Social Science Research

Published by Elsevier
Online ISSN: 1096-0317
Print ISSN: 0049-089X
Publications
First proposed by Mueller, the theory of the "rally effect" predicts that public support for government officials will increase when an event occurs that (1) is international; (2) involves the United States; and (3) is specific, dramatic, and sharply focused [Mueller, J.E. 1973. War, Presidents, & Public Opinion. New York: John Wiley & Sons., p. 209). Using the natural experiment of a large (N= 15,127) survey of young adults ages 18-27 that was in the field during the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, we confirm the existence of a rally effect on trust in government as well as its subsequent decay. We then use a predictive modeling approach to investigate individual-level dynamics of rallying around the flag and anti-rallying in the face of the national threat. By disaggregating predictors of rallying, we demonstrate remarkably different patterns of response to the attacks based on sex and, particularly, race. The results confirm expectations of national threat inciting a rally effect, but indicate that the dynamics of this rally effect are complex and race and gender-dependent. The article offers previously-unavailable insights into the dynamics of rallying and trust in government.
 
This paper examines three outcomes characterizing different aspects of post 9/11 veterans' economic reintegration to civilian life: unemployment, earnings and college enrollment, using Current Population Survey data from 2005 to 2011. Analyses include interactions of veteran status with sex, race/ethnicity and educational attainment to evaluate whether diverse veterans experience diverse consequences of service. In brief, I find that the basic unemployment differences between veterans and non-veterans often reported in the media understate the effect of military service on unemployment for men, since veterans have other characteristics that are associated with higher employment rates. Female veterans appear to suffer a steeper employment penalty than male veterans, but black veterans appear to suffer less of a penalty than white veterans. But on two other measures, earnings and college enrollment, veterans appear to be doing better than their civilian peers. Veterans with a high school education or less outearn their civilian peers, but veterans with at least some college education appear to lose some or all of the veteran earnings advantage compared to veterans with a high school degree, suggesting the greatest wage returns to military service accrue among the least educated. Veterans with at least a high school education are more likely to be enrolled in college than their civilian peers. Treating veterans as a monolithic block obscures differences in the consequences of military service across diverse groups.
 
Investigating immigrant residential patterns in 1880 offers a baseline for understanding residential assimilation trajectories in subsequent eras. This study uses 100% count information from the 1880 Census to estimate a multilevel model of ethnic isolation and exposure to native whites in 67 cities for individual Irish, German and British residents. At the individual level, the key predictors are drawn from assimilation theory: nativity, occupation, and marital status. The multilevel model makes it possible to control for these predictors and to study independent sources of variation in segregation across cities. There is considerable variation at the city level, especially due to differences in the relative sizes of groups. Other significant city-level predictors of people's neighborhood composition include the share of group members who are foreign-born, the disparity in occupational standing between group members and native whites, and the degree of occupational segregation between them.
 
In this study, we measure the contribution of immigrants and their descendents to the growth and industrial transformation of the American workforce in the age of mass immigration from 1880 to 1920. The size and selectivity of the immigrant community, as well as their disproportionate residence in large cities, meant they were the mainstay of the American industrial workforce. Immigrants and their children comprised over half of manufacturing workers in 1920, and if the third generation (the grandchildren of immigrants) are included, then more than two-thirds of workers in the manufacturing sector were of recent immigrant stock. Although higher wages and better working conditions might have encouraged more long-resident native-born workers to the industrial economy, the scale and pace of the American industrial revolution might well have slowed. The closing of the door to mass immigration in the 1920s did lead to increased recruitment of native born workers, particularly from the South, to northern industrial cities in the middle decades of the 20th century.
 
Decomposition of fertility into its age, period, and cohort components demonstrates the empirical importance of age and period. Of the two, less is known about the period dimension. A new measure of fertility, specific to race and birth order, is used to estimate the effects of annual change in unemployment, the marriage and unemployment rate, as well as annual change in contraceptive sterilization and change in the proportion of couples adopting the more effective (pill and IUD) methods introduced in the early 1960s, are all important determinants of fertility change, but their impact varies greatly by birth order.
 
