IBS Newsletter

May 1998

Institute of Behavioral Science
University of Colorado


Anthony J. Bebbington was elected Board Member of the Conference of Latin American Geographers and Western Regional Councillor for the Cultural Ecology Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers.

Julie Wolf, a graduate student in clinical psychology whose advisor is Richard Jessor, completed her Ph.D. dissertation on March 13. The title of her dissertation paper is "Developmental Trajectories of Delinquent Behavior in Adolescence."

Leonard T. Wright, former Research Assistant and now intern at the Natural Hazards Center, has been granted the first Floodplain Management Graduate Fellowship award by the Association of State Floodplain Managers. The title of his research project is "Long-Term Evaluation of Innovative Urban Floodplain Management Practices." Simulation and optimization methods will be developed to devise more sustainable, neighborhood-based, urban water infrastructure systems. Innovative techniques include on-site detention, enhanced infiltration techniques, water reuse, etc. This research will focus on developing systems that effectively manage all stormwater events from minor storms, where water quality control is important, to major floods, where protection of public health and minimizing economic damages are critical.

Program Activities

Political and Economic Change Program

James R. Scarritt attended the International Studies Association meeting on March 17-21 in Minneapolis. He was the Chair for the Ethnicity, Nationalism and Migration section and presented the paper "Ethnopolitical Groups and Democratic Competition in Contemporary Africa." The paper is an interim report on a project designed to specify a population of African ethnopolitical groups and their role in recent competitive elections. The author reports on the theoretical framework and methodology employed in the project and presents the second draft of a list of such groups.

Environment and Behavior Program

Gilbert F. White attended a meeting in Phoenix on April 14-15 of the committee that is advising the National Institute of Building Sciences on the design and execution of a national program to provide data by census tracts for estimates of flood losses in the United States. A similar program for GIS data on earthquake losses was completed last year.

Robert K. Davis was in Vienna at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis on April 7-9. He was working with the population program on the water supply and demand model for their "Population, Development, Environment" modeling study of Namibia, Botswana, and Mozambique.

On March 26-29 Anthony J. Bebbington attended the annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers in Boston. He presented the paper "Social Capital and Political Ecological Change in Highland Ecuador." The paper analyzes the utility of the concept of social capital for political ecology by building on recent statements calling for greater emphasis in environment and development research on the roles of organized actors and civil society. Bebbington also co-organized two sessions with Simon Batterbury of Brunel University, United Kingdom and visiting professor at CU-Boulder on the themes of "Environmental Histories and Access to Resources in Latin America and Africa." These sessions brought together eight speakers and two discussants. Together, the papers and commentaries investigated different dimensions of the relationships between environmental change, livelihoods, and institutions over different historical and contemporary periods. Their papers will be prepared for a special journal issue.

On March 24-25 at Clark University in Worcester, Mass., Bebbington helped organize a joint meeting of graduate students and faculty from CU-Boulder and Clark University. The meeting discussed key conceptual and methodological issues in cultural and political ecology in geography, and compared current graduate student research in the field being conducted at both universities.

On March 20 Bebbington attended a meeting at the Institute for International Studies at the University of California at Berkeley. He presented an invited paper "Sustaining the Andes? Social Capital and Rural Regeneration in Bolivia" for the Environmental Politics working group, an interdisciplinary group of faculty and graduate students from universities in the Bay Area. In the paper, Bebbington addresses the long-term implications of contemporary processes of political, economic, institutional and environmental change in the Andes, through an analysis of peasant livelihood strategies in the high Andes, cloud forest, and coca producing regions of Bolivia.

John D. Wiener (Visiting Research Associate) attended a meeting of the "Institute for Arctic and Alpine Research" on March 14-16 in Boulder. He presented the paper "The Dimensions of Humans in Human Dimensions--Go North." This paper compares the radical shift of Franz Boas from his roots as an environmental determinist geographer to a historical particularist anthropologist with current trends in social sciences as they are being applied in human dimensions of global change work versus the current trends in social sciences as they are now heading. The presentation illustrated some of the general modeling efforts and argued that the admirable concentration of work on relatively few cases in Arctic nature-society studies is an important complement to the more common work in human dimensions.

Natural Hazards Center

In early April David Butler traveled to Warsaw, Poland, where he worked with the Urban Institute as a consultant on a flood recovery project funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development/Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance. The Urban Institute is establishing a flood recovery information center for victims of the massive floods that devastated southern portions of Poland in 1997. Butler also spent two days consulting with the United Nations International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR) Secretariat in Geneva regarding plans for the final stages of the IDNDR program.

On March 23 Alice Fothergill (Graduate Research Assistant) presented the talk "Religion, Humor, and Anger: Family Responses to Crisis" to members of the Drake Club, a group of women who survived the Colorado Big Thompson Canyon flood in 1976. On April 4 she attended the Midwest Sociological Society's annual meeting in Kansas City, Missouri and presented the talk "Women in Disasters: Recreating Everyday Lives in Extraordinary Times." In Denver, on April 6 at the Western Social Science Association's annual conference she did another presentation entitled "Women, Charity, and Impression Management."

