Robert M. O'Brien

Robert M. O'Brien
University of Oregon | UO · Department of Sociology

PhD

About

100
Publications
39,402
Reads
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8,883
Citations
Additional affiliations
September 1981 - present
University of Oregon
Position
  • Full Professor (Professor Emeritus)
Description
  • I served as Department Head for seventeen years and as Associate Dean with oversight for the Social Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences.
September 1974 - June 1981
California State University, San Bernardino
Position
  • Instructor to Associate Professor

Publications

Publications (100)
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents a method that uses observed data from an age-period table to set bounds on the age, period, and cohort effects in an age-period-cohort multiple classification (APCMC) model. The rationale is that with enough periods over a long time span the age distributions within periods on the dependent variable will be affected by different...
Article
Full-text available
Objective To demonstrate how visualization can aid in understanding crime rate data and provide new insights and hypotheses for some central criminological questions about homicide offending over time. Methods The research uses arrest data that is based on a mixture of single year age data and other age groupings to produce single years of age est...
Article
Estimable functions play an important role in learning about certain aspects of the impact of ages, periods, and cohorts in age‐period‐cohort multiple classification (APCMC) models. The advantage of these estimates is that they are unbiased estimates of, for example, the deviations of age, period, and cohort effects from their linear trends, or cha...
Article
Full-text available
Even if a researcher found a constraint that correctly identified an age-period-cohort multiple classification (APCMC) model, the results would not address the issue of how stable these effects are within ages, periods, or cohorts. This occurs because APCMC models are based on the main effects for each age group, each period, and each cohort, and t...
Article
Full-text available
The best fitting solutions to the age–period–cohort multiple classification (APCMC) model lie on a line of solutions in multidimensional solution space. This means that there are an infinite number of best fitting solutions to an APCMC model. This paper uses that fact to show how researchers can find new solutions based on previously published solu...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives To determine the contributions of period effects (controlling for ages and cohorts) and cohort effects (controlling for ages and periods) to the changes in the homicide arrest rates in the United States over the time span from 1965 to 2015. Methods This determination faces the age–period–cohort identification problem: the linear trends...
Article
Full-text available
Venn diagrams are used to provide an intuitive understanding of multiple regression analysis and these diagrams work well with two variables. The area of overlap of the two variables has a one-to-one relationship to the squared correlation between them. This approach breaks down, however, with three-variables. Making the overlap between the pairs o...
Article
This paper examines the identification problem in age-period-cohort models that use either linear or categorically coded ages, periods, and cohorts or combinations of these parameterizations. These models are not identified using the traditional fixed effect regression model approach because of a linear dependency between the ages, periods, and coh...
Article
The impossibility of uniquely estimating all of the age, period, and cohort coefficients in age-period-cohort multiple classification (APCMC) models without imposing a constraint on the model is widely recognized. The problem results from a linear dependency in the design matrix, and this dependency involves the linear trends of age effects, period...
Article
Objective: To change the common practice of eliminating independent variables from models because they produce multicollinearity in an independent variable of special interest. Methods: I supplement my presentation, which is based on the purposes of regression analysis, by using Venn diagrams, simple formulas, and two small simulations. Results: In...
Article
American peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus anatum) throughout North America declined following the introduction of dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) in 1947. In the 1960s, intensive studies were initiated in many areas of North America, including interior Alaska, to determine the cause of the decline and assess population status. From 1977 to...
Article
Full-text available
Separating the effects of ages, periods, and cohorts is a classic problem not only in epidemiology but also in demography and the social sciences in general. Frost provides a classic example in epidemiology that I use as an empirical example. In the classic age–period–cohort (APC) approach a single constraint is used to eliminate the linear depende...
Article
Full-text available
We investigate the historical trajectories of several sociological journals published by regional associations, focusing our attention on one of the first regional journals published by the Pacific Sociological Association, Sociological Perspectives. We begin with a discussion of the journal’s origins and look at its professional and geographical d...
Book
Develop a Deep Understanding of the Statistical Issues of APC Analysis Age-Period-Cohort Models: Approaches and Analyses with Aggregate Data presents an introduction to the problems and strategies for modeling age, period, and cohort (APC) effects for aggregate-level data. These strategies include constrained estimation, the use of age and/or perio...
