Margit Wiesner

University of Houston, Houston, Texas, United States

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Publications (41)79.49 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The extent to which risk profiles or correlates of conduct disorder (CD) and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) symptoms overlap among youth continues to be debated. Cross-sectional data from a large, representative community sample (N = 4,705) of African-American, Latino, and White fifth graders were used to examine overlap in correlates of CD and ODD symptoms. About 49 % of the children were boys. Analyses were conducted using negative binomial regression models, accounting for several confounding factors (e.g., attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms), sampling weights, stratification, and clustering. Results indicated that CD and ODD symptoms had very similar correlates. In addition to previously established correlates, several social skills dimensions were significantly related to ODD and CD symptoms, even after controlling for other correlates. In contrast, temperamental dimensions were not significantly related to CD and ODD symptoms, possibly because more proximal correlates (e.g., social skills) were also taken into account. Only two factors (gender and household income) were found to be specific correlates of CD, but not ODD, symptoms. The pattern of common and specific correlates of CD and ODD symptoms was replicated fairly consistently across the three racial/ethnic subgroups. Implications of these findings for further research and intervention efforts are discussed.
    Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 11/2014; · 3.09 Impact Factor
  • Margit Wiesner
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    ABSTRACT: The extent to which established theories of crime are also useful for understanding youth violence exposure has drawn increasing attention in recent years. However, few studies to date have focused on testing mediating mechanisms linking risk factors to youth violence exposure. The aim of this proposed study is to address this gap in the literature, drawing on the general theory of crime and its extensions (e.g., Gottfredson & Hirschi, 1990; Schreck et al., 2002, 2004, 2006; Stewart et al., 2004) as well as lifestyles theory (e.g., Hindelang et al., 1978). Using a predominantly ethnic minority sample, a key strength of the study, it was tested whether deviant lifestyles fully or partially mediate the associations of family deviance and low self-control to youth violence exposure. Cross-sectional data from an ethnically diverse sample of 11th-Graders from a large Southern metropolitan region were used for this study. 233 high school students (39.5% male, 60.5% female; 33% African-American, 54.9% Hispanic, 12% Other) from six public high schools took part in the study. Both active parent consent and student assent were required. Youth violence exposure was assessed with two indicators, namely witnessing violence (3 items from Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey; e.g., seen someone else get hit, kicked, punched, or beaten up) and violent victimization (3 items from Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey; e.g., been hit, kicked, punched, or beaten up). Levels of self-control were measured with two subscales from the Grasmick et al (1993) self-control scale (i.e., risk-seeking (4 items) and temper/irritability (4 items)), two subscales from the Weinberger Adjustment Inventory (i.e., low responsibility (8 items) and low consideration (7 items); Weinberger & Schwartz, 1990), and one subscale from the DOTS-R (i.e., low task orientation (5 items); Windle & Lerner, 1986). Family deviance was the sum of antisocial behaviors of the parents and siblings of the youth (11 items). Deviant lifestyles was measured with three indicators, namely, delinquent behaviors (11 items from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth and the Rochester Youth Study), substance use (4 items assessing alcohol, marijuana, inhalant, and other drug use), and deviant peers (8 items from the Denver Youth Survey). Latent variable analysis in Mplus version 7 using robust maximum likelihood estimation indicated that the fully mediated model showed the best fit to the data (χ2=53.04, df=41, p=.099, RMSEA=.036 (90% CI: .000, .060), CFI=.973, TLI=.963, SRMR=.046) and provided support of the hypothesized associations. Implications of the findings for theory and prevention efforts will be discussed.
    Society for Prevention Research 22nd Annual Meeting 2013; 05/2014
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    ABSTRACT: Given the prevalence of academic procrastination in the college environment, research has focused on determining the personality traits that may influence procrastination, but not as much work has been devoted to examining the contextual factors that may elicit this behavior. Therefore, in the current study, path analysis was conducted to examine the joint effects of several aspects of the college classroom climate on procrastination directly and indirectly through motivational beliefs. The study sample consisted of 248 students enrolled in undergraduate mathematics courses. Among the classroom climate dimensions investigated, results indicated that course situational interest was a direct negative predictor of academic procrastination. Findings also suggested that self-efficacy mediated the effect of instructor organization/support on procrastination, whereas, task value mediated the effects of instructor organization/support and course situational interest on procrastination. These findings may be useful to instructors in creating a course environment that promotes adaptive motivational beliefs and inhibits procrastination.
