IBS Newsletter

March 1999

Institute of Behavioral Science
University of Colorado

Program Activities

Population Processes Program

On February 5-6, Rachel M. Silvey attended a meeting "Engendering Theories of Transnational Migration" at Yale University in New Haven. She presented the paper "Sexual Geographies: Moral Codes, Gender Norms, and Political Identities Among an Indonesian-US Transmigrant Community." This paper examines the construction of gender identities of two broad categories of Indonesian immigrants to the the US, as this process is reshaped through mobility. The paper's focus on the tensions between the two groups' conceptions of gender identity underscores the ways in which struggles over cultural meanings shape group identities in geographically distant yet interacting contexts. In addition, through examining differences in gender ideologies within the Indonesian-US group of immigrants, the paper explores the changing gendered construction of transnational "communities" through a lens that does not rely on essentializing notions of location, nationality, or socio-economic class.

Rachel M. Silvey attended the 16th Annual Berkeley Conference on Southeast Asian Studies "Indonesia 1998-1999: Crisis in Political, Economic, and Cultural Context." The meeting, sponsored by the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at the University of California at Berkeley, was held February 20-21. Silvey presented the invited paper "We Are Not Our Mothers: Gender and Political Activism Under Crisis in Indonesia." This paper examines the ways in which the current political and economic crisis in Indonesia is re-shaping the gender dynamics and labor relations of low-income labor migrants. By clarifying the role that migration plays in shaping gender relations and labor activism, the paper provides a geographically-informed analysis of the roles of women's super-exploitation and the manufacture of docility in organizing the social relations of economic development.

Richard G. Rogers participated in the Social Sciences and Population Study Section of the National Institutes of Health in Washington, DC on February 25-26.

Population Processes Program
In Print

Becker, Charles M., David Bloom. 1998. "Demographic Crisis in the Former Soviet Union: Introduction." World Development, 26(11), pp. 1913-1919.

Becker, Charles M., Damira I. Bibosunova, Grace E. Holmes, and Margarita M. Ibragimova. 1998. "Maternal Care vs. Economic Wealth and the Health of Newborns." World Development, 26(11), pp. 2057-2072. This paper focuses on a narrow aspect of the demographic and health crisis in the former Soviet Union, examining the extent to which maternal behavior can compensate for poverty and poor medical conditions. Using sister hospital data from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, and Kansas City, US covering nearly 1,500 live births, the paper finds that Kygyzstani women are partially successful in compensating by taking better care of themselves and their newborn children. Moreover, ethnicity within Kyrgyzstan has no apparent impact on maternal behavior. Careful behavior, however, does not remove all disadvantages, and targeted interventions are still greatly needed.

Becker, Charles M., and Dina S. Urzhumova. 1998. "Pension Burdens and Labor Force Participation in Kazakstan." World Development, 26(11), pp. 2087-2103. This paper examines the pressures imposed by the vast pension system in the former Soviet republic of Kazakstan. Today, some 17 percent of the country received pension payments, one of the highest rates in the world--despite the fact that Kazakstan is only now completing its demographic transition. Using a pooled regional-time series data set from pre- and post-Soviet eras, the paper also examines determinants of pension populations and the labor force participation rate. It finds that Kazakstanis in the post-Soviet era respond to price incentives both with respect to real pensions and real wage rates--in stark contrast to dramatically backward-bending labor supply curves of the Soviet era.

Becker, Charles M. and David D. Hemley. 1998. "Demographic Change in the Former Soviet Union During the Transition Period." World Development, 26(11), pp. 1957-1975. This paper examines patterns of mortality and other demographic changes across the former Soviet Union. Using regional data from the early 1990s, a simultaneous equations model of fertility, marriage, divorce, infant mortality, and abortion is estimated as a function of economic and social variables. The paper looks at determinants of life expectancy and specific causes of death. Demographic scenarios are forecast on the basis of specific economic environments; these forecasts are used to forecast life expectancies in the coming decades. In plausible environments, there is little reason to anticipate a rapid recovery in male or female life expectancies, while further declines in fertility appear imminent.

