus mentoring (MEN, n=45). Intake characteristics that distinguished intervention groups were used to calculate assignment propensity scores. After propensity score blocking balanced intake characteristics, ST proved more cost-effective than MEN achieving a 14% relative reduction in recidivism at a savings of $33,600 per hundred youths. In ST, 37% were rearrested two years or more after intake, compared to 51% in MEN and 46% in JD. In two of five propensity subclasses, time to first rearrest was longer in ST (M=767 days) than in MEN (M=638 days) or JD (M=619 days). These results argue for an experimental comparison of ST and MEN and for observational studies with propensity analysis when randomization to juvenile-justice interventions is infeasible.

Huizinga, D. & K. Schumann. (2001). Gang Membership in Bremen and Denver: Comparative Longitudinal Data. In Klein, Kerner, Maxson, & Weitekamp (Eds.), The Euro-gang paradox. London: Kluwer Academic Publishers. This cross-national research examines the question of whether there are juvenile gangs, like delinquent gangs in the U.S., and the influence of such gang membership on delinquent behavior. The study found groups in Bremen, Germany, similar to gangs in Denver, and at both sites "gang" members accounted for a large and disproportionate amount of violent and other crime.

Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence

On January 17, at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, the U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher released "Youth Violence: A Report of the Surgeon General." Delbert S. Elliott is the Senior Scientific Editor on this report. This report may be accessed on the U.S. Surgeon General's Web site: http://www.surgeongeneral.gov.

In Denver on December 5, Elliott presented "Youth Violence Prevention" at the Colorado State Assembly on Substance Abuse, Mental Illness and the Criminal Offender: Partnerships for Effective Policy. On December 7, he presented "Profiling Young Offenders: Has the System Failed Them or Have They Failed the System?" to the Colorado District Attorneys' Council and its Training Committee.

On December 8, Elliott gave a presentation and met for discussion with members of the State of Oregon's Criminal Justice Commission at their Juvenile Crime Prevention Advisory Committee in Salem, Oregon. And on January 29, he presented on the Safe Communities--Safe Schools Initiative at the Build A Generation State Advisory Board Meeting in Northglenn, Colorado.

At the 14th Annual Florida Statewide Prevention Conference on November 29, Sharon Mihalic presented "Evidence-Based Approaches to Assessing, Predicting and Preventing Violence."

Holly Bell and Tonya Aultman-Bettridge attended the Crossroads Conference in Grand Junction on December 1. Bell presented on the Safe Communities--Safe Schools Initiative and Aultman-Bettridge presented "Best Practices and Youth Violence: An Overview."

On January 9, Jane Grady and Landa Heys attended an Advisory Board Meeting for Colorado Crimestoppers in Castle Rock, Colorado. Grady and Heys discussed the Safe Communities--Safe Schools Initiative.

The Safe Communities--Safe Schools staff attended a Diversity Training on January 9, presented by Duncan Rhinehardt of CU Employee Training and Development and on January 31, the staff attended a training for Strategic Planning presented by Bill Woodward, former Director of the Colorado Division of Criminal Justice.

Katherine Irwin, Sociology graduate student and CSPV researcher, has accepted an Assistant Professor of Sociology position at the University of Hawaii, beginning in the Fall of 2001.


Social Science Data Analysis Center

Information Technology Services (ITS) has announced that the magnetic tape library will be closed as of July 1. While IBS (and other) researchers made extensive use of magnetic tapes for data storage in the past, this use declined over the years as newer high capacity storage options became available for desktop systems. Also, data that used to be obtained on tape are now available electronically over the newer high-speed networks that have become available.

Beginning in February, ITS will begin returning 9-track, 4mm DAT, and 3480 cartridge tapes that haven't been accessed in six months. Researchers should carefully check their records and tapes to determine whether archived data may be on tape. Such data should be transferred to other storage media, such as ZIP disks or CDs, before the closure of the tape library. IBS users can check with the Social Science Data Analysis Center ( Jani.Little@Colorado.EDU or Richard.Cook@Colorado.EDU) for assistance.

In Focus

Multiple Time Series Models of Fertility

Robert F.McNown, Professor of Economics, is a member of the Professional Staff of IBS as a Faculty Research Associate in the Program on Population Processes. He received his undergraduate degree in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1966 and his Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego, in 1971. He has been on the faculty at the University of Colorado since 1971, with visiting appointments as a Fulbright Lecturer at Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu, Nepal, and as a World Bank Lecturer at People's University in Beijing, China.

My research specialty is the econometric analysis of time series data. My initial projects at the Population Program combined time series methods with demographic models to develop statistically based forecasts of the vital rates that drive future population levels. Collaborative projects involving Andrei Rogers, Jani Little, and Christin Knudsen (PhD, Economics, Certificate in Demography, CU) began with forecasting models for mortality rates, then fertility rates, and ultimately a complete model providing forecasts of the U.S. population that incorporated time series based forecasts of the underlying vital rates.