Article
Age-period-cohort (APC) models have an intriguing appeal because each of these factors may be independently associated with age-period-specific rates (or other values). Unfortunately, one can not uniquely estimate the effects that generated the outcome data because these effects are linearly dependent. It is possible, however, to estimate certain l...
Article
Full-text available
In many different fields, social scientists desire to understand temporal variation associated with age, time period, and cohort membership. Among methods proposed to address the identification problem in age-period-cohort analysis, the intrinsic estimator (IE) is reputed to impose few assumptions and to yield good estimates of the independent effe...
Article
Full-text available
Situations often arise in which the matrix of independent variables is not of full column rank. That is, there are one or more linear dependencies among the independent variables. This paper covers in detail the situation in which the rank is one less than full column rank and extends this coverage to include cases of even greater rank deficiency....
Data
Six helpful points for describing the intersection of hyperplanes. (DOC)
Article
Full-text available
Since 1970 the percentage of women incarcerated in U.S. prisons has risen from nearly 3 percent to almost 7 percent—more than doubling in less than 40 years. This article examines explanations for this phenomenon—concentrating on two: changes in the relative rates of arrest for females and males and sentencing reforms that were instituted during th...
Article
In general the age–period–cohort (APC) conundrum refers to the problem of separating the effects of age-groups, periods, and cohorts. This formulation, however, fails to differentiate two fundamental problems in APC analysis: (1) the problem of the complete confounding of the linear effects of age with the effects of period and cohort, the linear e...
Article
If a researcher wants to estimate the individual age, period, and cohort coefficients in an age-period-cohort (APC) model, the method of choice is constrained regression, which includes the intrinsic estimator (IE) recently introduced by Yang and colleagues. To better understand these constrained models, the author shows algebraically how each cons...
Article
If a researcher wants to estimate the individual age, period, and cohort coefficients in an age-period-cohort (APC) model, the method of choice is constrained regression, which includes the intrinsic estimator (IE) recently introduced by Yang and colleagues. To better understand these constrained models, the author shows algebraically how each cons...
Article
The average product moment correlation between randomly sampled variate values and their ranks is estimated for small size samples from 10 different distributions. We find that these correlations are generally quite high and approach the limiting values reported by Stuart (1954, 1955) as the sample size increases. These findings have implications f...
Article
Full-text available
We employ newly developed methods to disentangle age, period and cohort effects on non-marital fertility ratios from 1972 through 2002 for black and white women ages 20–44 in the United States. We focus on three cohort factors: family structure, school enrollment and the sex ratio. For both blacks and whites, cohorts with less traditional family st...
Article
This paper focuses on shifts in the age distribution of homicide offending in the United States. This distribution remained remarkably stable with small but significant changes over a long period of time. Then between 1985 and 1990 the rates of homicide offending doubled for 15-to-19year olds and increased nearly 40% for 20-to-24year olds, while th...
Article
For more than 30 years, sociologists and demographers have struggled to come to terms with the age, period, cohort conundrum: Given the linear dependency between age groups, periods, and cohorts, how can these effects be estimated separately? This article offers a partial solution to this problem. The authors treat cohort effects as random effects...
Article
Full-text available
The Variance Inflation Factor (VIF) and tolerance are both widely used measures of the degree of multi-collinearity of the ith independent variable with the other independent variables in a regression model. Unfortunately, several rules of thumb – most commonly the rule of 10 – associated with VIF are regarded by many practitioners as a sign of sev...
Article
Researchers in the decision making tradition usually analyze multiple decisions within experiments by aggregating choices across individuals and using the individual subject as the unit of analysis. This approach can mask important variations and patterns within the data. Specifically, it ignores variations in decisions across a task or game and po...
Article
Full-text available
Researchers in the decision making tradition usually analyze multiple decisions within experiments by aggregating choices across individuals and using the individual subject as the unit of analysis. This approach can mask important variations and patterns within the data. Specifically, it ignores variations in decisions across a task or game and po...
Article
Full-text available
The authors employ a newly developed method to disentangle age, period and cohort effects on nonmarital fertility ratios (NFR) from 1972 to 2002 for U.S. women aged 20-44 – with a focus on three specific cohort factors: family structure, school enrollment, and the ratio of men to women. All play significant roles in determining NFR and vary substa...