Problem Behavior Program

Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence

Delbert S. Elliott traveled to the Juvenile Justice Education Enhancement Program Office at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida, on January 6-7 to help review their database development and plan a longitudinal study to track youth. Elliott presented "Out of Control: America's Violent Youth," to Alumni and Friends of the University of Colorado in Phoenix on January 20, and in Sun City on January 21. Elliott also made a Blueprints presentation at the Juvenile Judges Conference on January 29 in Denver.

Diane M. Hansen and Sharon F. Mihalic attended the Juvenile Accountability Incentive Block Grants Program Training and Technical Assistance Alliance Planning Meeting, February 1-2 in Washington, DC. Hansen and Mihalic presented CSPV's Blueprints Training and Technical Assistance program.

Tonya Aultman-Bettridge met with Denver's Safe City Program on February 4 and will be conducting a preliminary evaluation report for the Mayor. She also delivered a Blueprints presentation at the Governor's Conference on Best Practices in Juvenile Justice at a conference held on February 10 in Ft. Mitchell, Kentucky.

Aultman-Bettridge and Tiffany Shaw attended the 3rd annual Community Policing Conference in Public Housing on February 21-23 held in Marina Del Rey, California. Aultman-Bettridge participated in a panel discussion on Youth Crime and Gang Violence. Shaw hosted a CSPV exhibit.

Alycia M. Clarke conducted a Multisystemic Therapy feasibility visit at the Bert Nash Center in Lawrence, Kansas on February 17-18. Clarke and Mihalic traveled to Salt Lake City, on January 29 for a Functional Family Therapy training meeting on a web-based data collection process. Clarke, Hansen, and Mihalic participated in a Multisystemic Therapy training at the Savio House in Denver, February 8-12.

Environment and Behavior Program

On February 21-March 2, Gilbert F. White was in Jerusalem and Ramallah for talks on further cooperation among the national science academies of Israel, Palestine, and Jordan. On March 2 the report on Sustainable Water Supplies (see "In Print") was released to the press. This groundbreaking report which has been extensively reviewed is the result of the first cooperative venture of science academies in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank, and Jordan. Furthermore, it was unanimous and offers a relatively new approach to scientific analysis for planning water use, especially its environmental effects.

On February 17-19 Charles W. Howe was in Paris at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. He took part in a panel workshop of the World Water Vision Exercise on "Economic and Demographic Trends and Institutional Change" related to water problems and opportunities for the 21st century. The World Water Vision Exercise is sponsored by the World Water Council which was established by the World Bank, several UN agencies, and donor countries to study the water issues facing the globe in the 21st century. Several panels of experts from a wide array of fields are formulating reports on potentially innovative approaches to dealing with water problems. The relevance of information technology, energy technology, biotechnology, demographics, social, and economic factors not commonly involved in discussions of water matters are being given particular attention. When the panel reports are completed and synthesized, the resulting document will be used as the basis for discussions with representative groups in the major regions of the world to provide additional inputs into understanding the problems and values associated with water resources. The products of these efforts will then be used for a global program of education, stimulating citizen participation in the solution of water problems in the first half of the coming century.

Environment and Behavior Program
In Print

Committee on Sustainable Water Supplies in the Middle East, National Research Council, Gilbert F. White, Chair. 1998. Water for the Future: The West Bank and Gaza Strip, Israel, and Jordan. National Academy Press: Washington, DC. pp. 200. This book is the result of a joint research effort led by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and involving the Royal Scientific Society of Jordan, the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, and the Palestine Health Council. It discusses opportunities for enhancement of water supplies and avoidance of overexploitation of water resources in the Middle East. Based on the concept that ecosystem goods and services are essential to maintaining water quality and quantity, the book emphasizes conservation, improved use of current technologies, and water management approaches that are compatible with environmental quality.