Previous research has suggested that men who were exposed to combat during wartime differed from those who were not. Yet little is known about how selection into combat has changed over time. This paper estimates sequential logistic models using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics to examine the stratification of military service and combat exposure in the US during the last six decades of the twentieth century. It tests potentially overlapping hypotheses drawn from two competing theories, class bias and dual selection. It also tests a hypothesis, drawn from the life course perspective, that the processes by which people came to see combat have changed historically. The findings show that human capital, institutional screening, and class bias all determined who saw combat. They also show that, net of historical change in the odds of service and combat, the impact of only one background characteristic, race, changed over time.
 
Multiple indicators of societal integration and proxies for the culture of suicide form the model used to explain variation in male age-specific suicide rates from 1955 to 1989 in 20 developed countries. The hypothesis that certain determinants of suicide rates have changed over the period between 1955 and 1989 was rejected, as was the hypothesis that there are effects of period, net of measured predictors. The determinants of suicide rates do vary by age, with the culture of suicide playing an especially important role in the 35-64 age group.
 
Gender-specific age-standardized suicide rates for 21 developed countries over seven 5-year periods (1955-59...1985-89) form the two dependent variables. Durkheim's theory of societal integration is the framework used to generate the independent variables, although several recent theories are also examined. The results from a MGLS multiple regression analysis of both male and female rates provide overwhelming support for a multidimensional theory of societal integration and suicide, as first suggested by Durkheim.
 
This paper empirically assesses how immigration affects international inequality by testing the relationship between immigration and national economic development across countries in different world income groups. A series of cross-national, longitudinal analyses demonstrate that, on average, immigration has a rather small, but positive long-term effect on development levels. However, the findings also indicate that immigration has a Matthew Effect (Merton, 1968) in the world-economy: immigration disproportionately benefits higher-income countries. Moreover, the wealthiest countries reap the largest gains from immigration. Thus, from the perspective of destination countries, immigration does not appear to be a panacea for international inequality. Instead, the results indicate that immigration actually reproduces, and even exacerbates, international inequality.
 
The author engages the sociological theory of ecologically unequal exchange to assess the extent to which levels of per capita anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions are a function of the "vertical flow" of exports to high-income nations. Results of cross-national fixed effects panel model estimates indicate that levels of such emissions are positively associated with the vertical flow of exports, and the relationship is much more pronounced for lower-income countries than for high-income countries. Additional findings suggest that the observed relationship for lower-income nations has grown in magnitude through time, indicating that structural associations between high-income and lower-income countries have become increasingly ecologically unequal, at least in the context of greenhouse gas emissions. These results hold, net of various important controls.
 
Beginning in the mid-1980s and extending into the early 1990s, the United States experienced a wave of increased youth violence and teenage pregnancy. Nevin (2000) proffers a cohort-based explanation that these trends can be attributed to corresponding trends in gasoline lead exposure during the youths' early years. He contends that the increased consumption of adversely impacted their intelligence levels (IQs). This decreased their intellectual ability, resulted in poor decisions made during their teen and young adult years, and in turn, led to disproportionally high level of criminal involvement and unwed pregnancies among this cohort. The present study evaluates Nevin's causal model by testing the connection between trends in lead exposure and youthful problem behavior with age-period-cohort-characteristic (APCC) models. Our research finds no support for this cohort explanation.
 
Our study extends research on the feminization of poverty by analyzing the variation in women's, men's, and feminized poverty across affluent democracies from 1969 to 2000. Specifically, we address three issues. First, we provide more recent estimates of adult women's and men's poverty and the ratio of women's to men's poverty with two different poverty measures. We suggest that by incorporating the elderly, the feminization of poverty may be greater than previously estimated. The feminization of poverty is nearly universal across affluent Western democracies 1969-2000. Second, we show that women's, men's and overall poverty are highly correlated, but the feminization of poverty diverges as a distinct social problem. Third, we find that women's, men's and overall poverty share several correlates, particularly the welfare state, though some differences exist. At the same time, several of our findings differ with past research. The feminization of poverty is only influenced by social security transfers, single motherhood and the sex ratios of the elderly and labor force participation. While power resources theory probably best explains women's, men's and overall poverty, structural theory may best explain the feminization of poverty. We conclude by discussing how analyses of the feminization of poverty contribute to debates on poverty and gender inequality.
 
