IBS Newsletter

June 2001

Institute of Behavioral Science
University of Colorado


Associate Professor Joanne Belknap (Problem Behavior Program/Women’s Studies) was one of four recipients of the 40th Annual Teaching Recognition Awards at CU-Boulder. Presented each spring since 1962, the Student Organization for Alumni Relations Teaching Recognition Awards honor those who excel in the classroom. These awards are the only faculty honors that are selected and administered by CU-Boulder undergraduate students.

We are pleased to announce that Assistant Professor Angela Bryan (Problem Behavior Program/Psychology) was selected to give the Ekstrand Fellowship Presentation for 2001. She spoke on “Youth at Risk: Alcohol Use and Sexual Behavior Among Adjudicated Adolescents.” The award was presented on May 23 at Old Main Chapel on the CU-Boulder campus.

State Farm Fire and Casualty Insurance Company and State Farm General Insurance Company have donated $100,000 toward an endowed chair to honor Professor Emeritus Gilbert F. White, known worldwide as the “father of floodplain management.” Becky Turner of State Farm’s regional office in Greeley presented the check in a May 2 ceremony at the Natural Hazards Center. The CU Foundation is hoping to raise $3 million to endow the chair by White’s 90th birthday on November 26. Turner spoke about the importance of the work that White and the Natural Hazards Center, which White founded, have addressed in what can be done to limit the impact of floods, wildfires, and other natural hazards. White has played a key role in shaping the nation’s policies on natural disasters and other environmental issues for more than five decades. The endowed chair will be in the Natural Hazards Center.

Program Activities

Environment and Behavior Program

Lori M. Hunter was invited to make a research presentation at the workshop “Population and the Environment: Modeling and Simulating this Complex Interaction” at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock, Germany on May 18-19.

Natural Hazards Center

Sarah Michaels, Mary Fran Myers, David Butler, and Dennis Mileti participated in a steering committee meeting at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences. They discussed the “Earth Systems Engineering Initiative (ESE)”—a National Science Foundation (NSF)-sponsored program to examine the entire discipline of engineering with the goal of broadening its perspective to take a more holistic view of the interactions between natural and human systems, thus promoting sustainable development, appropriate technology, and “green” design. The co-principal investigators of this NSF grant are Bernard Amadei and Vijay Gupta of CU’s Department of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering. The May 4 meeting focused on defining key global questions relative to ESE, including its relationship to global climate change and natural hazards. The participants also identified some of the social science and humanities disciplines not usually considered in addressing engineering problems, and identified ways that holistic ESE could be promoted—including through professional education, public education, and interdisciplinary research and cooperation. The specific aim of the meeting was to create an agenda for an invitational workshop, to be held in October, that will develop specific recommendations on the future course of engineering education, research, and practice.

March 29-31, David Butler and Mary Fran Myers both participated in a grant review meeting in Tampa, Florida, as members of the review committee for the Center for Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance—a joint project of Tulane University and the University of South Florida. The Center, funded in large part by the Department of Defense, has initiated a major research program on disasters, the primary emphases of which are disaster management and mitigation in the Caribbean Basin, military/nonmilitary relations in disaster response, and public health in disasters. This was the first time the Center has conducted a formal review process to allocate funds. Approximately $600,000 was awarded to support five research projects selected from 24 proposals. Butler and Hazards Center Director Dennis Mileti are also members of the program’s oversight/steering committee.

Problem Behavior Program

Richard Jessor, Frances M. Costa, and Mark S. Turbin traveled to Beijing, China for a week-long workshop with their collaborator, Professor Qi Dong, and his staff at Beijing Normal University, May 14-18. Data sets from Wave 1 of their cross-national, longitudinal, comparative study were exchanged, and data from Denver and Beijing was analyzed. Visits were made to a participating middle school in Beijing, and Jessor and Turbin also visited two middle schools in Zhengzhou, the second study site in China where data collections will be carried out in the fall.

Joanne Belknap presented a talk, “Who are Women Offenders and What are Their Pathways to Crime?” for prison administrators and practitioners from across the U.S. The training session was sponsored by the National Institute of Corrections and held on May 8 in Longmont. The goals of the presentation were to inform the participants about the characteristics of incarcerated women, and to examine patterns in their childhood, adolescent, and adult experiences. The presentation also covered gender differences in prison population demographics, histories, and prison experiences.

