Monday, March 31, 2014

State of the News Media 2014

About the report:
The State of the News Media 2014 is the eleventh edition of an annual report by the Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project examining the landscape of American journalism. This year’s study includes special reports about the revenue picture for news, the growth in digital reporting, the role of acquisitions and content sharing in local news and developments around digital video.

In addition, it provides the latest audience, economic, news investment and ownership trends for key sectors of news media, including a new, searchable Media & News Indicators database. It includes a slideshow about social media and news, and an infographic about the Hispanic news landscape.
 Source: Pew Research Center's Journalism Project

Read the Overview
Download the full pdf report: State of the News Media 2014

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Lessons for a Negotiated Settlement in Afghanistan — If History Serves as a Guide

In an extension of its research on insurgencies worldwide, RAND examined key conflicts with endgames like the one now sought in Afghanistan. The resulting master narrative provides a guide to steps that might be followed to bring a best-case, negotiated settlement to a war-weary people.

Source: RAND corporation.

Read report online
Download pdf of Lessons for a Negotiated Settlement in Afghanistan — If History Serves as a Guide

Housing Adequacy Gap for Minorities and Immigrants in the U.S.

Home adequacy for different groups in the U.S. has not been adequately studied. Using the data from the national level American Housing Survey for the year 2009 and logit model, this paper finds that there is a significant adequacy difference for Blacks and Hispanics when compared to whites in the U.S. However, that is not the case for immigrants relative to the natives. We also find that then naturalization improves housing adequacy among immigrant homeowners, whereas, the female headed households have a significantly higher home adequacy than that of the male headed households. Similar to the homeownership findings, this paper highlights that the public policies should aim to narrow the home adequacy gap between whites and minorities and encourage naturalization to improve adequacy among immigrant homeowners.
Source: Institute for the Study of Labour (IZA)

View abstract at IZA
Download full pdf at: Housing Adequacy Gap for Minorities and Immigrants in the U.S.

The Surprising Link Between Language and Corporate Responsibility

We argue that the language spoken by corporate decision makers influences their firms' social responsibility and sustainability practices. Linguists suggest that obligatory future-time-reference (FTR) in a language reduces the psychological importance of the future. Prior research has shown that speakers of strong FTR languages (such as English, French, and Spanish) exhibit less future-oriented behavior (Chen, 2013). Yet, research has not established how this mechanism may affect the future-oriented activities of corporations. We theorize that companies with strong-FTR languages as their official/working language would have less of a future orientation and so perform worse in future-oriented activities such as corporate social responsibility (CSR) compared to those in weak-FTR language environments. Examining thousands of global companies across 59 countries from 1999 to 2011, we find support for our theory and further that the negative association between FTR and CSR performance is weaker for firms that have greater exposure to diverse global languages as a result of (a) being headquartered in countries with a higher degree of globalization, (b) having a higher degree of internationalization, and (c) having a CEO with more international experience. Our results suggest that language use by corporations is a key cultural variable that is a strong predictor of CSR and sustainability.
Source:  Harvard Business School Working Papers

Read Executive Summary online
Download full pdf publication.

What Makes Lawyers Happy? Transcending the Anecdotes with Data from 6200 Lawyers

Attorney well-being and depression are topics of great concern, but there has been no theory-driven empirical research to guide lawyers and law students seeking well-being. This article reports a unique study establishing a hierarchy of five tiers of factors for lawyer well-being, including choices in law school, legal career, and personal life, and psychological needs and motivations established by Self-Determination Theory. Data from several thousand lawyers in four states show striking patterns, repeatedly indicating that common priorities on law school campuses and among lawyers are confused or misplaced. Factors typically afforded most attention and concern, those relating to prestige and money (income, law school debt, class rank, law review, and USNWR law school ranking) showed zero to small correlations with lawyer well-being. Conversely, factors marginalized in law school and seen in previous research to erode in law students (psychological needs and motivation) were the very strongest predictors of lawyer happiness and satisfaction. Lawyers were grouped by practice type and setting to further test these findings. The group with the lowest incomes and grades in law school, public service lawyers, had stronger autonomy and purpose and were happier than those in the most prestigious positions and with the highest grades and incomes. Additional measures raised concerns: subjects did not broadly agree that judge and lawyer behavior is professional, nor that the legal process reaches fair outcomes. Specific explanations and recommendations for lawyers, law teachers, and legal employers are drawn from the data, and direct implications for attorney productivity and professionalism are explained.
Source: FSU College of Law, Public Law Research Paper via Social Science Research Network (SSRN)

Download full pdf publication: What Makes Lawyers Happy? Transcending the Anecdotes with Data from 6200 Lawyers

2014 Payscale College R.O.I. Report

How do you measure the value of a college education? PayScale has the salary data to rank hundreds of U.S. colleges and universities based on total cost and alumni earnings. Find the best returns on investment by school type, location, major and more.

