IBS Newsletter

June 1999

Institute of Behavioral Science
University of Colorado


Elaine A. Blechman (a member of the professional staff of the Research Program on Problem Behavior) received the Impart Award (Implementation of Multicultural Perspectives and Approaches in Research and Teaching) from the Office of the Associate Vice-Chancellor for Diversity and Equity. Blechman and her students will use the funds for a laboratory study testing models of resilience among groups of juvenile offenders and families in the Boulder County Diversion Program.

Program Activities

Population Processes Program

The Population Program will be offering a one-week short course on loglinear modeling and missing data. Morning lectures will begin on Monday, July 26 and end Friday, July 30. Afternoons will be devoted to computer exercises. Enrollment will be limited because of seating and computer-related constraints. For further information contact Andrei Rogers at 303-492-2145. Richard G. Rogers was an invited speaker in a panel presentation on understanding changing mortality patterns at the Society of Actuaries Spring Meeting, May 24-25 in Atlanta, GA. His presentation, "Changing Patterns in Tobacco Usage" discussed the past, present, and future trends in cigarette smoking. Specifically, he tied smoking trends to age and sex mortality differences. The sex gap in life expectancy which peaked in 1975 and 1979, has since closed. Based on cigarette smoking trends, Rogers speculates that the sex gap in life expectancy will continue to narrow for the next one to two decades.

In Print

Rogers, Richard, Robert A. Hummer, Charles B. Nam, and Christopher G. Ellison. May, 1999. "Religious Involvement and U.S. Adult Mortality." Demography, 36(2), pp. 273-285. The authors use data from the National Health Interview Survey--Multiple Cause of Death linked file to model the association of religious attendance and sociodemographic, health, and behavioral correlates with overall and cause-specific mortality. Religious attendance is associated with US adult mortality in a graded fashion: People who never attend exhibit 1.87 times the risk of death in the follow-up period compared with people who attend more than once a week. This translates into a seven-year difference in life expectancy at age 20 between those who never attend and those who attend more than once a week. Health selectivity is responsible for a portion of the religious attendance effect: People who do not attend church or religious services are also more likely to be unhealthy and, consequently, to die. However, religious attendance also works though increased social ties and behavioral factors to decrease the risks of death. Although the magnitude of the association between religious attendance and mortality varies by cause of death, the direction of the association is consistent across causes.

Political and Economic Change Program

Keith E. Maskus attended the Joint Sino-US Conference on Intellectual Property Rights and Economic Development organized jointly by Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences and National Bureau of Asian Research on May 10-12, in Shanghai, China. His invited paper, "Evidence on Intellectual Property Rights and Economic Development: A Broader Policy Perspective on China," discusses new evidence on how Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) influence economic development, noting that their benefits and costs depend on the broader structure of competition in the economy. The paper also suggests a number of policy conclusions for China in implementing its stronger IPRs regime.

In Print

Bell, James E. April 1999. "Redefining National Identity in Uzbekistan: Symbolic Tensions in Tashkent's Official Public Landscape." Ecumene 6(2), pp. 183-213. This article focuses on the evolving relationship between Uzbekistan's political elite and Tashkent's symbolic landscape. The embeddedness of Soviet-era architectural icons illuminates the inertia that has defined contemporary efforts to reinscribe the narrative of Uzbek nationhood. The link between Tashkent's past and present public landscapes also highlights the tension between public landscapes that reify state-centered definitions of Uzbekness and those, such as the mosque, that manifest alternative visions of Uzbek identity.

Problem Behavior Program

Richard Jessor was an invited participant in the Conference on Economic Analysis of Risky Behavior Among Youths held at MIT in Cambridge, MA on April 29- May 1. The purpose of the conference was to present economic models analyzing levels and time trends in a variety of adolescent risk behaviors, including crime, substance use, early sexual initiation, depression and suicide, etc., and to have their assumptions and findings critiqued by non-economist behavioral scientists. On May 13-14, Jessor was an invited speaker at a Workshop on Residential Academies for At-Risk Youth organized by the Life Course Center in the Department of Sociology at the University of Minnesota. Under the previous Governor of Minnesota, Arne Carlson, the legislature allocated $12,000,000 to establish residential academies across the state. The workshop was designed to consider the pros and cons of such an approach to at-risk youth and to advise about how to maximize their potential contributions. Jessor's talk was titled, "Risk and Protective Factors in Adolescent Development."