Article
Data on criminal homicides (from the Uniform Crime Reports) and aggravated assaults and simple assaults (from the National Crime Surveys) are analyzed to determine the extent to which violent crimes occur within or between sexes. The routine activities approach is used to develop hypotheses, and those hypotheses are tested using models that estimat...
Article
According to the Uniform Crime Reports, violent crime rates increased dramatically over the past two decades. National Crime Victimization Survey data, on the other hand, indicate that the rates of violent crime remained relatively stable or dropped during this period. Which series provides a “correct” estimate of crime-rate trends is of more than...
Article
Criminal behavior and criminal victimization have been associated with population density in the criminological literature. and this has led re- searchers to argue that there is a positive zero-order relationship between population density and crime rates. However, using National Crime Survey victimization data we found that there is no simple rela...
Article
The compositional effects of relatively large young-adult cohorts on the total rate of serious crimes is well established. The more subtle effect of relative cohort size on age-specific crime rates, suggested by Richard Easterlin, is more controversial. The literature contains no adequate test of Easterlin's hypothesis as it relates to crime. To pr...
Article
A longstanding debate focuses on whether suicide and homicide rates walk hand in hand or whether they are reciprocally related. Much of the research on this issue investigates whether suicide or homicide predominates in certain geographic areas or whether they trend together over time. We theorize that the degree of social integration and social re...
Article
Using data on age-specific suicide death rates from 19 modern nations and cohorts born as early as 1875–9, we find that two indicators of cohort-related social capital, relative cohort size and percentage of nonmarital births, are positively and significantly related to suicide rates. These effects are significantly stronger in the English-speaking...
Article
A large volume of criminological research uses either the Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) or the National Crime Surveys (NCS) as a source for data on crime rates. The validity of both these measures, however, has been criticized. In this paper we assess the validity of these two indicators of the crime rate for six different types of crimes by examinin...
Article
According to Uniform Crime Report data, the rates of some violent crimes, such as rapes and aggravated assaults, increased steadily from the early 1960s until the early 1990s with only an occasional downturn. The increase in robbery rates slowed somewhat, but overall increased during most of this period. Homicide is the only UCR violent crime that...
Article
A number of studies use the Age-Period-Cohort Characteristic (APCC) model to address the impact of cohort related factors on the age distribution of homicide offending. Several of these studies treat birth cohorts as spanning several years, an operationalization that most closely matches tenets of cohort theory, yet sharply reduces the number of ob...
Article
Dramatic changes in the age distribution of suicide in the U.S. are associated with variations in the demographic characteristics of birth cohorts. Using an age-period-cohort-characteristic model, we show that cohort characteristics theoretically linked to integration and regulation have substantively strong and statistically significant relationsh...
Article
Recently, the long observed pattern of a monotonic increase in suicide with age has shifted, often dramatically, because more recent birth cohorts have exhibited much higher suicide rates at younger ages than earlier cohorts have. These changes, however, did not occur in all countries. We examine cohort variations in suicide rates in 14 modern, wes...
Article
An age-period-cohort characteristic model previously used to explain age-period-specific rates of homicide arrests for those 15 to 49 from 1960 to 1995 is applied to measures of age-period-specific homicide deaths. The extension of this model to the examination of homicide victimization is significant because we are able to test the utility of the...
Article
The principals in this exchange, David Cantor, David Greenberg, and Kenneth Land, have each contributed outstanding methodological and substantive scholarship to criminology and to the social sciences more generally. In exchanges such as this we are engaged in a collective process of refining and advancing our knowledge in the areas of both crimino...
Article
This study was designed to validate the international tourist role scale and the three dimensions it revealed. The purpose of this attitudinal scale was to measure the tourist role typology. United States adult outbound tourists flying with 11 major airlines returned useful questionnaires. This study validated the role scale as a reliable one that...
Article
Age Period Cohort Characteristic (APCC) models provide a powerful method for testing theories that involve age, period, and cohort effects, but much of that power remains unrecognized. Studies that use this method almost always focus on a single explanatory cohort characteristic and control for only age groups and periods. Even with this simple mod...