Three former graduate research assistants, who worked with Delbert S. Elliott, have accepted the following positions: Heather C. Melton is moving to Salt Lake City to be an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Utah, Abigail Fagan has accepted a post-doctorate position at the University of Queensland in Australia, and Katherine Irwin is now an assistant professor at the University of Hawaii.

In Print

Belknap, Joanne. 2001. “The Criminal-Processing System: Girls and Women as Victims and Offenders.” Pages 374-384 in D. Vannoy (Ed.) Gender Mosaics: Social Perspectives, Roxbury Press. In this chapter, Belknap explains how and why the police and the courts have taken some assaults less seriously than other assaults, and describes how the responses of criminal justice professionals in cases when women are victims and/or offenders can be sexist. She also describes how the criminal justice system and social institutional structure often creates sexist responses and analyzes how behaviors socially constructed at levels of interaction are gendered.

Belknap, Joanne, Ruth E. Fleury, Heather C. Melton, Cris M. Sullivan, and Amy Leisenring. 2001. “To Go or Not to Go? Preliminary Findings on Battered Women’s Decisions Regarding Court Cases.” Pages 319-326 in Helen Eigenberg (Ed.) Woman Battering in the United States: Till Death Do Us Part. Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press, Inc. This chapter addresses research on how the court processing of battered women has been largely ignored.

Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence

Delbert S. Elliott attended a meeting of the Colorado Medical Society Violence Prevention Task Force in Denver on May 1. On May 9, he presented at the Suicide Prevention Task Force meeting of the Mental Health Services of Colorado in Ft. Logan. At the Sex Offender Management Board training meeting in Denver on May 17, he presented “Sexual Assault: A National Survey.” On May 24-25, he attended the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services—Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration meeting of the Center for Mental Health Services National Advisory Council in Gaithersburg, Maryland. He presented an overview and implications of Youth Violence: A Report of the Surgeon General (released January 2001).

At the Nevin J. Platt Middle School in Boulder, Elliott presented on the Safe Communities—Safe Schools (SCSS) Initiative at a community forum. The school is interested in implementing the SCSS model. Holly Bell also presented on Planning Team experiences within the SCSS Model. Jane Grady, Landa Heys, and Beverly Kingston also attended.

Sharon Mihalic participated in a Drug Abuse Prevention Summit, organized by Dr. Gilbert Botvin and Cornell University’s Institute for Prevention Research, to discuss the dissemination and use of evidence-based prevention approaches and future directions in prevention on April 27. She presented “Challenges of Dissemination/Replication and Successful Adoption of Programs.” Mihalic attended the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s Strengthening America’s Families Project, Marketing Strategies Workshop in San Diego, California on May 6-7. She presented “Challenges of Dissemination/Replication and Successful Program Adoption: Blueprints Series for Violence Prevention and Dissemination.”


Social Science Data Analysis Center

Jani S. Little attended the State Demography Meetings in Arvada on May 16. The meetings included reports of demographic changes in regions of Colorado, a panel on demography and journalism, and a session sponsored by the U.S. Census Bureau on data products available for demographic research.

New Computers for IBS Faculty: The Faculty Computer Purchase Program provides new computers, worth approximately $1600, to faculty members. There is no cost to the individual, and all faculty are eligible provided they have not received a computer through this program in the last two years. The computer specifications are not yet available, but the contract is expected to be for OptiPlex Dell computers with 1.0 Gigahertz processors, 128 megabytes of memory, and 20 gigabyte hard drives. Please contact Jani Little at 492-4179 or if you want to participate. Orders need to be placed by June 8.

Protection from Viruses through Microsoft Word: Documents that contain Word Macros are a common mode of virus transmission. It is now known that receiving files in RTF format (rich text format) can also be linked to viruses. To prevent virus spread, all users are warned to keep macro checking enabled in Word. In addition, once new security patches are released to detect viruses in Word Macros, Richard Cook will be installing them on all IBS machines. For further information see http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/.

In Focus

Research on Violence and Delinquency

Jennifer Grotpeter is a member of the Professional Staff of the Problem Behavior Program and has been at the University of Colorado since 1996. She received a B.S. in Psychology and a Certificate in the interdisciplinary Human Development Program from Duke University in 1991, earned her masters and doctorate in child development (Human Development and Family Studies) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1994 and 1997, respectively.