This analysis examines the spatial clustering of income inequality and its socioeconomic correlates at the meso-scale over the past four decades. Cluster analysis is used to group N=3078 counties into five inequality clusters; and multinomial logistic regression is used to assess the effects of socioeconomic correlates. High and extreme inequality places are concentrated in large metropolitan centers, high amenity rural areas, and parts of the Great Plains and Mountain West. They tend to have better socioeconomic outcomes, with fewer at-risk populations, higher incomes, lower poverty, and greater economic participation. Unequal places are more specialized in high-skill finance and professional services, and in energy-based mining. By contrast, equality places are associated with low-skill services, education and health services, manufacturing, and stable farm economies.
 
After reaching their highest levels of the 20th century, homicide rates in the United States declined precipitously in the early 1990s. This study examines a number of factors that might have contributed to both the sharp increase and decline in homicide rates. We use a pooled cross-sectional time series model to assess the relationship between changes in structural conditions and the change in homicide rates over four decennial time points (1970, 1980, 1990, and 2000). We assess the extent to which structural covariates associated with social, economic and political conditions commonly used in homicide research (e.g., urban decay, poverty, and the weakening of family and social bonds) are related to the change in homicide rates. Along with these classic covariates, we incorporate some contemporary explanations (e.g., imprisonment rates and drug trafficking) that have been proposed to address the recent decline in urban homicide rates. Our results indicate that both classic and contemporary explanations are related to homicide trends over the last three decades of the 20th century. Specifically, changes in resource deprivation and in the relative size of the youth population are associated with changes in the homicide rate across these time points. Increased imprisonment is also significantly related to homicide changes. These findings lead us to conclude that efforts to understand the changing nature of homicide will require serious consideration, if not integration, of classic and contemporary explanations.
 
This study assesses the trends and differentials in length of quality life in the U.S. population as measured by happy life expectancy in 1970, 1980, 1990, and 2000. The analysis combines age-specific prevalence rates of subjective well-being from a large nationally representative survey and life table estimates of mortality in decennial Census years. Employing the period prevalence-rate life table method--Sullivan method, the analysis finds evidence for improvement in quality of life in the U.S. Happy life expectancy largely increased in both absolute terms (number of years) and relative terms (proportion of life) over time at all adult ages examined. And increases in total life expectancy were mainly contributed by increases in expectancy in happy years rather than unhappy years. Happy life expectancy is longer than active life expectancy. And there has been greater compression of unhappiness than compression of morbidity. There are substantial differentials in happy life expectancy by sex and race because of differential prevalence rates of happiness. Women and whites had longer years of total and happy life expectancies at most ages and dates, while men and blacks had greater proportions of happy life expectancies across the three decades. Although race differentials generally decreased at older ages and with time, relative disadvantages of blacks persisted.
 
Two generations (1972-1976 and 2006-2008) are compared using 43 replicated attitudes in the NORC General Social Survey. The report describes the generational changes (primarily liberal), weighs the causal impact of rising educational levels (liberal), cohort replacement (liberal) and period effects (mildly conservative). It argues that this long term causal mechanism is slowly eroding.
 
This article examines changes in workers' work values for the period 1973-2006 using General Social Survey data. We assess the relative importance that workers assign to high income, as opposed to security, advancement, short hours and "importance and sense of accomplishment." The latter ranked highest throughout this period, but the relative priority placed on income and job security generally increased. We suggest that the rising relative rankings of earnings and job security reflect growing job, employability, and economic insecurity that workers generally experienced during this period, making these job characteristics generally more difficult to attain. Groups most vulnerable to job, employability, and economic insecurity-such as less educated workers and blacks-were most apt to place high importance on income and security. Differences in rankings between men and women, blacks and nonblacks, and college and high school graduates remained fairly stable over this period.
 