    Learning and Individual Differences 05/2014; · 1.58 Impact Factor
  • Margit Wiesner, G Thomas Schanding
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    ABSTRACT: Several psychological assessment instruments are based on the assumption of a general construct that is composed of multiple interrelated domains. Standard confirmatory factor analysis is often not well suited for examining the factor structure of such scales. This study used data from 1885 elementary school students (mean age=8.77years, SD=1.47years) to examine the factor structure of the Behavioral Assessment System for Children, Second Edition (BASC-2) Behavioral and Emotional Screening System (BESS) Teacher Form that was designed to assess general risk for emotional/behavioral difficulty among children. The modeling sequence included the relatively new exploratory structural equation modeling (ESEM) approach and bifactor models in addition to more standard techniques. Findings revealed that the factor structure of the BASC-2 BESS Teacher Form is multidimensional. Both ESEM and bifactor models showed good fit to the data. Bifactor models were preferred on conceptual grounds. Findings illuminate the hypothesis-generating power of ESEM and suggest that it might not be optimal for instruments designed to assess a predominant general factor underlying the data.
    Journal of school psychology 12/2013; 51(6):751-63. · 2.31 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The identification of salient risk factors for alcohol consumption among male and female adolescents is an important topic not only for etiology research but also for designing effective gender-specific alcohol prevention programs for young people. This study examined the extent to which problematic alcohol use trajectories from ages 14 to 18 among male and female youth were related to childhood predictors assessed at age 9 (i.e., impulsivity, academic self-confidence, social problems with peers), socio-demographic variables, and mid-adolescent correlates [i.e., parental use, body mass index (BMI), risky peer context, conduct problems at school, parent-child relationship, somatic complaints]. Data analysis was based on a representative German longitudinal study (1986-1995, n = 1,619, 55 % female). Using growth mixture modeling methodology, associations of childhood predictors and mid-adolescent correlates to distinctive trajectories of alcohol use were examined for males and females separately. For males, a problematic consumption trajectory was associated with poor relationships to parents in adolescence and small community size. For females, low impulsivity during childhood, high BMI, and contact with deviant peers during adolescence predicted problematic as compared to normative alcohol use trajectories. Additionally, high parental alcohol use, low parental educational background, and conduct problems at school during adolescence were common predictors of a problematic alcohol use trajectory in both genders. The results provide insights regarding differences in the gender-typical development of adolescent alcohol use as well as stress the need of gender-specific intervention components along with universal prevention strategies against problematic consumption trajectories.
    Journal of Youth and Adolescence 09/2013; · 2.72 Impact Factor
  • Margit Wiesner, Saira Rab
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    ABSTRACT: For the most part, theories of victimization have developed independently of theories of offending. However, studies have demonstrated that victims of crime share many of the characteristics of offenders, including being male, young, and African-American. Therefore, it is possible that well-established predictors of offending are also predictive of victimization. The proposed study draws on the general theory of crime (Gottfredson & Hirschi, 1990), to examine whether self-control is a consistent correlate of both juvenile offending and victimization, even after controlling for other risk factors. A key strength of this study and addition to the literature is the predominantly ethnic minority sample. It was hypothesized that poorer self-control would be associated with higher levels of juvenile offending and victimization each. Cross-sectional data from an ethnically diverse sample of 11th-Graders from a large Southern metropolitan region were used for this study. 233 high school students (39.5% male, 60.5% female; 33% African-American, 54.9% Hispanic, 12% Other) from six public high schools took part in the study. Both active parent consent and student assent were required. Juvenile offending was measured with 11 items from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (2006) and the Rochester Youth Study (Thornberry et al., 2003), including set fire, sold marijuana, physically hurt someone, and purposely damaged property. Victimization was assessed with two indicators, namely exposure to violence (3 items from Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey; e.g., seen someone else get hit, kicked, punched, or beaten up) and violent victimization (3 items from Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey; e.g., been hit, kicked, punched, or beaten up). Levels of self-control were measured with two subscales from the Grasmick et al (1993) self-control scale, namely, risk-seeking (4 items; e.g., I take risks just for the fun of it) and temper or irritability (4 items; e.g., when I am really angry, other people better stay away from me), and scores from the Symbol Digits Modalities Test. Control variables included age, gender, economically disadvantaged, race/ethnicity, low parental education, average school grades in past year (from school records data), parents been arrested in past year (2 items), deviant peers (8 items), and neighborhood safety (11 items). Potential clustering in the data for students who attended the same high school was addressed by including dummy variables for school membership in the regression models. Negative binomial and linear regression models, respectively, indicated that the pattern of correlates differed among juvenile offending and victimization. As expected, poorer self-control was significantly related to higher levels of juvenile offending and victimizations, but these associations were less consistent after controlling for other risk factors. Implications of the study findings for theory and prevention efforts will be discussed.