Article
It is now almost a quarter of a century since Adler (1975) and Simon (1975)stimulated a debate about the convergence of crime rates for men andwomen. The ensuing debate generated literally dozens of papers. Given theexistence of a series that now extends from 1960 to 1995, this papersuggests an appropriate way to examine the convergence hypothesis...
Article
In the past decade, young people in the United States have been two to three times more likely than in the two previous decades to commit homicides, while those 25 years and older have been less likely to commit homicides than were members of their age groups in the earlier time period. These changes in youth homicide rates are associated with two...
Article
Many social scientists conducting macro-level analyses use aggregate-level variables (weighted sums of the characteristics of the individuals within the macro-level units: e.g., means, percents, or rates) to describe macro-level units (e.g., schools, cities, or states). Researchers have long known that aggregate-level variables are likely to be mor...
Article
Full-text available
Political or threat explanations for the state's use of internal violence suggest that killings committed by the police should be greatest in stratified jurisdictions with more minorities. Additional political effects such as race of the city's mayor or reform political arrangements are examined. The level of interpersonal violence the police encou...
Article
All statistical models must be identified if the estimates are to be meaningful. Determining the identification status of the measurement portion of a structural equation model can be difficult because the resulting system of covariance equations is nonlinear. The recent literature on identification rules for the measurement portion of a structural...
Article
Generalizability theory explicitly recognizes that multiple sources of error and true score variance exist and that measures may have different reliabilities in different situations. Thus, it enjoys many advantages over classic true score theory; however, it is relatively little used by social science researchers outside of educational psychology....
Article
Researchers using structural equation models with latent variables know that they must set the metric of each latent variable in the model. Whether the metric is set by fixing the variance of the latent variable or by fixing a loading of one of its indicators to a nonzero constant is viewed by most researchers as a necessary but unimportant decisio...
Article
Although computer programs may estimate values for unidentified parameters, a parameter must be identified in order for there to exist a unique point estimate of its value. We provide a series of rules that can be applied easily to measurement models of complexity one to demonstrate the identifiability of their parameters. These rules can be applie...
Article
Many studies that involve people's perceptions or behaviors focus on aggregate rather than individual responses. For example, variables describing public perceptions for some set of events may be represented as mean scores for each event. Event mean scores then become the unit of analysis for each variable. The variance of these mean scores for a v...
Article
Hargens and Herting (1990) note that studies evaluating the reliability of referee assessments of manuscripts have underestimated the reliability of the review process for two reasons. First, past studies have assumed equal intervals between the categories used in assessing manuscripts (e.g., accept, accept after minor revision, revise and resubmit...
Article
Guttentag and Secord (1983) hypothesize that sex ratios (the number of men per 100 women) affect the roles of both men and women. They suggest that although high sex ratios decrease men 3 dyadic power, when sex ratios are high men use their structural power to control women. Their theory can be combined with the routine activities approach of Cohen...
Article
Social scientists often use aggregate-level variables. These variables use the weighted sum of the characteristics of single elements to measure the characteristics of cases. For example, a measure of the formalization of different business organizations (cases) may be based on the mean of the responses of a sample of employees (elements) from each...
Article
Full-text available
Social scientists often use the mean of individual-level characteristics to describe aggregates such as organizations, schools, or programs. They seldom, however, attempt to assess the reliability of these measures. This article indicates how the internal consistency reliability of such measures can be estimated for several commonly used research d...
Article
Previous comparisons of trends in UCR and NCS crime rates over time have found little convergence between these two series (Menard and Covey, 1988). When these series are detrended, however, either by using year as a control variable or by employing the method of first differences, the convergence between them is, in general, impressive. Thus, fluc...
Article
Recent versions of LISREL (Joreskg and Sorbom, 1983) contain procedures for estimating polyserial and polychoric correlations from crude rank category measures. In this paper, the accuracy of these procedures for estimating the relationship between constructs in both a single and a multiple indicator model is compared to that of using Pearsonian co...
Article
Versions 5 and 6 of LISREL (Joreskog and Sorbom, 1981) contain procedures that estimate the underlying correlation between continuous variables on the basis of crude rank category measures. The procedures assume that the distribution of the measured variables would have been bivariate normal if they had not been categorized. Using survey data and s...
Article
Several authors have recently challenged the conception that violent crimes in the United States are disproportionately intraracial. They have posited a special propensity for black offenders to seek out white victims because of black rage and have pointed to the desirable characteristics of white victims. In this paper, three models of the race of...