Analyses gauging the effect of cumulative Human Rights Committee violations on repression of human rights, 1981-2007. 
Analyses gauging the effect of cumulative Human Rights Committee non-violations on repression of human rights, 1981-2007. 
Analyses gauging the effect of cumulative number of petitions filed with the Human Rights Committee on repression of human rights, 1981-2007. 
What motivates compliance with "toothless" international human rights norms? This article analyzes the effectiveness of procedures that allow individuals to petition an international human rights body, the Human Rights Committee, alleging state abuse of their treaty-protected rights under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Using methodological tools that account for selection biases arising from a country's decision to authorize petitions and its subsequent propensity to be targeted by abuse claims, I find that basic civil rights and religious freedoms improved after states were found to have violated their human rights treaty obligations, whereas physical integrity abuses such as disappearances and extrajudicial killing were somewhat more impervious to change. These findings are interpreted with reference to the concept of "coupling" as borrowed from organizational sociology, and their implications for treaty design and enforcement are considered.
 
We investigate three interrelated sources of change in infant mortality rates over a 20year period using the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) linked birth and infant death cohort files. The effects of maternal age, maternal birth cohort, and time period of childbirth on infant mortality are estimated using a modified age/period/cohort (APC) model that identifies age, period, cohort effects. We document black-white differences in the patterning of these effects and find that maternal age effects follow the predictable U-shaped pattern, net of period and cohort, but with a less steep gradient in the black population. The largest relative maternal age-specific disparity in IMR occurs among older African American mothers. Cohort effects, while considerably smaller than age and period effects, present an interesting pattern of a modest decline in IMR among later cohorts of African American mothers coupled with an increasing IMR among the same cohorts of non-Hispanic whites. However, period effects dominate the time trends, implying that period-related technologies overwhelmingly shape US infant survival in today's population. These general findings are mirrored in APC analyses carried out for several leading underlying causes of infant mortality.
 
This paper reports microlevel Tobit regression analyses of sociodemographic covariates of the life course accumulation of total household net worth data in eight waves of five distinct panels-spanning over 6 years from late 1984 through early 1991-of the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP). It is found that the quadratic age-wealth relationship predicted by Modigliani's Life Cycle Hypothesis is evident in aggregate age-median wealth profiles as well as in the micro data for households with positive net worth. However, when adult status attainment variables are entered into the regression models either by themselves or in combination with marital/family status variables, the age of household head at which net worth begins to decline is far beyond the typical retirement age. In addition, the traditional criterion variables of sociological status attainment theory-educational attainment, occupational status, and earnings-are found to be positively associated with household net worth, although the net effect of occupational status generally is not statistically significant and the earnings effect is nonlinear. Further, consistent with status attainment theory, householder minority status (black, Hispanic) is negatively associated with the accumulation of net worth. It is found that both single male and single female householder status are negatively associated with the accumulation of household net worth (relative to married couple households) as is the size of the household (measured by the number of children under age 18 present). Separate logistic regression analyses show that households with zero and negative net worth are more likely than households with positive net worth to be black and have low earnings. Higher levels of educational and occupational status attainment reduce the probability of zero net worth but not the probability of negative net worth. Male- and female-headed households and households headed by Hispanics also are more likely to have zero net worth, but not negative net worth. The estimated sociodemographic covariate structures of household net worth are found to exhibit substantial stability across both waves and panels in the SIPP-although effects of the 1990-1991 recession are detectable in estimates for the 1990 panel. Possible applications of the estimated models in demographic projections of household net worth are suggested.
 