I am currently working primarily on two projects, an evaluation of the Positive Action Through Holistic Education (PATHE) program, and two new waves of data collection for the National Youth Survey (NYS).

Text Box: We are assessing aspects of the school environment, as 
well as individual attitudes and engagement in delinquency, bullying, 
aggression, and substance use.

When I first arrived at IBS in 1996, I was funded to work on the Blueprints for Violence Prevention series (Delbert S. Elliott, series editor). At that time, we were still working to identify model programs that had been demonstrated to be effective at reducing or preventing violence, delinquency, and/or substance use. The task of finding programs that met the stringent criteria proved to be difficult, and to date there are just 11 identified model programs. Two years ago, in an attempt to identify additional model programs, we selected one of the nineteen programs currently labeled “promising” (i.e., met most, but not all of the model program criteria) for an intensive evaluation. PATHE is a comprehensive school-based program that combines services to students who are at elevated risk for developing problem behaviors with school-side organization changes intended to create a supportive school environment. PATHE was successfully implemented 20 years ago in high schools and middle schools in Charleston, South Carolina. This new implementation, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, is being conducted in different middle schools in the Charleston County School District. Denise Gottfredson of the University of Maryland is conducting the process evaluation on this new implementation, and Scott Menard (principal investigator) and I are charged with conducting the outcome evaluation. We are assessing aspects of the school environment, as well as individual attitudes and engagement in delinquency, bullying, aggression, and substance use. We will study change in these variables over the time of the study, and with a one- to two-year follow-up for a subsample of the students. The results of this evaluation will then be considered by the Blueprints advisory board for the possible promotion of PATHE to model program status.

I am also currently an investigator on the next two waves of National Youth Survey data collection (funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research). When the study began in 1976, the respondents were aged 11-17. Since then eight

additional waves of data have been collected, the most recent in 1992. The current grant is a collaboration between IBS and the Institute of Behavioral Genetics (IBG). It involves Delbert Elliott (principal investigator), Scott Menard, and David Huizinga, plus researchers from IBG (John Hewitt, John DeFries, Michael Stallings, Andrew Smolen, Robin Corley, and Susan Young). We will interview and collect DNA samples from the original respondents (now aged 35-42) in Wave 10. In Wave 11, we will again interview the original respondents, as well as interview and collect DNA samples from their parents, spouses, and children. Analysis of these data, combined with parallel data from an IBG twin study and adoption study, will allow us to analyze the life course progression and intergenerational transmission of problem alcohol use and other problem behaviors, including delinquency and violence. I am also working with Huizinga and Elliott on analyzing data from previous waves of the NYS; specifically, on mental health, violence, and sex offenders.

My plans for future research include studying a range of predictors and outcome variables to best identify long-term negative outcomes in girls and women. This work would combine my prior experience in cross sectional studies of gender differences in the expression of aggression and mental health with my current experience in longitudinal studies of violence and delinquency.

Funding Opportunities

The Women’s Forum of Colorado Foundation, Inc. is pleased to announce eight $1,000 scholarship grants for the fall of 2001 to women in graduate studies at a Colorado institution. The mission of the Foundation is “to enhance Colorado women’s opportunities for leadership through their individual education and community forums.” For more information see the bulletin board at IBS #1 or contact Women’s Forum of Colorado Foundation, Inc., PO Box 469, Kiowa, CO 80117, phone: 303-621-9422, or email: womenforum@aol.com. Deadline for application is June 15.

Research Proposals Funded

Environment and Behavior Program

L.M. Hunter An examination of Boulder residents’ attitudes towards biodiversity and threatened and endangered species in city open space and mountain parks
City of Boulder 05/10/01 – 08/24/01 new


Problem Behavior Program

D.S. Elliott Blueprints for violence prevention: training and technical assistance
DOJ 04/01/98 – 10/14/01 supp


Research Proposals Submitted

Population Program

J.A. Menken Population aging center
NIA 07/01/01 – 06/30/02 cont


Problem Behavior Program

D.S. Elliott, J. Grotpeter Tony Grampsas youth services annual grantee report
St of Col 01/01/01 – 01/31/02 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