This is a video of the webinar on multilevel modeling (MLM) for intensive longitudinal data that Methodology Center Investigator Michael Russell presented on November 14, 2018. The video includes both the presentation and the question-and-answer session that followed. Portions of the video were re-recorded due to audio problems with recording of the original webinar. The video is a great way to get started with MLM for intensive longitudinal data.
December 12, 2018
In an effort to expand collaborations and community among the research faculty in the College of Health and Human Development, The Methodology Center will be hosting a casual coffee hour one Friday morning each month. This monthly get together is meant to create a zero-pressure environment for socializing and networking. Research faculty across the college are invited to attend. We will gather on the following mornings during the spring semester.
All coffee hours will be in 401 HHD Building, 8:30 - 9:30 a.m., Friday mornings.
December 1, 2018
Apply now to attend the Training on Optimization of Behavioral and Biobehavioral Interventions in Bethesda, Maryland on May 13-17, 2019. The goal of this five-day training is to help attendees gain the skills they need to use the multiphase optimization strategy (MOST) to optimize behavioral and biobehavioral interventions. This training is designed for those at any career level who have a terminal degree and who are planning to pursue, or have pursued, funding to conduct research involving MOST.
Methodology Center Investigators Linda Collins and Kate Guastaferro will serve as instructors. Angela Pfammatter and Heather Wasser, alumni of MOST training who have applied experience with MOST, will serve as associate instructors.
November 27, 2018
Alcohol use disorder (AUD) occurs more frequently among young adults than other age groups. Heavy drinking, which is a strong predictor of whether someone will experience an AUD, is common among young adults. The generally accepted guideline for “heavy episodic drinking” or a “binge” is four (for women) or five (for men) or more drinks during a drinking occasion or within a two-hour period. In a forthcoming article by Methodology Center researchers Ashley Linden-Carmichael, Michael Russell, and Stephanie Lanza, the authors used time-varying effect modeling (TVEM) to examine whether these drink thresholds provide the best picture of who is at risk for AUD.
The authors analyzed a sample of more than 6,000 young adult drinkers from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions-III. Among other questions, the authors examined whether consuming different average numbers of drinks on each drinking occasion was associated with higher prevalence of AUD. They found that rates of AUD for women increased until women reached about nine drinks per drinking session, when AUD rates plateaued at about 80%. AUD rates plateaued at 80% for men when they consumed about 12 drinks. This study suggests that defining a binge as four or five drinks and focusing prevention messages around that threshold neither matches young adult behavior nor does it enable us to understand the full scope of risky drinking.
November 26, 2018
When following the multiphase optimization strategy (MOST) to build an intervention, it is often most efficient to conduct an optimization trial using an experimental design that requires management of many more conditions than would be necessary in the typical two- or three-arm randomized controlled trial (RCT). Examples are traditional factorial experiments and sequential, multiple assignment, randomized trials (SMARTs). Running an experiment with numerous conditions can be daunting to researchers who are accustomed to RCTs. To facilitate the smooth management of data from a variety of types of optimization trials, we asked Chuck Cleland at New York University to develop the guide to Research Electronic Data Capture (REDCap) for MOST.
Thanks to all who participated in our 1 & 1 workshop on postdoctoral fellowships in the Prevention and Methodology Training (PAMT) program. This is a video of the webinar that Bethany Bray, associate training director of PAMT, presented on Tuesday, November 6, 2018. The video includes both the presentation and the question-and-answer session that followed. The video is an excellent introduction for anyone who is considering applying for a PAMT fellowship. We recommend that you watch this video and follow up with any questions you still have.
October 10, 2018
In our latest podcast, Ashton Verdery, assistant professor of sociology and demography at Penn State, discusses social network analysis (SNA). One increasingly important use of SNA is to study marginalized populations who are otherwise hard to sample. In health, behavioral, and social sciences, SNA has been used to examine how people relate to one another; how relationships affect the flow of items such as diseases, goods, information, or behaviors; how individual positions in broader network structures affect the risks of contracting diseases, hearing of opportunities, or generating new ideas; and more. In this podcast, Ashton explains the value and challenges of SNA in a behavioral health context. He also discusses projects from his research, including his work studying the heroin crisis in Pennsylvania, kidney transplant candidates, and migrant populations.
October 31, 2018
Methodology Center Director Linda M. Collins will present the talk, "Bringing Health and Education Interventions into the 21st Century," for the 2018 Schmitt Russell Research Lecture. The talk is open to the public and will be given at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 7, in the Bennett Pierce Living Center on Penn State's University Park campus. The lecture is part of the Pauline Schmitt Russell Distinguished Career Award from Penn State’s College of Health and Human Development, which Linda was awarded in 2017.
Linda's research focuses on experimental and non-experimental design, particularly for building, optimizing, and evaluating health and education interventions. In this talk, Linda will explore how the methods that scientists use for intervention design can be improved by implementing concepts borrowed from the engineering design process.
October 17, 2018
Over the last several years, laws about marijuana use have been changing across the United States. Methodology Center researchers Jessica Braymiller, Ashley Linden-Carmichael, and Stephanie Lanza wanted to know how marijuana use and attitudes about marijuana use might be changing in the face of those legal changes. In a recent article in Journal of Adolescent Health, the authors examined these questions using data from the 2010-2016 waves of the Monitoring the Future study.
The authors applied latent class analysis (LCA) to reveal patterns in marijuana use and attitudes among high school seniors in the United States. The analysis revealed that beginning in 2014, increases were observed in two subgroups: nonusers who are tolerant of marijuana use and marijuana users who generally approve of marijuana use at any level (i.e., experimentation, occasional use, and regular use).
October 3, 2018
Pennsylvania is one of the states most impacted by the growing opioid epidemic, with one of the highest overdose death rates in the country — but a new initiative bringing together experts from across Penn State aims to combat this crisis through data-driven, evidence-based innovation.
The Penn State Consortium to Combat Substance Abuse (CCSA) will draw on the expertise of researchers, educators and practitioners from across Penn State. The group plans to develop and implement effective programs, policies and practices aimed at preventing and treating addiction and its spillover effects on children, families and communities.