As homeownership has been expanding in the United States over the past several decades, residential segregation between blacks and whites has been declining in most metropolitan areas. However, the degree to which the residential patterns of new homebuyers have mirrored these overall trends in segregation and how the massive increase in home buying has related to changes in segregation has remained largely unexplored. This paper examines the segregation of new black homebuyers from white households, new white homebuyers from black households, and black and white households from each other using Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data from 1992 to 2010 merged with data from the Census and ACS. I find that black homebuyers are less segregated from white households than black homeowners overall and black households in general, providing evidence in support of the spatial assimilation model that would predict better outcomes for homeowners. Also consistent with the spatial assimilation perspective, I found in the multivariate models that increased income parity between blacks and whites and growth in black lending are associated with average declines in black/white household segregation from 1990 to 2010. Although subprime lending was not associated with overall changes in segregation, metropolitan areas with higher percentages of loans to blacks from subprime lenders experienced increases in segregation of both black homeowners from white households as well as white owners from black households.
 
We use newly developed methods of measuring spatial segregation across a range of spatial scales to assess changes in racial residential segregation patterns in the 100 largest U.S. metropolitan areas from 1990 to 2000. Our results point to three notable trends in segregation from 1990 to 2000: (1) Hispanic-white and Asian-white segregation levels increased at both micro- and macro-scales; (2) black-white segregation declined at a micro-scale, but was unchanged at a macro-scale; and (3) for all three racial groups and for almost all metropolitan areas, macro-scale segregation accounted for more of the total metropolitan area segregation in 2000 than in 1990. Our examination of the variation in these trends among the metropolitan areas suggests that Hispanic-white and Asian-white segregation changes have been driven largely by increases in macro-scale segregation resulting from the rapid growth of the Hispanic and Asian populations in central cities. The changes in black-white segregation, in contrast, appear to be driven by the continuation of a 30-year trend in declining micro-segregation, coupled with persistent and largely stable patterns of macro-segregation.
 
Drug development cycle in Canada. Adapted from Howes, 1997.  
Poisson Regression Models of BF Founding, 1991-1997: Patent and Alliance Effects
Fligstein (1996) contends that organizations act to exploit the institutional context in which they are embedded so as to stabilize the competition they face. Drawing on Fligstein's theoretical analysis, we conceptualize incumbent biotechnology firms' patent-ing and alliance-building activities as attempts to stabilize and control potential competition and analyze how these activities shape rates of founding in the Canadian biotechnology industry. We find that increases in the level and concentration of incumbents' patenting discourage founding, particularly in human application sectors of the industry where development and approval processes are more costly and time consuming. Incumbents' horizontal alliances depress start-ups; vertical alliances stimulate start-ups. Our findings highlight how technology appropriation and strategic alliances structure the competitive dynamics and evolution of high-technology, knowledge-intensive industries.
 
This paper examines the effect of climate on migration. We examine whether climate is an influential factor in internal migration. We assume that most persons tend to avoid exposure to bitter and cold winters, and excessively hot and humid summers, preferring climates between these extremes. When engaging in-migration decision-making, therefore, to the extent possible, considerations involving climate are believed to be brought into the calculus. There is a very limited demographic literature on the effects of climate on migration. In this paper, we undertake an aggregate-based analysis of the effect of climate on migration. We examine this relationship among the 50 states of the United States. We focus attention on the varying effects of climate on three migration measures for the 1995-2000 time period, namely, in-migration, out-migration, and net migration. We next evaluate the effect of climate on migration in the context of a broad application of human ecology. Here climate, a manifestation of the physical environment, is measured with three major independent variables. The other ecological predictors pertaining to organization, population, technology, and the social environment are used as controls. This enables us to examine the effects of climate on migration in the context of competing ecological hypotheses.
 
Some of the rapid recent growth in disability income receipt in the United States is attributable to single mothers post-welfare reform. Yet, we know little about how disability benefit receipt affects the economic well-being of single mother families, or how unsuccessful disability applicants fare. We compare disability recipients to unsuccessful applicants and those who never applied among current and former welfare recipients, and examine how application and receipt affect material hardships and subjective measures of well-being. We then examine whether alternative ways of making ends meet mediate differences in well-being. After controlling for alternative sources of support, no significant differences in overall actual hardships or difficulty living on current income remained between the three groups. However, even after controlling for these strategies, unsuccessful applicants were significantly more likely to report that they expected hardships in the next two months. Our results suggest a pervasive level of economic insecurity among unsuccessful applicants.
 