Article
The NCS city surveys are a unique and important data set and criminologists' only practical alternative to UCR based crime rate estimates for a large number of American cities. There are, however, some statistical problems involved in using this particular data set that are quite different from those usually faced by researchers investigating crime...
Article
The utility and interpretation of a coefficient derived by use of the generalizability theory is discussed in this article. Then it is employed to assess the reliability of several school-level variables from the High School and Beyond study. (JD)
Article
The validity of the primary source of data on the occupations of immigrants to the United States (Immigration and Naturalization Service reports) has been severely criticized. In fact, the “substantive meaningfulness” of results based on this data has been questioned. In this article we empirically investigate the nomological validity of these occu...
Article
Cobb and Elder's theory of agenda building is used to explain the movement in toxic waste management from a closed system of decision making to a more open one. Based on analyses at six widely dispersed toxic waste sites, the paper demonstrates how the original technologically based decision processes are being tempered by the concerns of groups th...
Article
This study analyzes the internal and external consistency of standard and alternative measures of stratification position. Researchers and theorists have used a number of concepts to describe individual''s position within the stratification system, e.g., level of education, occupational prestige, and Marxist class position. The central issues of th...
Article
* * *Journals in criminology and criminal justice have been ranked using subjective techniques to assess journal presitige as well as objective measures intended to assess journal eminence. Two recent studies have resulted in somewhat similar rankings of professional journals although each used distinct methods of data analysis and asked different...
Article
The correlations between rank-order measures and their underlying scores, sampled from continuous distributions, are obtained for various numbers of categories in eight different distributions. The purpose is to assess the amount of distortion which results when researchers have only rank-order measures of underlying continuous level variables. Bot...
Article
This paper examines the relationships of several urban structural characteristics with the rate of household victimization of the elderly in twenty-six U.S. central cities. We find that inter-city variation in two types of household victimization (household burglary and larcency) is highly related to two factors: 1) population density, and 2) socio...
Article
The prestige of professional journals is an important element in the academic world because of the relationship of journal prestige to the careers of individuals and to the reputations of academic institutions. This study investigates the system of journal prestige in the field of criminology and criminal justice, using the ratings of professional...
Article
Social scientists often measure variables that are best thought of as having continuous underlying distributions by using crude rank-category techniques (i.e., measures which have few rank categories). The result is a large amount of grouping error. This workshop uses computer simulations to investigate the effects of four factors which contribute...
Article
Although many of the variables used in sociological propositions can be conceptualized as having continuous underlying values, it is common practice to accept rank category measures of these variables as adequate surrogates for the underlying values. This widespread practice results in an unacceptable amount of distortion in the metric of underlyin...
Article
This paper analyzes the relationship between a Marxian class measure based upon individuals'' relations to the means of production and three types of survey items dealing with energy and conservation issues; knowledge items, attitude items, and items concerned with behavioral change. We also compare the relationship between three commonly used meas...
Article
Silver (1978), in this journal, reports several interesting relationships between structural characteristics of societies and their "game complexity." This note questions these findings on the grounds that his sample size is inadequate for the analyses which he undertakes.
Article
This study examines the relationship between indicators of environmental control and criminal victimization rates in twenty-six large American central cities. Using a typology of criminal victimization that classifies crimes as property crimes with contact, property crimes without contact, and nonproperty assaultive crimes, it is found that both th...
Article
Through the use of computer simulations, Labovitz's (1970) examination of the effects of "randomly stretching" measurement scales on the correlation between these stretched scales and an equal distance scoring system are reformulated and extended. Specifically, we examine the effects of the number of rank categories (C) for rank-order variables on...
Article
It is argued that Vigderhous' (1977) test to determine if Kendall's tau and Pearson's r can be used interchangeably in standardized multiple regression analysis is marred. Before such a comparison is made, tau should be tranformed as shown by Allan (1976). When this is done the confidence intervals for the coefficients calculated from the tau and r...
Article
Thesis (M.S.)--University of Wisconsin--Madison, 1970. Includes bibliographical references.

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Project
To show what we fundamentally know about the age-period-cohort solution and how this relates to various proposed and unproposed solutions