Peter H. Rossi's research while affiliated with University of Chicago and other places

Publications (136)

Article
Full-text available
To understand how decisions are made in abuse/neglect cases by the child welfare system, the authors asked child welfare experts and protective service line workers to make decisions about actual child abuse and neglect cases on the basis of written summaries of the cases. Respondents included 27 experts and 103 line workers. Regression analyses fo...
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Full-text available
Vignettes presented to experts and workers in the child welfare field were used to explore the degree of agreement on decisions to place children in substitute care or to refer them to family preservation services. The design allowed for investigation of the problem of targeting in family preservation programs. Findings indicate considerable incons...
Article
The sentencing guidelines written by the U.S. Sentencing Commission for the federal crime courts were designed to lead to uniform the just punishments for convicted criminals. How well did the Commission's judgments about what were just punishments compare to the view of the American public? Using data from a 1994 national household survey, the aut...
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The federal sentencing guidelines prescribe ranges of sentences to be given to persons convicted of felonies in the federal criminal courts. The U.S. Sentencing Commission wrote the guidelines attempting to make sentences conform to community views of appropriate punishments, along with several other criteria. Employing data from a 1994 national sa...
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Advances in quantitative methods enable evaluators to collect and analyze data more efficiently, more cost-effectively, and with greater precision and sensitivity.
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Claims that homeownership is beneficial to both owners and society have not been examined empirically. This article explores evidence from the General Social Survey and the National Survey of Families and Households, supple-mented by data from the American National Election Studies and several small but highly relevant researches, to determine whet...
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Recent widely publicized studies claim facilities for treatment, storage, and disposal of hazard ous wastes (TSDFs) are located in areas with higher than average proportions of minorities, thereby exposing minorities to relatively greater levels of potential risk. These claims have influenced national policies and public perceptions. This article r...
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Appropriate strategies for evaluations of family preservation programs are discussed in this paper. The case is made for randomized controlled experiments as providing the most credible effectiveness measures. The article also argues for considering changes in the well being of children and families as major criteria for successful treatment, with...
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The major existing evaluations of family preservation programs are reviewed and assessed. Although most of the evaluations used randomized experiments or close equivalents and were well carried out, the evaluations reviewed do not provide definitive findings concerning effectiveness. The evaluations were found to have the following shortcomings: 1)...
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Perspectives on Data Collection in Evaluations - Leigh Burstein and Howard E Freeman PART ONE: DATA SENSITIVITIES Data Collection Strategies in the Minneapolis Domestic Assault Experiment - Richard A Berk and Lawrence W Sherman Observer Studies - Lee Sechrest Data Collection by Remote Control Data Collection Issues in the Evaluation of the Effect o...
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Existing empirically based knowledge about homelessness is neither extensive nor well grounded. Proper policy formation and program design that address homelessness are badly served by knowledge deficiencies. This paper lays out a strategy that will develop appropriate research methodology and generate better empirically based knowledge. It propose...
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In the 1950s and 1960s homelessness declined to the point that researchers were predicting its virtual disappearance in the 1970s. Instead, in the 1980s, homelessness increased rapidly and drastically changed in composition. The "old homeless" of the 1950s were mainly old men living in cheap hotels on skid rows. The new homeless were much younger,...
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There is currently a strong movement in program evaluation to move from black box evaluations, concerned primarily with the relationship between the inputs and outputs of a program, to theory-oriented evaluations. This article attempts to identify the crucial issues and problems raised by the several contributors in this panel and hopefully to shar...
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In this decade, homelessness has been recognized as a serious and growing urban social problem. Using a new research approach to the study of undomiciled urban populations, we describe the social, economic, and demographic characteristics of the literally homeless population in Chicago. The homeless in the Chicago sample are unaffiliated persons li...
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Research relevant to understanding how mental illness is popularly conceptualized owes much to the methods pioneered by Star in 1950. However, while her six vignettes have been used extensively over the last 30 years to test the public's ability to recognize mental illness, subsequent research has provided little insight into which factors contribu...
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Because so little attention is paid to the history of research methods, it easily is over-looked that so much of our current research technology originated in applied social research. Such contributions include probability sampling of human populations, many statistical techniques, and general strategies of data collection. The major reason the his...
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Although homelessness has been recognized as a serious and growing urban social problem, scientifically acceptable methods for estimating the composition and size of the homeless population have been lacking. A new research approach to estimating the size and composition of undomiciled urban populations is presented, and its utility is illustrated...
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Current approaches for dealing with validity tend to focus on one type of validity and play down the importance of others. For example, internal validity is treated by Campbell and Stanley as “sine qua non,” whereas, Cronbach judges external validity to be prime importance in research. However, these single validity oriented approaches may achieve...
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This paper reports on research focused on measuring perceptions of justice vis-à-vis an examination of consensus in perceptions of appropriate punishments for convicted offenders. We used a factorial survey design to measure and analyze both the global judgments formed by individuals as well as the judgment-making principles that characterize the r...
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Full-text available
We review the argumentsfor and against randomized field experiments design to address important questions of social policy. Based on this review, we make a number of recommendations about how the use of randomized field experiments might be fostered.