In this study of prison privatization we draw on the insights of a recent body of literature that challenges a widespread belief that prisons help to spur employment growth in local communities. We look to these studies to provide an empirically and theoretically grounded approach to addressing our research question: what are the benefits, if any, to employment growth in states that have privatized some of their prisons, compared to states with only public prisons? Our research makes use of a large, national, and comprehensive dataset. By examining the employment contributions of prisons, as recent research has done, we were able to corroborate the general findings of this research. To study prison privatization we distinguish between states in which privatization has grown rapidly and those states in which privatization has grown slowly (or not at all). Our findings lend support to recent research that finds prisons do not improve job prospects for those communities that host them. We contribute to this literature by demonstrating that new prisons in states in which privatization is surging impede employment growth in the host community. To explain this we highlight the significant reduction in prison staffing - in both private and public prisons - where privatization is growing quickly.
 
Anti-immigration attitudes and its origins have been investigated quite extensively. Research that focuses on the evolution of attitudes toward immigration, however, is far more scarce. In this paper, we use data from the first three rounds of the European Social Survey (ESS) to study the trend of anti-immigration attitudes between 2002 and 2007 in 17 European countries. In the first part of the paper, we discuss the critical legitimacy for comparing latent variable means over countries and time. A Multiple-Group Multiple Indicator Structural Equation Modeling (MGSEM) approach is used to test the cross-country and cross-time equivalence of the variables under study. In a second step, we try to offer an explanation for the observed trends using a dynamic version of group conflict theory. The country-specific evolutions in attitudes toward immigration are shown to coincide with national context factors, such as immigration flows and changes in unemployment rates.
 
Despite drawing on a common pool of data, observers of the 2012 presidential campaign came to different conclusions about whether, how, and to what extent "October surprise" Hurricane Sandy influenced the election. The present study used a mixed correlational and experimental design to assess the relation between, and effect of, the salience of Hurricane Sandy on attitudes and voting intentions regarding President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney in a large sample of voting-aged adults. Results suggest that immediately following positive news coverage of Obama's handling of the storm's aftermath, Sandy's salience positively influenced attitudes toward Obama, but that by election day, reminders of the hurricane became a drag instead of a boon for the President. In addition to theoretical implications, this study provides an example of how to combine methodological approaches to help answer questions about the impact of unpredictable, large-scale events as they unfold.
 
The term 'master status', coined by Everett Hughes in 1945 with special reference to race, was conceptualised as one which, in most social situations, will dominate all others. Since then race and other collective social identities have become key features of people's lives, shaping their 'life scripts'. But is race still a 'master' or 'dominant identity' and, if not, what has replaced it? Analyses of recent social surveys show that race has lost its position to family, religion (in the South Asian and Black groups) and (amongst young mixed race people) also age/life-stage and study/work. However, many of these different identity attributes are consistently selected, suggesting the possibility - confirmed in in-depth interviews - that they may work through each other via intersectionality. In Britain race appears to have been undermined by the rise of 'Muslim' identity, the increasing importance of 'mixed race', and the fragmentation of identity now increasingly interwoven with other attributes like religion.
 
Social participation by level of household income inequality (measured by the Gini coefficient).
Descriptive statistics independent variables 
Multilevel logit regression predicting civic participation; n2 = 24, n1 = 140,540. Source: EU-SILC 2006, Eurostat.
Previous research suggests that when there is a high level of inequality, there is a low rate of participation. Two arguments are generally offered: First, inequality depresses participation because people from different status groups have fewer opportunities to share common goals. Second, people may participate more in civic and social life when they have more resources. However, until now, these explanations have not been separated empirically. Using EU-SILC data for 24 European countries, we analyze how income inequality is related to civic and social participation. Our results indicate that the main effects of inequality manifest via resources at the individual and societal level. However, independent of these resources, higher inequality is associated with lower civic participation. Furthermore, inequality magnifies the relationship between income and participation. This finding is in line with the view that inter-individual processes explain why inequality diminishes participation.
 