Natural Hazards Center

On January 27 the Natural Hazards Center, along with the World Bank, co-sponsored the 11th Public-Private Partnership (PPP) 2000 Forum at the World Bank's headquarters in Washington, DC. The PPP 2000 forums are a series of policy forums organized by the White House's Subcommittee on Natural Disaster Reduction and the Institute for Business and Home Safety to bring current and cutting-edge issues to the forefront for Washington policy makers. This 11th forum was designed to officially "unveil" the results of the Center's five-year long "Assessment of Research and Applications for Natural Hazards" project, and to begin the national conversation that it calls for as a means of starting the process to change the American culture in regard to natural hazards. Over 100 people attended the day-long forum which was keynoted by Dennis S. Mileti. Mary Fran Myers moderated the session following his address which focused on data losses due to disasters in this country and around the world. The luncheon speaker was Neal Lane, former director of the National Science Foundation, current director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and President Clinton's Chief Science Advisor. In the afternoon, presentations by Congressional staff members were followed by sessions focusing on opportunities for domestic and international disaster loss reduction and on changing the global disaster management culture. A 16-page full color brochure describing the findings of the Assessment was distributed at the forum. The full summary volume, Disasters by Design: A Reassessment of Natural Hazards in the United States by Dennis S. Mileti, is currently in press and will be available later this spring.

On January 26, Mary Fran Myers represented the Natural Hazards Center at a conference sponsored by the National Academy of Public Administration in Washington, DC. She addressed the limitations of data access for disaster management. The results of the meeting will contribute to the Global Disaster Information Network effort which is an initiative of Vice President Gore. On February 11-12, Myers was one of six members of a National Science Foundation site visit team that reviewed progress to date of the Institute for Civil Infrastructure Systems at New York University.

Political and Economic Change Program

James R. Scarritt, Glen Galaich, and Shaheen Mozaffar attended the 40th annual meeting of the International Studies Association on February 16-20 in Washington, DC. They presented a paper "Testing the Comparative Explanatory Utility of New Indices of Ethnopolitical Cleavages in African Democracies." The paper discusses testing the utility of two new indices of ethnopolitical cleavages in explaining democratic transitions and outcomes of competitive elections in Africa's emerging democracies. The indices measured the degree of ethnopolitical fragmentation and the degree of ethnopolitical concentration. They attempt to capture the morphology of ethnopolitical groups with respect to their diversity and territorial concentration. The authors examine the extent to which these two dimensions of ethnopolitical cleavage helped to account for the pattern of democratic transition in Africa over the past decade and the outcomes of post-transition elections, especially the emerging party system and opportunities for political representation.


New versions of two statistical packages popular with IBS researchers, SPSS and Stata, are now available. SPSS version 9 has enhanced charting and output options and new statistical capabilities including a nominal regression procedure for use with a categorical dependent variable. Anyone with a current SPSS license can upgrade for free; otherwise, a new license is $43/year. Stata version 6 is network aware and new or updated procedures can be downloaded directly. Stata datasets can also be accessed and made available on the network. Statistical features include new survey, survival, and time series capabilities. There is a one-time fee of $99 for Stata on the CU site license. See the respective Web sites, www.spss.com and www.stata.com, for more information. Both programs are available for use at the Data Analysis Center.

See http://www.colorado.edu/IBS/DAC/news.html at the SSDAC Web site for more computing news. If you have computing problems, questions, or comments, send e-mail to SSDAC@Colorado.EDU.

Profile: Frances Costa

Psychosocial Risk and Protective Factors and
Risk Behavior in Adolescence

Frances M. Costa's recent research, carried out with Richard Jessor and Mark S. Turbin with support by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, has focused on psychosocial risk and protective factors that can explain cross-sectional and developmental variation in adolescent risk behaviors, including problem drinking and cigarette smoking.

Personal behaviors such as tobacco use, alcohol use, unsafe sex, illicit drug use, and physical inactivity are becoming increasingly important as risk factors for morbidity and mortality. For example, by the year 2020, tobacco use is expected to be responsible for more deaths worldwide than any single disease. Because many of the behaviors that can compromise health and well-being are initially learned and tried out in adolescence, this stage in the life course has crucial implications for health. In our recent work, my colleagues and I have focused on the identification and assessment of theoretically-derived psychosocial risk and protective factors that may account for variability in risk behavior in adolescence.