    Society for Prevention Research 21nd Annual Meeting 2015; 05/2013
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    Margit Wiesner, Deborah M Capaldi, Hyoun K Kim
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    ABSTRACT: This study examined early adult outcomes of differing arrest trajectories across childhood through early adulthood that were identified in prior work for 197 at-risk young men. Early adult outcomes were assessed at ages 27-28 to 29-30 years. Predictive effects of arrest trajectory membership on outcomes were examined after controlling for various factors, including prior levels and early antisocial propensity. As early adults, both chronic offender groups showed poorer adjustment in terms of deviant peer affiliation, education, and work domains than did the Rare Offenders; High-Level Chronic Offenders stood out from all other groups in terms of mental health problems and physical aggression toward a partner. These effects represent plausible causal effects of developmental pathways of offending on the outcomes. Evidence for propensity effects on the outcomes was more limited. Theoretical and prevention implications are discussed.
    Western Criminology Review 11/2011; 12(3).
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    ABSTRACT: Fatherhood can be a turning point in development and in men's crime and substance use trajectories. At-risk boys (N = 206) were assessed annually from ages 12 to 31 years. Crime, arrest, and tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana use trajectories were examined. Marriage was associated with lower levels of crime and less frequent substance use. Following the birth of a first biological child, men's crime trajectories showed slope decreases, and tobacco and alcohol use trajectories showed level decreases. The older men were when they became fathers, the greater the level decreases were in crime and alcohol use and the less the slope decreases were in tobacco and marijuana use. Patterns are consistent with theories of social control and social timetables.
    Journal of Marriage and Family 10/2011; 73(5):1101-1116. · 3.01 Impact Factor
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    Margit Wiesner, Deborah M Capaldi, Hyoun K Kim
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    ABSTRACT: Developmental taxonomies of crime disagree on whether distinctive offender trajectories are related to common or unique risks. This study examined childhood risks of differing arrest trajectories across childhood through early adulthood (from ages 10-11 to 26-27 years) that were identified in prior work for 203 at-risk, predominantly Caucasian young men. Multivariate analyses revealed that when both distal (childhood risk factors) and proximal risk factors (deviant peer association as a time-varying covariate) were included in the model, relatively few childhood risk factors (assessed at age 9-10 years) discriminated the chronic offender groups from rare offenders (i.e., child antisocial behavior, child attention problems, parents' antisocial behavior). Rather, deviant peer association was significantly related to levels of offending within each trajectory group (i.e., chronic and rare offender groups). No predictor differentially predicted membership in the two chronic groups, supporting the linear gradation argument. Theoretical and prevention implications are discussed.
    Journal of Youth and Adolescence 06/2011; 41(2):217-28. · 2.72 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study used data from 3 sites to examine the invariance and psychometric characteristics of the Brief Symptom Inventory-18 across Black, Hispanic, and White mothers of 5th graders (N = 4,711; M = 38.07 years of age, SD = 7.16). Internal consistencies were satisfactory for all subscale scores of the instrument regardless of ethnic group membership. Mean and covariance structures analysis indicated that the hypothesized 3-factor structure of the instrument was not robust across ethnic groups. It provided a reasonable approximation to the data for Black and White women but not for Hispanic women. Tests for differential item functioning (DIF) were therefore conducted for only Black and White women. Analyses revealed no more than trivial instances of nonuniform DIF but more substantial evidence of uniform DIF for 3 of the 18 items. After having established partial strong factorial invariance of the instrument, latent factor means were found to be significantly higher for Black than for White women on all 3 subscales (somatization, depression, anxiety). In conclusion, the instrument may be used for mean comparisons between Black and White women.
    Psychological Assessment 12/2010; 22(4):912-22. · 2.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of the study was to examine differences between documented and undocumented Latino immigrants in the prevalence of three immigration-related challenges (separation from family, traditionality, and language difficulties), which were made more severe after the passage of restrictive immigration legislation in 1996. Specifically, the study sought to determine the combined and unique associations of legal status, the three immigration-related challenges listed above, and fear of deportation to acculturative stress related to family and other social contexts. Participants in the study consisted of 416 documented and undocumented Mexican and Central American immigrants living in two major cities in Texas. The Hispanic Stress Inventory—Immigrant form was used to assess acculturative stress in the sample. Results indicated that although undocumented immigrants reported higher levels of the immigration challenges of separation from family, traditionality, and language difficulties than documented immigrants, both groups reported similar levels of fear of deportation. Results also indicated that the immigration challenges and undocumented status were uniquely associated with extrafamilial acculturative stress but not with intrafamilial acculturative stress. Only fear of deportation emerged as a unique predictor of both extrafamililal and intrafamilial acculturative stress.
    Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences - HISPAN J BEHAV SCI. 08/2010; 32(3):362-384.
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    ABSTRACT: This study investigated whether a universal school-based life skills program-IPSY (Information + Psychosocial Competence = Protection)-against substance misuse exerted the same effectiveness for young adolescents (10.5-13 years) from distinct alcohol use trajectories characterized by late childhood risk factors (temperament, self-worth, social problems with peers). Analyses were based on a German sample of school students (N = 1,484). A longitudinal quasi-experimental design (intervention/control) with schoolwise assignment to the respective groups was used. Data were gathered via self-report questionnaire. Two-part growth mixture modeling was applied. Two prototypical trajectory classes of early alcohol use were found: a problematic group with a sharp increase in prevalence and quantity of consumed alcohol (19.7%) and a normative group with a moderate increase in both outcomes (80.3%). The problematic trajectory class was associated with several risk factors. IPSY decreased the likelihood of membership in the problematic group. Furthermore, IPSY buffered the increase in prevalence and quantity for the normative group, whereas it had no effects on these indicators for the problematic group. Concerning quantity of alcohol use, the effect size in terms of a difference in estimated means between intervention and control group at the last measurement point in the normative group was d = 0.33 (95% CI [0.21, 0.44]). Study findings indicate the usefulness of IPSY for reducing alcohol use especially in normative developing adolescents. However, the minority of adolescents consistently pursuing a problematic developmental pathway of alcohol use seem to be in need of earlier, more tailored treatments.
    Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 06/2010; 78(3):334-48. · 4.85 Impact Factor
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    Margit Wiesner, Deborah M Capaldi, Hyoun K Kim
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    ABSTRACT: This study used longitudinal data from 202 at-risk young men to examine effects of arrests, prior risk factors, and recent life circumstances on job loss across a 7-year period in early adulthood. Repeated failure-time continuous event-history analysis indicated that occurrence of job loss was primarily related to prior mental health problems, recent arrests, recent drug use, and recent being married/cohabitation. It is argued that long-term effects of criminal justice contact on employment outcomes should be understood in the context of (shared) prior risk factors and recent life circumstances.
    Journal of Vocational Behavior 04/2010; 76(2):344-354. · 2.82 Impact Factor
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    Margit Wiesner, Hyoun K Kim, Deborah M Capaldi
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    ABSTRACT: This study used longitudinal data from the Oregon Youth Study (OYS) to examine prospective effects of juvenile arrests, and of early versus late onset of juvenile offending, on two labor market outcomes by age 29/30 years. It was expected that those with more juvenile arrests and those with an early onset of offending would show poorer outcomes on both measures, controlling for propensity factors. Data were available for 203 men from the OYS, including officially recorded arrests and self-reported information on the men's work history across 9 years. Analyses revealed unexpected specificity in prospective effects: Juvenile arrests and mental health problems predicted the number of months unemployed; in contrast, being fired from work was predicted by poor child inhibitory control and adolescent substance use. Onset age of offending did not significantly predict either outcome. Implications of the findings for applied purposes and for developmental taxonomies of crime are discussed.
    Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 02/2010; 47(1):91-117. · 2.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study examined concurrent and lagged effects of deviant peer association on levels of alcohol use for distinctive trajectories of drinking from ages 14–18years, while controlling for age, paternal education, community size, and conduct problems. Longitudinal data were available from a secondary data archive of male and female German adolescents (N=1,619). Conditional latent growth mixture modeling analysis indicated consistent concurrent effects of deviant peer association (specified as time-varying covariate) on alcohol use for the regular users group, but not any of the other drinking trajectory groups. Very few lagged effects of deviant peers association on alcohol use were found, and thus the social influence hypothesis received little empirical support. Overall, findings suggest the need to consider heterogeneity in the study of peer characteristics and alcohol use for both male and female adolescents.