Although immigrant integration policies have long been hypothesized to be associated with majority members' anti-immigrant sentiments, systematic empirical research exploring this relationship is largely absent. To address this gap in the literature, the present research takes a cross-national perspective. Drawing from theory and research on group conflict and intergroup norms, we conduct two studies to examine whether preexisting integration policies that are more permissive promote or impede majority group members' subsequent negative attitudes regarding immigrants. For several Western and Eastern European countries, we link country-level information on immigrant integration policies from 2006 with individual-level survey data from the Eurobarometer 71.3 collected in 2009 (Study 1) and from the fourth wave of the European Value Study collected between 2008 and 2009 (Study 2). For both studies, the results from multilevel regression models demonstrate that immigrant integration policies that are more permissive are associated with decreased perceptions of group threat from immigrants. These findings suggest that immigrant integration policies are of key importance in improving majority members' attitudes regarding immigrants, which is widely considered desirable in modern immigrant-receiving societies.
 
Predicted mean frequency of religious attendance by age based on piecewise growth 
Summary of number longitudinal observations completed by participants
Descriptive statistics by LSOG wave, mean (SE) or N (%)
Piecewise growth curve model results for change in frequency of attendance at religious services by age b 95% CI p
Although a number of studies have uncovered evidence of age differences in religious involvement across the life course, there has been a lack of long-term longitudinal data to test the extent to which these differences are due to changes within individuals over time. This study tracks trajectories of change in religious service attendance using data collected longitudinally over the course of up to 34years, between 1971 and 2005, and in ages ranging from 15 to 102. Piecewise growth curve modeling was used to examine changes in the patterns of age-related change in three distinct developmental periods: the transition from adolescence to young adulthood, middle adulthood, and older adulthood. Attendance showed an average pattern of quadratic decline in adolescence, stability in middle adulthood, and a quadratic pattern of more rapid increase followed by decrease over the course of older adulthood. These results suggest that developmental factors play a role in changing patterns of religious participation across the adult life course, and may account for some of the apparent differences between age groups.
 
Experience of material hardship can adversely affect a family's ability to make long-term investments in children's development. We examine whether material hardship is associated with one indicator of such investments: participation in a tax-advantaged college savings plan (529 plan). Data for this study come from the SEED for Oklahoma Kids (SEED OK) experiment, an intervention that offers Child Development Accounts with financial incentives to encourage the accumulation of college savings for children from the time of their birth. Results show that material hardship is negatively associated with 529-plan participation, and this association varies by treatment status. At all levels of material hardship, treatment-group mothers are more likely to hold accounts than control-group mothers. These findings suggest that CDAs can be a useful policy tool to support families' financial preparation for college. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
 
Description of variables included in the analysis a
Researchers have established that individual religiosity influences abortion attitudes, and that abortion attitudes, in turn, shape abortion restrictions and access. Less clear is whether religion and abortion structural constraints influence abortion decisions. This study examines the several individual, contextual, and structural factors that could shape the abortion decisions of women who conceive before marriage. Special attention is given to the importance of academic aspirations and structural constraints, in contrast to religious beliefs and county religious context, for making an abortion decision. Hierarchical modeling techniques and two waves of data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) are employed. Neither generic religiosity nor conservative Protestant religious context appear to influence women's abortion decisions. Conversely, young women's abortion decisions are shaped by academic ambition, identification with a conservative Protestant denomination, proximity to an abortion clinic and the level of public abortion funding in their county of residence.
 
This study delineates the impact of a member′s personal attributes, constituency characteristics, and party affiliation on willingness to support public funding of abortions in select instances for economically disadvantaged women. Our analysis of roll-call voting on H.R. 2990 (101st Congress) demonstrates that, while party is an important cue for vote choice, personal attributes and constituency characteristics also shape a legislator′s position on this particular policy issue. We find that a member′s gender, religion, and own degree of social conservatism are especially salient factors influencing that decision. For controversial issues, this suggests that legislators may function primarily as trustees when public opinion is polarized.
 