In Print

Blechman, Elaine A., Elizabeth S. Lowell, and Jennifer Garrett. 1999. "Prosocial Coping and Substance Use During Pregnancy." Addictive Behaviors, 24(1), pp. 99-109. In structured interviews of pregnant inner-city residents, 38 substance users reported more current liking of drugs and polysubstance use, disengagement coping, depressive symptoms, negative affect, and antisocial behavior than did 45 nonusers. During videotaped interviews, trained observers coded less warmth and less prosocial information exchange among users. Factor analysis of measures of coping and its concomitants yielded a three-factor (prosocial, antisocial, asocial) solution, with asocial and antisocial coping predominating among substance users. These results suggest that coping has emotional, social, and cognitive elements. This study is the first to demonstrate an association between a substance-using lifestyle and limited prosocial information exchange.

Donovan, John E., Richard Jessor, and Frances M. Costa. 1999. "Adolescent Problem Drinking: Stability of Psychosocial and Behavioral Correlates Across a Generation," Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 60, pp. 352-361. Research conducted in the 1970s demonstrated that Problem Behavior Theory could account for approximately 40% of the variance in problem drinking in both local and national sample studies. The present analyses sought to determine whether the personality, perceived environment, and behavior variables of the framework continue to contribute to the explanation of problem drinking among contemporary American youth. Correlational and multiple regression analyses were performed on six separate databases collected at different times between 1972 and 1992. Due to sociodemographic differences among the samples, separate analyses were performed for male and female adolescents, and age, ethnicity and socioeconomic status were statistically controlled. There was considerable consistency across the samples in both the partial correlations and the partial multiple correlations, and this result held for both genders. Not only did the framework account for the same percentage of the variance (40%) in problem drinking in the 1992 data as it did in the 1972 data, but the results for the intervening years were consistent as well. The consistency of results over a 20-year period confirms that the social-psychological meaning of adolescent involvement in problem drinking has remained stable despite changes in the larger sociohistorical context.

Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence

Delbert S. Elliott spoke to Colorado principals, representatives from the governor's office, representatives from Senator Allard's office, Columbine High School representatives, legislators, and others on May 21. Elliott provided some guidance and discussion regarding school violence prevention and other youth violence issues. The group met at Ebert Elementary School in Denver. On May 10, Elliott traveled to Harrisburg, PA to be the featured speaker at a lunch meeting with the State's First Lady, Michele Ridge and the members of the Governor's Community Partnership for Safe Children. His presentation included information on the Blueprints for Violence Prevention and What Works in Violence Prevention. On May 4, Elliott spoke on interdisciplinary issues and violence prevention to the group, "The Interdisciplinary Violence Research Initiative," at the University of Southern California.

Tonya Aultman-Bettridge conducted a workshop on Youth Violence Trends and Risks Prevalence at the 12th Annual Crossroads Conference held May 2 in Vail. She also participated in the Colorado Trust's Violence Prevention Initiative Statewide Network meeting held April 28-29 at Copper Mountain Resorts.

Tonya Aultman-Bettridge and Tiffany Shaw traveled to Montrose, Colorado as representatives of both the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence and the University's Outreach Program, "CU in Residence." Aultman-Bettridge was the guest speaker for the joint service clubs luncheon on April 27. She delivered a presentation on the Trends and Patterns of Youth Violence. Shaw hosted a CSPV exhibit at the community's violence prevention conference, "A Safe Community for All Ages," on April 28. Shaw also conducted a workshop on program evaluation.