Population Processes Program

Richard G. Rogers organized and chaired the session "Crime from Demographic Perspectives" at this year's 40th annual conference of the Western Social Science Association meeting in Denver on April 15-18. Rebecca Rosenblatt (Graduate Research Assistant) also attended and presented the paper "Differences in Homicide Mortality among Blacks and Whites." Her paper employs three consecutive years of the National Health Interview Survey (1987-1989), linked to the National Death Index, to examine the role of social factors in homicide mortality differences between blacks and whites. The results show that sociodemographic factors--age, sex, marital status, education, employment, and income--as well as urban environment and regional location, partly explain the higher rate of homicide mortality for blacks. However, even after controlling for these factors, a large gap remains between blacks and whites, suggesting the need for examining other factors, such as cultural differences.

Richard G. Rogers and Jay Olshansky (University of Chicago) presented the paper "Emerging Infectious Diseases: The Fifth State of the Epidemiologic Transition?" at the Population Association of America meeting on April 2-4 in Chicago. The paper addresses the question: could the re-emergence of infectious and parasitic diseases (IPDs) signal a new, perhaps fifth stage of the epidemiologic transition? Deaths from re-emerging IPDs are mostly concentrated at younger ages as in the first stage, but now there are some diseases directly associated with a growing immunocompromised population. In addition, there are a number of genuinely new diseases emerging as a direct result of human action--including the pesticide and antibiotic-resistant viruses, bacteria, and disease vectors that cause tuberculosis, e-coli, meningitis, and malaria. The demographic and longevity effects of these re-emerging IPDs are also quite unique--the age structure is modified at all ages, life expectancy at birth can decline rather than rise, and on a population's fertility. The authors consider whether there are such unique attributes to this "new" trend in infectious disease mortality that it qualifies as a distinct stage in our epidemiologic history.

Andrei Rogers presented a paper, co-authored with James Raymer, on "Estimating the Interregional Migration Patterns of the Foreign-Born and Native-Born Populations in the United States: 1950-1990" at the annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers in Boston on March 25-28. Rogers was also an invited guest speaker at the Federal-State Cooperative for Population Projections Meeting in Chicago on April 1. His talk described his NICHD-funded research project on immigration and the redistribution of the foreign-born population in the United States during the past half century.

Problem Behavior Program

Richard Jessor, Frances Costa, and Mark Turbin participated in an International Planning Workshop for a cross-national, collaborative study of adolescent health and development in Gargonza, Italy, March 30-April 4. The workshop was organized and chaired by Jessor and involved collaborators from China, Poland, and Italy. Funding for the workshop was provided by a grant from the Johann Jacobs Foundation in Switzerland.

Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence

Sociology major Rebecca R. Grossman will be a 1998 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellow (SURF) in the Problem Behavior Program. She will be assisting the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence in its research of crime prevention programs throughout the state using a Comprehensive Evaluation Plan (CEP) comprising four levels of assessment to determine which programs are effective in preventing crime. Much of the research will deal with the second level of the CEP, specifically, evaluating the tests of individuals before and after they have participated in a crime prevention program to determine if their lives have changed as a result of the program. This evaluation will include feedback to the programs that are not meeting their goals to enable them to become more effective. Delbert Elliott and Jennifer Grotpeter will serve as her advisors.

On March 23, Jennifer Grotpeter was a guest speaker at the National Conference on Juvenile Justice in Orlando, Florida. She spoke on program evaluation and the Center's Blueprints project.

Delbert Elliott delivered a presentation at the Maine Regional Community Policing Institute in Rockport, Maine on March 24. He addressed representatives of the law enforcement community and explained to them the Center's Blueprints project and its impact on violence prevention.

Tonya Aultman-Bettridge attended the first focus group meeting for the "Youth Gun Violence" project. The focus group convened on April 10 in Durango.

Bits and Bytes from SSDAC

A new release of SPSS, version 8.0, is available for Windows 95. SPSS has long been a popular choice at IBS for statistical analyses. The new release has both statistical enhancements and improved interactive graphics capabilities. The annual license fee is $35 and it is only available on CD. Check with the Data Analysis Center for additional information or installation assistance.

Another popular application among IBS users is Netscape, and now the Communicator version 4.05 is available. In addition to Web browsing, it provides an alternative to Pine for e-mail and is free. Check with the Data Analysis Center to have it installed or to find out about the latest releases and upgrades for other software that you might be using.

See http://www.colorado.edu/IBS/DAC/news.html for computing and networking news and notes that should be of interest to IBS users. Selected items appear in the printed IBS Newsletter. If you have computing problems, questions, or comments send e-mail to SSDAC@Colorado.EDU.

