American Institutes for Research
  • Washington, D.C., VA, United States
Recent publications
Background Until recently, few carceral facilities offered medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD). Although more facilities are adopting MOUD, much remains to be learned about addressing implementation challenges related to expansion of MOUD in carceral settings and linkage to care upon re-entry. This is particularly important in jails, where individuals cycle rapidly in and out of these facilities, especially in jurisdictions beginning to implement bail reform laws (i.e., laws that remove the requirement to pay bail for most individuals). Increasing access to MOUD in these settings is a key unexplored challenge. Methods In this qualitative study, we interviewed staff from county jails across New Jersey, a state that has implemented state-wide efforts to increase capacity for MOUD treatment in jails. We analyzed themes related to current practices used to engage individuals in MOUD while in jail and upon re-entry; major challenges to delivering MOUD and re-entry services, particularly under bail reform conditions; and innovative strategies to facilitate delivery of these services. Results Jail staff from 11 New Jersey county jails participated in a baseline survey and an in-depth qualitative interview from January–September 2020. Responses revealed that practices for delivering MOUD varied substantially across jails. Primary challenges included jails’ limited resources and highly regulated operations, the chaotic nature of short jail stays, and concerns regarding limited MOUD and resources in the community. Still, jail staff identified multiple facilitators and creative solutions for delivering MOUD in the face of these obstacles, including opportunities brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Conclusions Despite challenges to the delivery of MOUD, states can make concerted and sustained efforts to support opioid addiction treatment in jails. Increased use of evidence-based clinical guidelines, greater investment in resources, and increased partnerships with health and social service providers can greatly improve reach of treatment and save lives.
Teacher quality is one of the most relevant factors influencing student learning. However, attracting and retaining skilled people to the teaching profession is challenging. In this paper, we study how making college tuition-free affects the pool of students pursuing a teaching career. We exploit the conjunction of two tuition-financing policies implemented in Chile: a scholarship introduced in 2011 for teaching majors, and a massive 2016 reform that made college tuition-free for students from households in the bottom 50% of the income distribution. We use the programs’ differences in timing and eligibility criteria to study the effects free college had on the self-selection of students into teaching programs. We find that free college decreased the relative returns to pursuing a teaching career, making it substantially less popular among relatively poor high-performing students who now self-select into programs with higher returns. We find that the reform reduced the academic qualifications of the pool of students entering the teaching programs, which can negatively affect long-term teacher quality.
Purpose To evaluate the psychometric properties of the patient-reported outcome measurement information system® (PROMIS) short forms for assessing sleep disturbance, sleep-related impairment, pain interference, and pain behavior, among adults with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). Methods Data came from the Multi-Site ME/CFS study conducted between 2012 and 2020 at seven ME/CFS specialty clinics across the USA. Baseline and follow-up data from ME/CFS and healthy control (HC) groups were used to examine ceiling/floor effects, internal consistency reliability, differential item functioning (DIF), known-groups validity, and responsiveness. Results A total of 945 participants completed the baseline assessment (602 ME/CFS and 338 HC) and 441 ME/CFS also completed the follow-up. The baseline mean T-scores of PROMIS sleep and pain measures ranged from 57.68 to 62.40, about one standard deviation above the national norm (T-score = 50). All four measures showed high internal consistency (ω = 0.92 to 0.97) and no substantial floor/ceiling effects. No DIF was detected by age or sex. Known-groups comparisons among ME/CFS groups with low, medium, and high functional impairment showed significant small-sized differences in scores (η² = 0.01 to 0.05) for the two sleep measures and small-to-medium-sized differences (η² = 0.01 to 0.15) for the two pain measures. ME/CFS participants had significantly worse scores than HC (η² = 0.35 to 0.45) for all four measures. Given the non-interventional nature of the study, responsiveness was evaluated as sensitivity to change over time and the pain interference measure showed an acceptable sensitivity. Conclusion The PROMIS sleep and pain measures demonstrated satisfactory psychometric properties supporting their use in ME/CFS research and clinical practice.
States are responsible for evaluating teacher preparation programs (TPPs) through program reviews. We use data from Massachusetts to describe the first analysis of program review ratings and their relationship to in-service outcomes for TPP graduates. When comparisons are made across all schools and districts in the state, a TPP’s review scores positively predict in-service teacher evaluations and value added for TPP graduates. These relationships, however, become more modest for teacher evaluations and statistically insignificant for value added when relationships are identified based on comparisons between TPP graduates who are teaching in the same schools and districts.