    Journal of Youth and Adolescence 04/2008; 37(5):537-551. · 2.72 Impact Factor
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    Margit Wiesner, Deborah M Capaldi, Hyoun K Kim
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of different operationalizations of offending behavior on the identified trajectories of offending, and to relate findings to hypothesized dual taxonomy models. Prior research with 203 young men from the Oregon Youth Study identified six offender pathways, based on self-report data (Wiesner and Capaldi, 2003). The present study used official records data (number of arrests) for the same sample. Semiparametric group-based modeling indicated three distinctive arrest trajectories: high-level chronics, low-level chronics, and rare offenders. Both chronic arrest trajectory groups were characterized by relatively equal rates of early onset offenders, thus indicating some divergence from hypothesized dual taxonomies. Overall, this study demonstrated limited convergence of trajectory findings across official records versus self-report measures of offending behavior.
    Criminology 12/2007; 45(4):835-863. · 2.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This longitudinal study used data from a secondary data archive of 1,619 East German adolescents (mean age, 14.05 years at the initial wave). Latent growth mixture modeling was used to identify distinctive developmental trajectories of alcohol consumption from ages 14 through 18 years. Four groups were found for both boys (rare users, late escalators, early peakers, regular users) and girls (rare users, increasers, decreasers, regular users). Further analyses showed reasonably good external validity of the identified alcohol consumption trajectories. Finally, female alcohol use trajectory groups differed in terms of financial resources (socioeconomic backgrounds), whereas male trajectory groups did not differ at all in terms of sociodemographic characteristics. Overall, evidence for gender-specific alcohol use trajectories was mixed.
    Psychology of Addictive Behaviors 04/2007; 21(1):62-75. · 2.09 Impact Factor
  • Margit Wiesner, Hyoun K Kim
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    ABSTRACT: Co-occurring trajectories of delinquent behavior and depressive symptoms and their correlates were examined in a longitudinal sample of 985 middle-adolescent boys and girls (mean age = 15.54 years at Time 1). Dual trajectory analysis was used to identify the co-occurring trajectories. For boys (n = 472), 4 delinquency and 4 depression trajectory groups were found. For girls (n = 513), 3 delinquency and 3 depression trajectory groups were identified. The linkage between co-occurring trajectories was higher for girls than for boys. Stressful life events and childhood precursors of the outcomes predicted trajectory group membership for both genders fairly consistently. Findings suggest heterogeneity in developmental courses of delinquent behavior and depressive symptoms across adolescent boys and girls.
    Developmental Psychology 12/2006; 42(6):1220-35. · 3.21 Impact Factor
  • Margit Wiesner, Michael Windle
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    ABSTRACT: This longitudinal study extended work from Wiesner and Windle (2004) by examining young adult outcomes (i.e., alcohol and illicit drug use, depression) of middle-adolescent trajectories of delinquent behavior for a community sample of 724 young women and men (at average ages 23.8 years). Each domain of young adult adjustment problems was assessed with three indicators (i.e., lifetime rates of psychiatric disorders, annual rates of psychiatric disorders, elevated levels of problem behaviors). Findings indicated specificity in trajectory-outcome associations, with all active offender pathway groups consistently showing poorer adjustment in the domains of young adult alcohol and illicit drug use (but not depression) relative to the rare offenders. However, there was almost no evidence of differential outcomes among the four most active offender trajectory groups. Overall, this study offered limited support for the contention that differing developmental courses and experiences during middle adolescence are linked to differential outcomes in early adulthood.
    Journal of Research on Adolescence 04/2006; 16(2):239 - 264. · 1.99 Impact Factor
  • Margit Wiesner, Michael Windle, Amy Freeman
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    ABSTRACT: In this cross-sectional study, main and moderated relationships between 5 job stressors and alcohol consumption, drug use, and depression were examined using data from a community sample of 583 young adults (mean age = 23.68 years). Analyses revealed a few direct associations between high job boredom, low skill variety, and low autonomy and depression measures and heavy alcohol use. There were no direct relationships between job stress and binge drinking, alcohol consumption, drug use, or heavy drug use. In a few cases, job stress-outcome relationships were moderated by intrinsic job motivation or gender. The findings supported a specificity-of-effects hypothesis and underscored the need for examining the processes linking occupational stress to substance use and depression.
    Journal of Occupational Health Psychology 05/2005; 10(2):83-96. · 2.07 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

455 Citations
79.49 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2006–2014
    • University of Houston
      • Department of Educational Psychology
      Houston, Texas, United States
  • 2002–2013
    • Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena
      • Department of Psychology
      Jena, Thuringia, Germany
  • 2003–2005
    • University of Alabama at Birmingham
      • Advances in Health Care Management Center
      Birmingham, Alabama, United States
  • 2004
    • Pennsylvania State University
      University Park, Maryland, United States