This study empirically examines the public and social policy question: Do state restrictive abortion laws affect the likelihood that women use more highly effective contraceptive methods? Using contraceptive use data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System 2002 survey, the empirical results show that Medicaid Funding Restrictions, Informed Consent Laws, and Two-Visit Laws have no significant impact on adult women's (ages 18-44, 18-24, 25-34, 35-44) use of highly effective contraceptive methods. A state's antiabortion attitudes, which likely contribute to the enactment of restrictive abortion laws in a state, are a major factor in inducing greater use of highly effective contraceptive methods by adult women at-risk of an unintended pregnancy. The empirical findings remain robust for various population subgroups of adult women (i.e., married, single, employed, unemployed, with children, no children and college educated).
 
Prior to 2002, little was known about sexual abuse within the Catholic Church. After the Boston Globe broke the story about John Geoghan - a priest in the Boston Archdiocese who was accused of abusing numerous children, convicted of one count of indecent assault, and eventually murdered in prison - the Church had many questions to answer. To this end, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) commissioned John Jay College of Criminal Justice to research the nature and scope, as well as the causes and context of child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church. This research analyzes the data from the John Jay studies using a new quantitative technique, capable of adjusting for distortions introduced by delays in abuse reporting. By isolating discontinuities in model parameter timeseries, we determine changes in reporting patterns occurred during the period 1982-1988. A posteriori to the analysis, we provide some possible explanations for the changes in abuse reporting associated with the change-point. While the scope of this paper is limited to presenting a new methodological approach within the frame of a particular case study, the techniques are more broadly applicable in settings where reporting lag is manifested.
 
High school teachers evaluate and offer guidance to students as they approach the transition to college based in part on their perceptions of the student's hard work and potential to succeed in college. Their perceptions may be especially crucial for immigrant and language-minority students navigating the U.S. educational system. Using the Educational Longitudinal Study of 2002 (ELS:2002), we consider how the intersection of nativity and language-minority status may (1) inform teachers' perceptions of students' effort and college potential, and (2) shape the link between teachers' perceptions and students' academic progress towards college (grades and likelihood of advancing to more demanding math courses). We find that teachers perceive immigrant language-minority students as hard workers, and that their grades reflect that perception. However, these same students are less likely than others to advance in math between the sophomore and junior years, a critical point for preparing for college. Language-minority students born in the U.S. are more likely to be negatively perceived. Yet, when their teachers see them as hard workers, they advance in math at the same rates as nonimmigrant native English speaking peers. Our results demonstrate the importance of considering both language-minority and immigrant status as social dimensions of students' background that moderate the way that high school teachers' perceptions shape students' preparation for college. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
 
Current explanations of social class gaps in children's early academic skills tend to focus on non-cognitive skills that more advantaged children acquire in the family. Accordingly, social class matters because the cultural resources more abundant in advantaged families cultivate children's repertories and tool kits, which allow them to more easily navigate social institutions, such as schools. Within these accounts, parenting practices matter for children's academic success, but for seemingly arbitrary reasons. Alternatively, findings from current neuroscience research indicate that family context matters for children because it cultivates neural networks that assist in learning and the development of academic skills. That is, children's exposure to particular parenting practices and stimulating home environments contribute to the growth in neurocognitive skills that affect later academic performance. We synthesize sociological and neuroscience accounts of developmental inequality by focusing on one such skill-fine motor skills-to illustrate how family context alters children's early academic performance. Our findings support an interdisciplinary account of academic inequality, and extend current accounts of the family's role in the transmission of social inequality.
 
Top-cited authors
Cheryl Elman
  • University of Akron
Andrew Jorgenson
  • Boston College, USA
Angela O'Rand
  • Duke University
Jayajit Chakraborty
  • University of Texas at El Paso
Brett Clark
  • University of Utah