Environment and Behavior Program

Gilbert F. White was invited to Washington, DC on May 5-6 to join in discussions with the Administrator of the Federal Insurance Administration (FIA) and selected members of the FIA and the Federal Emergency Management Agency of the need for the prospective organization of a scientific assessment of the effects of the national program for flood insurance. That program was launched by legislation enacted by the Congress in 1968 in response to two reports, one by a group organized by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the other, a task force by the Bureau of the Budget. White had chaired the latter group whose report was sent to the Congress by President Johnson, and had recommended experimentation with a Federal insurance program that would analyze the effects of different operating policies for designating flood risk, insurance premiums, and conditions of land management in floodplains. The first Administrator had chosen not to experiment and, under Congressional urging, had established uniform operating policies for the country as a whole. Those policies have been modified in a few respects in the subsequent years but their consequences have never been assessed in detail. The new Administrator now is interested in finding out the consequences for the nation, and a spectrum of social and behavioral investigations will be in order if valid answers are to be found. Details will be discussed at the July Natural Hazards Workshop.

In mid-May, Charles W. Howe was a participant in the workshop "Designing Effective Assessments of Global Environmental Issues: What is Being Learned?" sponsored by Harvard University and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration at the Airlie Center in Warrenton, VA. The workshop's objective was to share experiences with regional and global assessment projects such as the European acid rain project and follow-up to the Montreal protocol. John Wiener attended the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Investigators' Meeting, Economic and Human Dimensions Program in Tucson, AZ on April 25-29. He gave a presentation of his research proposal for exploratory assessment of potential for improved water management by increased use of climate information in three western states.

Natural Hazards Center

The results of the five year study "Disasters by Design: A Reassessment of Natural Hazards in the United States" was released to the press at the National Press Club in Washington, DC on May 19. Dennis S. Mileti presented the findings of the team of 132 experts who conducted the study. The study was asked to evaluate what is known about natural hazards and come up with ways to reduce their social and economic costs. "Until people are ready to address the interdependent root causes of disasters and to do the difficult work of coming to a negotiated consensus about which losses are acceptable, which are unacceptable, and what type of action to take, our nation's communities will continue on a path toward ever-larger natural catastrophes," Mileti concluded.

Mary Fran Myers met with the International Joint Commission's Red River Basin Task Force on May 4, in Grand Forks, ND, to present the findings of a six-month study to assess the impact of recovery assistance provided in the wake of 1997 floods on long-term flood resilience in the Basin. She was joined by her colleague, Robert Tait, Director of the University of Manitoba's Disaster Research Institute. The bi-lateral study concluded that while some recovery assistance did contribute to long-term resiliency to a certain extent, there was much more opportunity for using recovery assistance to foster future flood resiliency than was used after the 1997 floods.

Natural Hazards Center in Print

Mileti, Dennis S. 1999. Disasters by Design: A Reassessment of Natural Hazards in the United States. Washington, DC: Joseph Henry Press.

Bits and Bytes from SSDAC

IBS now has access to SpaceStat which is a specialized program for the analysis of spatial data. When observations are taken on a set of geographic areas, standard statistical analysis techniques are often inappropriate and inadequate. SpaceStat provides the functions to carry out statistical analyses when these situations occur. In addition, SpaceStat is linked with the geographic information system ArcView. Both SpaceStat and ArcView are installed in the SSDAC lab.

If you have computing problems, questions, or comments send e-mail to SSDAC@Colorado.EDU.

In Focus: CSPV

Blueprints for Violence Prevention

The recent shootings at Columbine High School have generated front-page headlines as have other sensational episodes of youth violence over the past few years. There is a louder outcry among the public for investments in youth programs that might prevent such tragedies in the future. The Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence (CSPV), part of IBS's Problem Behavior Program, has been working on a project for the last 3-1/2 years to design and launch a national violence prevention initiative to identify and replicate violence prevention programs that are effective.

The project, called Blueprints for Violence Prevention, identifies ten exemplary violence prevention programs based upon a review and recommendation from a distinguished Advisory Board, comprised of six experts in the field of violence prevention. These programs meet a strict scientific standard of program effectiveness, including experimental or quasi-experimental designs with matched control groups, evidence of significant deterrent effects on violence, delinquency, or substance use with a sustained effect at least one year beyond treatment, and multiple site replication. To date, more than 450 programs have been reviewed, and the Center continues to look for programs which meet the selection criteria.