Twice exceptional (2e) students are students who are both gifted and have a disability. At the intersection of exceptionality and race, twice exceptional students from racially minoritized communities may experience behavioral difficulties in schools. In this article, we provide information for educators as well as school and district administrators about the unique challenges and possibilities in teaching 2e students of color. We offer a research-based collective problem-solving process, Learning Lab, that brings together practitioners, students, school and district leaders, families, and community members, especially those who have been excluded from schools’ decision-making activities. Learning Lab members engage in root cause analyses, map out their existing behavioral support system, and design a culturally responsive school wide behavioral support model in response to experiences, resources, needs, and goals of 2e students and their school contexts. In Learning Labs, the local school community has power in determining the future of their school. Practitioners, students, family and community members’ diverse histories and interests are utilized to develop just, effective, and gifted schools for all.
Background: Higher education consistently predicts improved late-life cognition. Racial differences in educational attainment likely contribute to inequities in dementia risk. However, few studies of education and cognition have controlled for prospectively measured early-life confounders or evaluated whether the education late-life cognition association is modified by race/ethnicity. Methods: Among 2343 Black and White Project Talent Aging Study participants who completed telephone cognitive assessments, we evaluated whether the association between years of education and cognition (verbal fluency, memory/recall, attention, and a composite cognitive measure) differed by race, and whether these differences persisted when adjusting for childhood factors, including the cognitive ability. Results: In fully adjusted linear regression models, each additional year of education was associated with higher composite cognitive scores for Black [β=0.137; 95% confidence interval (CI)=0.068, 0.206] and White respondents (β=0.056; CI=0.034, 0.078) with an interaction with race (P=0.03). Associations between education and memory/recall among Black adults (β=0.036; CI=-0.037, 0.109) and attention among White adults (β=0.022; CI=-0.002, 0.046) were nonsignificant. However, there were significant race-education interactions for the composite (P=0.03) and attention measures (P<0.001) but not verbal fluency (P=0.61) or memory/recall (P=0.95). Conclusion: Education predicted better overall cognition for both Black and White adults, even with stringent control for prospectively measured early-life confounders.
Purpose The Comprehensive Cancer Control Cancer Communication Mentorship Program (“Mentorship Program”) was created by the George Washington University Cancer Center (GWCC) to provide technical assistance (TA) in implementing evidence-based cancer screening communication interventions and support networking for comprehensive cancer control (CCC) professionals. The Mentorship Program matched entry-to mid-level CCC professionals with health communication and/or CCC experts and offered monthly web-based discussions with academic researchers and practitioners who shared their knowledge and provided applied learning opportunities throughout mentees’ project planning, implementation and evaluation. The program objective was for mentees to improve health communication skills and apply evidence-based knowledge to reduce the burden of cancer. Methods A mixed methods evaluation was conducted, including a qualitative description of each project and its outcomes as well as quantitative measures of satisfaction with the program and self-rated changes in competence. Results Mentees represented the following locations: New Jersey, Arkansas, Michigan, West Virginia, and Republic of Palau. Project topics ranged from increasing Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccinations to increasing screening uptake for colorectal cancer, lung cancer, cervical cancer, and breast cancer. Evaluation results from pre- and post-program communication competency self-assessments and mid- and post-program surveys revealed that the Mentorship Program advanced personal and professional goals and improved public health communication skills. Conclusion The Mentorship Program achieved its objectives for peer networking and offering expert TA in cancer prevention and control communication, offering a promising model for others involved in supporting implementation of evidence in practice.