Profile: Jennifer Grotpeter

Measuring Effectiveness of Violence Prevention Programs

Jennifer K. Grotpeter is a member of the professional staff of the Problem Behavior Program. She is currently project director for Delbert Elliott's longitudinal evaluation grant from the Colorado Governor's Community Partnership Office. The focus of this grant is to aid Colorado agencies that receive state crime prevention funds in evaluating their prevention and intervention programs. In recent years, program evaluation has become a priority in prevention research as researchers and funders alike strive to develop and finance programs that have been demonstrated to work. As a result of this focus on evaluation, increasing pressure has been placed on program directors to demonstrate the effectiveness of their programs via scientific evidence.

Our team (including Miriam Jebe and Greg Ungar) is charged with providing general technical assistance to the nearly 200 agencies that receive state crime prevention funds, and in particular, providing in-depth technical assistance to 40 of those programs. We are consulting with those agencies to aid them in conducting pre- and post-tests with their clients, with the goal of measuring change in risk and protective factors that have been theoretically linked to violence and crime. Additionally, our team is conducting aggregated outcome analyses upon ten geopolitical areas around Colorado that have received a large portion of these state funds. The goal is to map official data (such as crime data or school district data) over the years the programs were funded and to evaluate whether or not the programs appear to have impacted larger societal variables.

I became interested in prevention and intervention programs while an undergraduate at Duke University. My research opportunities there included participation in a prevention program for aggressive boys, collecting archival police data to follow up an intervention sample, and behavioral coding of early adolescents in playgroups. I was concerned that although research on aggression was quite solid for boys, aggressive girls were not being studied with nearly the frequency of their male counterparts. Even though I understood the rates of physical aggression were higher for boys than for girls, it seemed girls could be just as aggressive as boys, but the expression was different.

In graduate school at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, I worked with Dr. Nicki Crick, collaborating in the study of what we termed relational aggression; that is, harming others through the manipulation of relationships. Using peer nomination instruments as well as teacher and parent rating forms, we found this form of aggression to be more typical of girls than boys, and when both relational as well as physical aggression were assessed, we generally found girls were aggressive at nearly the same rates as boys. My focus was the study of aggression within dyadic relationships, particularly aggressive children's friendships, their relationships with their caregivers, and their caregivers' relationships with each other. Essentially, it appears relationally aggressive children do develop and maintain friendships, but the characteristics of these friendships are different from those of their nonaggressive peers and different still from their physically aggressive peers. Additionally, there was evidence that characteristics of relationally aggressive children's family relationships showed patterns similar to those of their physically aggressive peers in only some respects (e.g., their caregivers were aggressive toward each other, but the form of interparental aggression did not necessarily match the form of their child's aggressive behavior).

In my future work, I would like to further examine aggression within dyadic relationships, with a particular emphasis on bringing together what is known about aggression within the developmental and clinical psychology literatures and what is known about violence within the sociology and criminology literatures.

Notes from NIH

A regional seminar covering topics related to National Institutes of Health extramural program funding and grants administration has been scheduled for Thursday and Friday July 9-10 in Salt Lake City, Utah. This seminar, hosted by the University of Utah, is designed to attract participants from the inter-mountain/western region. The two-day seminar will feature both plenary and break-out sessions in order to provide information of interest to academic researchers, scientists, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and both new and senior research administrators. Registration fee is $145. For more information contact: Judy Martinez, Office of Sponsored Projects, University of Utah, 1C 47 School of Medicine, 50 North Medical Dr, Salt Lake City, Utah 84132. Phone: (801)581-8949, fax: (801)585-3300, email: judy.martinez@osp.utah.edu.

The National Institutes of Health is updating the policy about the acceptance of applications requesting direct costs of $500,000 or more for any one year. Previously this policy applied only to new unsolicited applications. Now the policy is being extended to all unsolicited applications.

Research Proposals Funded

Population Processes Program

Fred C. Pampel
Policy regimes, gender and age differences in violent mortality
NSF, 05/01/98 - 04/30/99, new, $38,690

Andrei Rogers
Spatial redistribution of the foreign-born population
NIH, 05/01/96 - 04/30/99, supp, $44,465

Political and Economic Change Program

John O'Loughlin
Transition to democracy in Ukraine
NSF, 03/01/98 - 07/31/98, $5,000

John O'Loughlin
REU supplement to: The transition to democracy in Ukraine
NSF, 02/01/97 - 07/31/98, supp, $5,000

Problem Behavior Program

Kirk Williams
Lethal and non-lethal adolescent violence
CDC, 09/01/97 - 08/31/98, cont, $61,550

Research Proposals Submitted

Environment and Behavior Program

Mark Williams, Diane McKnight, John Pitlick, William Riebsame, James Wescoat, Anthony Bebbington
Restoration of water quality in the San Miguel River watershed, Colorado, USA
EPA, 10/01/98 - 09/30/01, new, $899,240

Problem Behavior Program

David H. Huizinga
Developmental processes in violence and problem behavior
NIDA, 06/01/98 - 05/31/99, cont, $522,182

Upcoming Colloquia

There is an online listing of upcoming and recent colloquia.

Institute of Behavioral Science

Richard Jessor, Institute Director

1998 IBS Newsletter

Sugandha Brooks and Christine Weeber, Newsletter Editors

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

(303) 492-8147