April 25, 2016
Come see us at the Society for Prevention Research (SPR) 2016 Annual Meeting, May 31 through June 3 in San Francisco. This year, we will be presenting symposia, talks, posters, and a special interest group on a broad array of topics including time-varying effect modeling, HIV-risk behavior, optimization of interventions, smoking cessation, and much more.
April 25, 2016
April 22, 2016
Time-varying effect modeling (TVEM) is a flexible approach that can be used to answer different types of questions using different types of data. Two articles in a recent issue of Drug and Alcohol Dependence demonstrate the range of possibilities for TVEM. In one, a group of researchers led by Michael Mason, associate professor of psychiatry and director of the Commonwealth Institute for Child & Family Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, examined the time-varying effects of a smoking intervention using ecological momentary assessment (EMA). In the other, Megan Schuler, Marshall J. Seidman Fellow in Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School, and her co-authors use data from Add Health to examine how the relationship between depression and substance use changes across adolescence and young adulthood. Both articles use The Methodology Center’s TVEM SAS macro for analyses.
March 29, 2016
Methodology Center Investigator and Professor of Psychology at Wesleyan University Lisa Dierker recently sat down to answer a few questions about her research on preventing the uptake of smoking and her interest in time-varying effect modeling.
Methodology Center: How did you become affiliated with the Methodology Center, and what sort of work did you do here?
Lisa Dierker: I was fortunate to meet Linda Collins through her role as a core member of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Tobacco Etiology Research Network in the early 2000s. At that time, I found myself becoming more and more interested in emerging methodologies and in the opportunities they provided for asking important behavioral health questions. Dr. Collins generously continued working with me as a mentor on my successful K01 award and then invited me to spend a year at the center.
It was an amazing year, arguably the most productive of my career. I was able to collaborate with Drs. Runzi Li and Xianming Tan in the early development of TVEM, learning about the methodology and helping to write substantive papers aimed at showcasing its various features. I also taught a mini course on group-based methods and drew inspiration and ideas from the many connections I was able to make with the center’s large group of talented researchers.
Josh Smyth, professor of biobehavioral health and medicine at Penn State, is presenting this year's Summer Institute on Innovative Methods, "Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA): Investigating Biopsychosocial Processes in Context." The Summer Institute will be held on Penn State's University Park Campus on July 21-22, 2016.
March 14, 2016
Come see us at the Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM) Annual Meeting and the Society for Research on Adolescence (SRA) Biennial Meeting. Methodology Center Investigators will be presenting pre-conference workshops, a seminar, talks, a Master Lecture, and more.
Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM) Annual Meeting
Wednesday, March 30, 12:00 – 2:45 p.m.
Methodology Center Director Linda Collins will lead a special interest group, Introduction to the Multiphase Optimization Strategy (MOST) for Building More Effective, Efficient, Economical, and Scalable Behavioral and Biobehavioral Interventions.
Wednesday, March 30, 3:15 – 6:00 p.m.
Methodology Center Investigators and Affiliates Billie Nahum-Shani, Susan Murphy, Bonnie Spring, David Conroy, and Daniel Almirall will present the seminar, Building Just-In-Time Adaptive Interventions in Mobile Health: The Role of Micro-Randomized Trials.
February 17, 2016
Methodology Center Scientific Director Stephanie Lanza recently presented a video lecture as part of the "Medicine: Mind the Gap" National Institutes of Health (NIH) seminar series. In the one-hour lecture, she discusses time-varying effect modeling (TVEM) and how it can be used to answer questions about the way relationships change over time. This lecture introduces TVEM within the context of two studies: a nicotine intervention that uses ecological momentary assessments (EMA) and an e-cigarette study that uses cross-sectional data that spans developmental age.
The "Medicine: Mind the Gap" lecture series explores issues at the intersection of research, evidence, and clinical practice—areas in which conventional wisdom may be contradicted by recent evidence. The goal of the series is to engage the NIH community in thought-provoking discussions about their role in helping to guide today’s research.
February 11, 2016
By understanding drug use profiles among college students, intervention designers may be able to target substance-use prevention efforts more effectively. In a new article in Addictive Behaviors, three Penn State researchers, Rebecca Evans-Polce and Stephanie Lanza of The Methodology Center, and Jennifer Maggs of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, use latent class analysis (LCA) to examine use profiles among fourth-year college students of a broad variety of substances, including alcohol, marijuana, prescription drugs, and traditional and alternative forms of tobacco. They identified some unexpected classes and found that information about a student’s age, gender, and activities predicted their class membership.
February 9, 2016
Methodology Center Investigator Michael Russell and his Co-PI Dallas Swendeman of UCLA recently received a grant from the Jacobs Foundation to study the relationship between family climate and problem behavior in adolescents. The investigators will collect ecological momentary assessments (EMA) and audio sensor data from cell phones while safeguarding participants’ privacy. They will measure the emotional climate in homes with adolescents by capturing voice characteristics such as pitch and volume. These measurements will be compared to self-reports of household conflict with the goal of creating in-the-moment interventions triggered by audio monitoring.
February 2, 2016
Applications are no longer being accepted.
Applications are now being accepted for a five-day training, “Optimization of Behavioral and Biobehavioral Interventions” with instructors Linda M. Collins, Susan Murphy, and Daniel Almirall. The training will cover the multiphase optimization strategy (MOST); factorial and fractional factorial screening experiments; adaptive interventions; the sequential, multiple assignment, randomized trial (SMART); just-in-time adaptive interventions (JITAIs); and obtaining funds for optimization projects. In addition, there will be a variety of presenters describing how they are optimizing behavioral and biobehavioral interventions. Join us May 16-20, 2016, in Bethesda, Maryland.
January 28, 2016
A new article in AIDS and Behavior introduces to HIV and AIDS researchers the multiphase optimization strategy (MOST), a framework for developing and evaluating optimized interventions. Methodology Center researchers Linda Collins and Kari Kugler and their collaborator Marya Gwadz of New York University wrote the article, “Optimization of Multicomponent Behavioral and Biobehavioral Interventions for the Prevention and Treatment of HIV/AIDS.” The authors explain the benefits of MOST within the context of a hypothetical intervention targeting people who live with HIV/AIDS and drink alcohol at hazardous levels. The authors explore MOST’s potential for answering questions that a traditional approach to intervention development cannot address.