Objective: To advance equity by developing stakeholder-driven principles of shared measurement, which is using a common set of measurable goals that reflect shared priorities across communities and systems, such as health care, public health, and human and social services. Data sources: From October 2019 to July 2021, we collected primary data from leaders in cross-systems alignment, measurement, and community engagement-including community members and community-based organization leaders -across the United States. Study design: In partnership with equity and community engagement experts, we conducted a mixed methods study that included multiple formative research activities and culminated in a six-week, stakeholder-engaged modified-Delphi process. Data collection: Formative data collection occurred through an environmental scan, interviews, focus groups, and an online survey. Principles were developed using a virtual modified Delphi with iterative, rapid-analysis. Feedback on the final principals was collected through virtual focus groups, an online feedback form, and during virtual presentations. Principal findings: We developed a set of five guiding principles. Measurement that aligns systems with communities toward equitable outcomes: 1) Requires upfront investment in communities; 2) Is co-created by communities; 3) Creates accountability to communities for addressing root causes of inequities and repairing harm; 4) Focuses on a holistic and comprehensive view of communities that highlights assets and historical context; and 5) Reflects long-term efforts to build trust. Using an equity-focused process resulted in principles with broad applicability. Conclusions: Leaders across systems and communities can use these shared measurement principles to reimagine and transform how systems create equitable health by centering the needs and priorities of the communities they serve, particularly communities that historically have been harmed the most by inequities. Intentionally centering equity across all project activities was essential to producing principles that could guide others in advancing equity.
Eliciting student thinking during mathematics instruction allows teachers to choose tasks with high cognitive demand while also engaging students to use productive struggle to solve mathematical problems, thus increasing their conceptual understanding. Often, students who require intensive intervention in mathematics, in particular, students who are English learners, are not able to participate in discourse opportunities within core instruction in mathematics because they lack the confidence or the necessary skills. This includes students with mathematics difficulties as well as students with identified mathematics disabilities. Discourse provides multiple opportunities to practice using and listening to content‐specific language, which is critical to developing academic language and accessing higher‐level mathematics. This article summarizes the research supporting discourse in mathematics interventions as well as appropriate scaffolds to support discourse within intensive intervention for English learners, ultimately improving student understanding and performance.
Resisting immediate temptations in favor of larger later rewards predicts academic success, socioemotional competence, and health. These links with delaying gratification appear from early childhood and have been explained by cognitive and social factors that help override tendencies toward immediate gratification. However, some tendencies may actually promote delaying gratification. We assessed children’s delaying gratification for different rewards across two cultures that differ in customs around waiting. Consistent with our preregistered prediction, results showed that children in Japan ( n = 80) delayed gratification longer for food than for gifts, whereas children in the United States ( n = 58) delayed longer for gifts than for food. This interaction may reflect cultural differences: Waiting to eat is emphasized more in Japan than in the United States, whereas waiting to open gifts is emphasized more in the United States than in Japan. These findings suggest that culturally specific habits support delaying gratification, providing a new way to understand why individuals delay gratification and why this behavior predicts life success.
Many K-12 students with disabilities (SWDs) spend a large portion of their school day in general classrooms because of a prevailing view that they are more appropriately challenging and beneficial than other educational placements. We questioned this belief by exploring a “dosage” hypothesis: The more time SWD are in general classrooms the better they do academically. We assembled a database spanning 1998 to 2015, inclusive. For nine of these years, we found both Office of Special Education Program’s placement data and National Center for Education Statistics’ reading data. We ran multilevel growth models to describe trends across time for the placement and reading data. Findings indicated a steadily increasing trend for general class placement and a positive but decelerating trend for reading performance, which together produced a widening placement–performance gap after 2007. Among 10 states/jurisdictions with the strongest positive trends for general class placement, there was no uniform pattern of reading performance across years. In short, we found little corroboration of a dosage hypothesis.
This article examines a multidimensional conceptualization of engagement and how it is related to achievement outcomes and teacher classroom practices in mathematics (including structure, support, and challenge). It draws insights from existing literature on engagement and other related research areas, including motivation and teaching effectiveness, and conducts empirical investigations using international large-scale survey and assessment data in four education systems (i.e., Singapore, Finland, Australia, and Romania) that have distinct cultural and social backgrounds and achieve at varying levels on international assessments. Confirmatory factor analysis results validate engagement as a multidimensional construct across contexts. Path analysis results reveal different patterns in the relations among engagement, achievement, and teacher classroom practices. In some contexts, relations between teacher practices and engagement or achievement vary as a function of student or teacher report. Implications and future directions are discussed.
