Institute of Behavioral Science
University of Colorado
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Comprehensive evaluation plan: Amendment 3 longitudinal evaluation continuation
State of Colorado, 01/01/99 - 06/30/99, supp, $66,139
There is an online listing of upcoming and recent colloquia.