Analyses focused on problem drinking among more than 1,500 Hispanic, White, and African-American students in middle and high schools in the US indicate that both psychosocial risk factors (such as low expectations for success, peer models for substance use, and poor school performance) and psychosocial protective factors (such as intolerance of deviance, peer models for conventional behavior, and involvement in prosocial activities) account for significant cross-sectional variation (34%-39%) in adolescents' involvement in problem drinking. The higher the risk and lower the protection, the greater the problem use of alcohol, that is, the more frequent the drunkenness and more numerous the instances of alcohol-related problems. Psychosocial risk and protective factors also accounted for significant variation in the timing of transition into problem drinking during adolescence. Higher risk and lower protection accelerate the risk of becoming a problem drinker in subsequent years. The relationship of risk and protective factors to problem use of alcohol and to the timing of transition into problem drinking did not vary by gender, race/ethnicity, or socioeconomic status, suggesting that intervention efforts to reduce risk and enhance protection should have relatively broad applicability across adolescent populations.

Ongoing analyses of cigarette smoking in this same sample of adolescents indicate that risk and protection are also linked cross-sectionally to smoking in adolescence. The model used in these analyses assessed risk and protection variables proximal to cigarette smoking (e.g., peer models for smoking) and variables more distal from the behavior (e.g., religiosity). Findings indicate that, even when measures proximal to smoking are in the model, more distal risk and protective factors were also significantly associated with cigarette smoking in adolescence. Although it is to be expected that psychosocial risk and protective factors that have obvious or immediate implications for cigarette smoking would account for variation in the behavior, it is illuminating that more remote, but theoretically linked, factors are also important correla tes of smoking behavior.

Engaging such distal factors, as well as more proximal ones, may ultimately lead to more effective interventions that target the prevention and reduction of cigarette smoking in adolescence.

In the future, Richard Jessor, Mark Turbin, and I hope to further elaborate the risk/protection explanatory model and apply it in a cross-national study of adolescent risk behavior and development in three widely varying national contexts--China, Poland, and the US. In collaboration with colleagues in Beijing and Warsaw, we would like to advance understanding of risk behavior and the role it plays in adolescent growth and development and, ultimately, to contribute to knowledge that can help mitigate the relatively enduring health consequences of such behaviors beyond adolescence.

Funding Opportunities

The National Institutes of Health's Fogarty International Center is offering foreign funded fellowships. The fellowships provide opportunities for US postdoctoral scientists who are in the formative stage of their research experience in foreign laboratories. Research applications for biomedical or behavioral sciences are accepted. Participating countries are Germany, Israel, Japan, Sweden, and Taiwan. Eligibility requirements and funding levels vary for each country. Application deadline is April 5. For information contact: Fogarty International Center, NIH, Division of International Training and Research, Bldg 31, Rm B2C39, 31 Center Drive - MSC 2220, Bethesda, MD 20892-2220. Phone: 301-496-1653, Fax: 301-402-0779. Email: m3p@cu.nih.gov. Web: http://www.nih.gov/fic/opportunities/ff.html.

Research Proposals Submitted

Population Processes Program

R. Rogers
Collaborative research: Income and assets, race/ethnicity and U.S. adult mortality
NSF, 07/15/99 - 08/31/02, new, $78,132

Problem Behavior Program

R. Jessor and F.M. Costa
Adolescent risk behavior and development in three societies: A cross-national comparative study of risk and outcome
J Jacobs Foundation, 09/01/99 - 08/31/02, new, $359,200

R. Jessor and F.M. Costa
Adolescent risk behavior and development in three societies: A cross-national comparative study of risk and outcome
WT Grant Foundation, 09/01/99 - 08/31/02, new, $407,708

D.S. Elliott
Comprehensive evaluation plan: Amendment 3 longitudinal evaluation continuation
State of Colorado, 01/01/99 - 06/30/99, supp, $66,139

Upcoming Colloquia

There is an online listing of upcoming and recent colloquia.

Institute of Behavioral Science

Richard Jessor, Institute Director

IBS Newsletter

Sugandha Brooks, Newsletter Editor
Richard L. Cook, Web site coordinator

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

(303) 492-8147