Executive functioning (EF) is a series of fundamental goal-directed cognitive abilities that enable effective learning. Differences in daily sleep quality may covary with fluctuations in EF among youth. Most studies linking sleep to EF rely on between-person differences and average effects for the sample. This study employed an intensive longitudinal design and examined the within-person relations between self-reported prior night’s sleep quality and next day’s EF. Students from Grades 4 to 12 (M age= 14.60, SD = 2.53) completed three behavioral EF tasks repeatedly across approximately one semester. The final analytic sample included 2898 observations embedded in 73 participants. Although, on average, sleep did not significantly covary with EF, there was heterogeneity in within-person sleep-EF relations. Moreover, individuals’ average sleep quality moderated within-person effects. For individuals with low mean sleep quality, a better-than-usual sleep quality was linked to better EF performance. However, for individuals with high mean sleep quality, better-than-usual sleep quality was linked to worse EF performance. Understanding person-specific relations between sleep and EF can help educators optimize EF and learning on a daily basis and produce positive academic outcomes across longer time periods.
The "relevance" of research to stakeholders is an important factor in influencing the uptake of new knowledge into practice, however this concept is neither well defined nor routinely incorporated in clinical rehabilitation research. Developing a uniform definition, measurement standards, stakeholder engagement strategies, and guiding frameworks that bolster relevance may help to incorporate the concept as a key element in research planning and design. This paper presents a conceptual argument for why relevance matters, proposes a working definition, and suggests strategies for operationalizing the construct in the context of clinical rehabilitation research. We place special emphasis on the importance of promoting relevance to patients, caregivers, and clinicians and provide preliminary frameworks and innovative study designs that can assist clinical rehabilitation researchers in doing so. We argue that researchers who include a direct statement regarding why and to whom a study is relevant and who incorporate considerations of relevance throughout all phases of study design produce more useful research for patients, caregivers, and clinicians, increasing its chance of uptake into practice. Consistent consideration of relevance, particularly to non-academic audiences, during the conceptualization, study design, presentation, and dissemination of clinical rehabilitation research may promote the uptake of findings by patients, caregivers, and providers.
Livelihoods and microfinance programs for women often show reduced impacts after scale-up. Yet, program scale-up may reduce average per capita costs and maintain cost-effectiveness despite lower impact. This paper presents evidence on the association between program scale, costs, and cost-effectiveness by analyzing how the costs of a large-scale Self-Help Group (SHG) program in India changed from its inception in 2007 to its scale-up in 2019. We use expenditure data from program’s audit statements of Jeevika – the Bihar Rural Livelihoods Promotion Society – and find that a 1% increase in program membership was associated with a 0.6% increase in annual program expenditures, indicating large economies of scale. Predicted costs from regressions suggest that the annual per capita program expenditures declined from $29 when the program covered 100,000 members to $5 when it reached 10 million members. Previous impact evaluations of Jeevika showed sizeable but smaller substitutions away from high-cost debt after scale-up than during the pilot, but we found that economies of scale led to similar cost-effectiveness ratios for this outcome. We also found that formation of higher-level federations is associated with lower marginal costs than setting up SHGs. However, previous evidence suggests that Jeevika did not generate average impacts on women’s agency and asset ownership after scale-up. Building on a rich history of research on Jeevika, we argue that program implementers must identify key success factors in pilot programs to minimize tradeoffs between cost savings and potentially reduced impacts after scale-up. Further, we suggest investments in linking SHGs to federations to improve the cost-effectiveness of SHGs.
Reading nonfiction texts with understanding is important to school success, yet many students struggle to do so. This randomized controlled trial extends previous research by contrasting an earlier iteration of a comprehension tutoring program (Comp) against a variant with strategies for transferring learning (Comp+Transfer). Participants were 189 fourth and fifth graders with weak reading comprehension. To evaluate their efficacy, we used commercially developed far‐transfer measures and experimenter‐made near‐ and mid‐transfer measures of reading comprehension. In contrast to controls, students in both programs significantly improved their understanding of near‐transfer passages. Additionally, students in Comp+Transfer improved performance on mid‐transfer passages. These findings suggest the value of teaching for transfer and the importance of measuring program efficacy with researcher‐made tests alongside commercial tests.
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392 members
Jason Brinkley
  • Health and Social Development
San Keller
  • Health and Healthcare Quality and Performance Measurement
Marla L Clayman
  • Health Care
Virginia Buysse
  • Early Childhood and Special Education
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