A book has been developed by CSPV, in collaboration with each program designer, for each of the Blueprints programs. Each book describes the core elements of the Blueprints program, theoretical rationale, targeted populations, risk and protective factors affected, planning and implementation issues, evaluation findings, and replication issues. The books, in essence, provide important information for an agency to determine if they have the organizational capacity to implement the program successfully.

CSPV, through two Cooperative Agreements with the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), is offering training and technical assistance to sites nationwide that desire to implement the Blueprints programs. Under the first Cooperative Agreement, training and technical assistance will be provided to 50 sites for nine of the Blueprints programs. Site selection is currently underway. Applications for technical assistance may be submitted to CSPV through September 30, 1999. While working with the program designers to deliver training and technical assistance, CSPV will conduct a process evaluation at each site to determine the integrity of program delivery.

The second Cooperative Agreement between CSPV and OJJDP will provide training and technical assistance, as well as program materials, to approximately 70 schools/ school districts that desire to implement Life Skills Training (LST), a drug prevention program that targets middle/junior high students. CSPV has already begun 15 implementations of this program through a Request for Proposal (RFP) issued by OJJDP in December, 1998. A second RFP has recently been issued to identify additional sites. CSPV is working with Dr. Gilbert Botvin at Cornell University to deliver this program to the selected sites. CSPV will conduct a process evaluation at each site. Additionally, the sites selected under the second RFP will become part of a national evaluation of LST, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

In addition to the Blueprints programs, 15 other programs have been identified as "Promising." There has been a great deal of interest from several of the federal agencies to conduct the type of evaluations that might provide the evidence necessary to elevate these programs to the status of "Blueprints." The Centers for Disease Control and OJJDP are committed to this goal and have promised funding for replication and evaluation of several of the Promising programs.

As the demand for research-based programs gains momentum, more and more states, agencies, and schools are seeking effective alternatives for their youth violence problems. Blueprints for Violence Prevention offers a core set of programs that target ages spanning from infancy through the high school years. Five of the programs are school based, one is a community mentoring program, one a prenatal and infancy home visitation program, and three programs are designed to treat chronic and serious juvenile offenders.

For more information contact: Sharon Mihalic (Project Director), Abigail Fagan, Diane Hansen, Katie Irwin (Program Managers), at 303-492-1032 or email blueprints@colorado.edu. Their Web site is http://www:colorado.edu/cspv/blueprints.

Funding Opportunities

The National Science Foundation (NSF) officials will take part in a regional conference sponsored by the Colorado School of Mines to share information that can make faculty members more competitive for NSF grants and expand research administrators' knowledge about this important agency. The workshop will be held at the Holiday Inn, Denver West Village, Golden, Colorado on October 14-15. On October 16 a workshop will be offered on the NSF FastLane computer access system. For more information visit website: http://www.mines.edu/Outreach/Cont_Ed/nsf1.html.

The Women's Forum of Colorado Foundation, Inc. is proud to announce nine $1000 scholarship grants for the Fall of 1999 to women in graduate studies at a Colorado institute. The scholarships are intended for such items as tuition, educational materials, laboratory fees, and research costs based on the demonstrated need of the applicant. Applicants must be citizens of the United States and be accepted in a graduate program at an accredited Colorado college or university. Applicants may be in their final year. Information and application form are available on IBS #1 bulletin board or contact Ruth Edwards, 955 Bungalow Court, Fort Collins, 80521, phone: 970-490-1894, email: redwards@lamar.colostate.edu. The application deadline is June 30, 1999.

Research Proposals Funded

Problem Behavior Program

F.W. Dunford
Continuation of the San Diego Navy Experiment
San Diego State University Foundation, 03/31/99 - 01/28/00, renew, $322,250

Research Proposals Submitted

Political and Economic Change Program

(Not Problem Behavior Program as stated in printed May 1999 IBS Newsletter)

J.V. O'Loughlin, E.S. Greenberg, R. Jessor, J. Menken, and L.A. Staeheli
IGERT-Pre-proposal-globalization and human well being
NSF, 05/01/00 - 04/30/05, new, $2,681,995

The next issue of the IBS Newsletter will be July-August. Enjoy the summer!

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