Text Box:
My current research focuses on the development of
multiple time series models of fertility for the purpose of testing
explanatory models of fertility, ultimately employing these models
to generate fertility rate forecasts as input into a demographic
projection model.

A primary advantage of forecasting with time series models is the production of information on the uncertainty inherent in the predictions, based on the historical variability of the demographic variables involved. In the case of fertility in particular, this variability is quite high, since our recent history has seen total fertility rates approach four children per woman at the height of the baby boom, followed by sub-replacement levels less than twenty years later. Only if reliable explanations of such changes in demographic variables can be incorporated into forecasting models is there much hope for reducing the uncertainty embodied in their forecasts. My current research focuses on the development of multiple time series models of fertility for the purpose of testing explanatory models of fertility, ultimately employing these models to generate fertility rate forecasts as input into a demographic projection model.

There are several challenges involved in the estimating and testing explanatory models of aggregate fertility rates. First, it is plausible that aggregate fertility and its covariates are outcomes of a set of interdependent decisions by households concerning men's and women's labor market activity, timing and levels of investments in education, and the number of children and timing of births. Consequently, female labor force participation rates, fertility rates, female educational attainment, and men's and women's wages are likely to be interdependently determined with causality running among these variables in multiple directions. Second, most demographic variables and their covariates are nonstationary, so that they trend or drift persistently away from their initial values. This nonstationarity can undermine the statistical foundations of traditional regression analysis, requiring alternative methods of estimation and testing.

In recent projects with Sameer Rajbhandary (PhD, Economics, Certificate in Demography, CU) and Cristobal Ridao-Cano, I have employed modern cointegration methods for analyzing long run relations among nonstationary variables. In our first models of U.S. total fertility rates, Rajbhandary and I were able to identify and estimate a two-equation model of female labor supply and fertility, involving male relative cohort size, women's wages, and female educational attainment as covariates. Revisiting the debate of direction of causation between fertility and female labor supply with this model, our evidence indicated significant effects of fertility on labor supply but not the reverse.

I subsequently developed a similar model for age-specific fertility and labor force participation rates in the U.S. to provide some perspective on the timing of births. One insight from this model is that fertility and labor supply decisions of older women, who are likely to be in more stable marriages, exhibit greater responsiveness to changes in men's wages than that of their younger counterparts. In several current projects Ridao-Cano and I are applying similar models to data from the United Kingdom, Canada, and Japan. Initial objectives of this research are to determine if stationary relations between fertility and its covariates can be identified for each of these societies, and whether there are commonalities in fertility behavior across these countries. We have tested and estimated a model for the United Kingdom, which yields fertility and labor supply equations similar to those for the United States. Although similar in structure, the United Kingdom equations imply considerably greater responsiveness of fertility and female labor supply to changes in both men's and women's wages, as compared with the United States model.

These models are among the first applications of cointegration methods to demographic variables. After further analysis of relations between fertility and its covariates, I intend to combine these long run relations with short run adjustment equations to develop reliable forecasting models. These models will combine both explanatory models and time series methods, allowing both conditional and unconditional forecasts of future fertility rates.

Campus Announcements

CU is participating in the "Rush Hour Relief" program sponsored by the Denver Regional Council of Governments. Over the next several months there will be prize drawings in order to encourage people to try out new commuting options. Also to improve carpool ride-matching for CU commuters, the CU Parking and Transit Services is promoting the carpool service offered by Ride Arrangers. In order to find out more about these promotions, see the bulletin board at IBS 1, call 202-458-7655, or visit the Web site: http://www.drcog.org/ridearrangers/.

Research Proposals Funded

Political and Economic Change Program

L.A. Staeheli
J.V. O'Loughlin

Transnationalism, international migration, race, ethnocentrism and the state
Florida Int'l Univ 10/01/00 - 09/30/01 new


J.V. O'Loughlin
J.E. Bell

Can democracy be sustained? Civic engagement, social capital and the future of democratic governance in Moscow
NSF 03/15/99 - 2/28/02 cont


Research Proposals Submitted

Problem Behavior Program

J. Belknap The girls study group: a multi-disciplinary exploration of research and data on what we know and need to know about the varied experiences and needs of delinquent and at-risk girls
DoJ, OJP 07/01/01 - 06/30/03 new


D.S. Elliott Blueprints for violence prevention: training and technical assistance
DoJ, OJP 04/01/01 03/31/02 cont


F.W. Dunford Determine the equivalency of two experimental samples
DoD, Navy 12/09/00 12/08/01 cont


R. Jessor Tobacco and alcohol use in college: a CU developmental study

CU System Colorado
Tobacco Research Prog

07/01/01 06/30/04 new


Political and Economic Change Program

J.V. O'Loughlin,
E.S. Greenberg, R. Jessor
J.A. Menken, L.A. Staeheli

IGERT: Globalization and human well-being: Winners and losers in a changing world
NSF 07/01/01 06/30/06 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