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The empirical study of consensus has long been impeded by lack of an adequately conceptualized appropriate measurement model. Using the study of social norms as an example, this paper presents such a model based on components of variance. A key feature of the model is an explicit acknowledgment of error variance and its role in generating phenotypi...
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This paper presents an exposition of how the factorial survey approach may enhance empirical assessments of the complex judgment principles involved in public views of just punishments for convicted offenders. Ratings of the appropriateness of sentences given across 50 typical crimes obtained from a household sample (N=774) of the Boston SMSA and s...
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Sociology, along with most other social sciences, is confronted with serious professional problems, including the currently poor academic job market, a further projected decline in university employment opportunities, and curtailed governmental support for research and training. At the same time, however, the discipline has failed to take advantage...
Chapter
Absicht dieses Beitrags ist es, einen Überblick über den gegenwärtigen Stand der Evaluierungsforschung in den USA als eines sich dynamisch entwickelnden Forschungszweiges und eines neuen Berufs- und Aufgabenfeldes für anwendungsorien-tierte Forscher zu vermitteln. Meine hier zugrundeliegende Perspektive ist geprägt von eigenen Erfahrungen als Forsc...
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In 2 studies, ratings of incidents involving sexual advances by a male professor to a female student were obtained from 453 undergraduates and 80 professors and graduate students. Descriptions of potentially harassing incidents were most likely to be judged as incidents of serious harassment when the males described made physical advances accompani...
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Although the randomized controlled experiment conceptualized as a "black box" approach has dominated the discussions of impact assessment, the use of theoretical models in connection with impact assessment can both heighten the power of experimental designs and compensate for some major deficiencies of quasi-experimental designs. A general scheme f...
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Our main objective is the measurement of prestige for the full range of men's and women's occupations and of gender incumbency effects on prestige; subsidiary goals include examination of rater and job characteristics. The research design combines the approach of controlled experiments with that of the sample survey. Household and college sample re...
Chapter
Every year many lives are lost and much property is damaged by the ravages of natural hazards. There is some evidence, moreover, that the magnitude of these losses, especially to property, has increased substantially in constant dollars in recent years, mainly because economic growth has tended to concentrate more and more persons and property in h...
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How many households are victimized by natural hazard events? What kinds of households are especially likely to have such experiences? These are the two main topics of this chapter. To provide a calibrating framework for natural hazard phenomena—floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes—we compared the incidence of such events with household fi...
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Existing estimates of the total annual losses from all natural hazards vary from $5 billion to $10 billion, counting all costs—direct and indirect, public and private. Although the variation from estimate to estimate is very large, all agree that the annual toll is in the billions. Such estimates typically are constructed by summing across various...
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Although no amount of aid, financial or otherwise, can completely compensate for all the consequences of a major trauma, the restoration of the status quo ante can be aided considerably by various kinds of help. The sources of help and the extent to which they affect the household’s return to normality are the subjects of this chapter. We consider...
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Data on victimization by household fires and natural hazards were gathered in two stages, following the general logic of the design discussed in the previous chapter. Previous disaster literature had centered on very selective and possibly unique victim populations (i.e., on the victims of well-publicized disasters). In contrast, we hoped to genera...
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The total costs to a household of a natural hazard event consist of all the burdens incurred because of the event minus any benefits that may have accrued. When we recognize that the burdens can cover a miscellaneous congeries of troubles, only some of which can be translated into monetary terms, then the task of estimating costs becomes formidable...
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Early twentieth century concerns with social problems and pathologies perceived as stemming from rural to urban migration, neighborhood transiency and an absence of spatially stable communities fueled the early study of residential mobility. Knowing why people moved, it seemed, presented a potential for fostering neighborhood stability, place orien...
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A political dimension is added to a framework of urban ecology by examining the impact of zoning on housing and population growth within the Chicago metropolitan area. Looking at the social and demographic changes within a sample of 395 central city and suburban tracts, the analyses model the effects of zoning on growth from 1960 to 1970. Findings...
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Recent concern about social experimentation, program evaluation, impact analysis and related activities can be viewed as a broad social movement. An older tradition of evaluation and social experimentation in medicine that arose from a research and development perspective contrasts with the new, policy-oriented movement toward evaluation research....

Citations

... Second, according to Ellison et al. (1984), the short-and long-term specialized research in the theoretical and empirical modeling of the economic implications of an earthquake began 50 years ago. They identified some works of the initial stage in this field: Dacy and Kunreuther (1969), Cochrane (1974), National Academy of Sciences (1975), Haas et al. (1977), Friesma et al. (1979), Wright et al. (1979), Wright and Rossi (1981), and Munroe and Ballard (1983). Ellison et al. (1984) also pointed out some technical deficiencies motivated by the following reasons: the low number of previous studies that makes difficult a generalization; the absence of a contrafactual to make viable an impact evaluation; some limitations in the measuring modelization of the short run, mainly around inputoutput models; the lack of long-term measurement; and confusion between flow and stock concepts-as it happened in Ecuador during the 2016 earthquake. ...
... The ACS 5-year estimates for the period 2011-2015 were used to select variables that were linked with socially vulnerable populations (Cutter et al. 2003;Flanagan et al. 2011;Wigtil et al. 2016;Wright et al. 2012). We formed six broad groups that describe a similar social vulnerability aspect: households and population, socioeconomic status, household composition and disability, minority status and language, housing and transportation and occupation. ...