Read Payscale College R.O.I. Report

Climate Change Legislation in the 113th Congress

In the 113th Congress, Members have introduced multiple bills that include provisions that would directly or indirectly address climate change-related issues. In some cases, it is difficult to distinguish between direct and indirect climate change bills, because a specific bill or action may seek to achieve multiple objectives. The bills listed in this report include provisions that directly address climate change, as opposed to those that primarily address other issues (e.g., energy efficiency) but could have ancillary impacts on climate. 
Source: Congressional Research Service

Download pdf report: Climate Change Legislation in the 113th Congress

Effects of a Gamified Attention-Bias Modification Mobile Application in Trait-Anxious Adults

Interest in the use of mobile technology to deliver mental-health services has grown in light of the economic and practical barriers to treatment. Yet research on alternative delivery strategies that are more affordable, accessible, and engaging is in its infancy. Attention-bias modification training (ABMT) has the potential to reduce treatment barriers as a mobile intervention for stress and anxiety, but the degree to which ABMT can be embedded in a mobile gaming format and its potential for transfer of benefits is unknown. In the present study, we examined effects of a gamified ABMT mobile application in highly trait-anxious participants (N = 78). A single session of the active training relative to the placebo training reduced subjective anxiety and observed stress reactivity. Critically, the long (45 min) but not the short (25 min) active training condition reduced the core cognitive process implicated in ABMT (threat bias) as measured by an untrained, gold-standard protocol.
Source:  Clinical Psychological Science

Read full abstract online
Download pdf of Effects of a Gamified Attention-Bias Modification Mobile Application in Trait-Anxious Adults

Responding to Climate Disruption – Developing the Agenda

Recent examples of short-term climate disruption have done much to bring the overall issue of climate change up the political agenda. In responding to what will be one of the key challenges of the next decades – well beyond the 15-year lifetime of the post-2015 global development goals currently under discussion – much of the attention has been focused on the need to adapt to those elements of climate change that are already irreversible and also to the need to decarbonise existing high carbon-emitting economies. What needs much greater attention is the fundamental need to ensure that low-carbon emitters in the Global South are enabled to combine effective human development with responding to the challenges of climate change.
Source: Oxford Research Group

Read article online
Download pdf of Responding to Climate Disruption – Developing the Agenda

A Smartphone Application to Support Recovery From Alcoholism

From the abstract:
This article describes a randomized clinical trial of a smartphone application called the Addiction–Comprehensive Health Enhancement Support System (A-CHESS), which was designed to improve continuing care for AUDs by offering emotional and instrumental support at almost any time and place. The theoretical basis of A-CHESS is self-determination theory, which posits that meeting needs contributes to an individual’s adaptive functioning: being perceived as competent, feeling related to others, and feeling internally motivated and not coerced in one’s actions. Self-determination theory was chosen because evidence suggested that its constructs could be causal mechanisms that would affect A-CHESS targets, and because self-determination theory is broad and fundamental enough to cover a complex, multifaceted eHealth intervention such as A-CHESS. This study reports the primary outcome from a trial that hypothesized that patients leaving residential care for AUDs who received treatment as usual plus a multifeatured smartphone application would have fewer risky drinking days over 12 months than patients receiving only treatment as usual. We also report on 2 secondary outcomes: abstinence and negative consequences of drinking.
Source: JAMA Psychiatry
Read Abstract
Download pdf:  A Smartphone Application to Support Recovery From Alcoholism

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Public Health Approaches to Violence Prevention

From the introduction:

Most people may not think of jogging and biking as crime reduction strategies, but in neighborhoods in East Palo Alto, Calif., with the highest levels of shootings, law enforcement officers and residents are coming together and engaging in these types of outdoor activities to combat crime.

The East Palo Alto Police Department's Fitness Improvement Training (FIT) Zones are part of an innovative initiative aimed at testing whether improvements in community health can help increase community safety in the city's most dangerous neighborhoods. The FIT Zones implement health-related programs in public spaces that have been underused by residents and overtaken by gang members. The idea is that as residents increase outdoor physical activities like power walking, yoga and Zumba dancing, they will increase their presence in public spaces, improve their health, and regain control and ownership of their neighborhoods.
Source: National Institute of Justice (United States)

Read online: Healthy Communities May Make Safe Communities: Public Health Approaches to Violence Prevention 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Report shows benefits to low-income children of living in affluent cities

From the Stanford news article:
Stanford survey of residents at Buena Vista Mobile Home Park in Palo Alto finds above average school attendance rates, easier access to medical care.

 Low-income children living in Palo Alto's Buena Vista Mobile Home Park have lower dropout rates than their peers in less affluent cities and benefit substantially from local top-notch medical facilities, according to a study by Stanford researchers.
 Download pdf report: The Families and Children Who Live in the Buena Vista Mobile Home Park

Cyberbullying in College: Frequency, Characteristics, and Practical Implications

Cyberbullying is commonly presented as affecting K-12 populations. Current research suggests cyberbullying continues in college. A diverse sample of 613 university students was surveyed to study their cyberbullying experiences in high school and college. Nineteen percent of the sample reported being a victim of cyberbullying in college and 35% of this subsample reported being cyberbullied in high school. Additional findings and practical implications are presented.

Source: SAGE Open

Download pdf publication of Cyberbullying in College: Frequency, Characteristics, and Practical Implications

Exposure to bullying among students with autism spectrum conditions: A multi-informant analysis of risk and protective factors

Research has consistently shown that children and young people with autism spectrum conditions are more likely to be bullied than those with other or no special educational needs. The aim of this study was to examine risk and protective factors that could help to explain variation in exposure to bullying within this group. A sample of 722 teachers and 119 parents reported on their child’s experience of being bullied. This response variable was regressed onto a range of explanatory variables representing individual and contextual factors. The teacher- and parent-rated regression models were statistically significant, explaining large proportions of variance in exposure to bullying. Behaviour difficulties and increased age were associated with bullying in both models. Positive relationships and attending a special school were associated with a decrease in bullying in the teacher model, with use of public/school transport predicting an increase. In the parent model, special educational needs provision at School Action Plus (as opposed to having a Statement of Special Educational Needs) was a significant risk factor, and higher levels of parental engagement and confidence were associated with reductions in bullying. These findings are discussed in relation to the autism spectrum conditions literature, and opportunities for intervention are considered. 
Source: Autism via Sage Insight
Download pdf of Exposure to bullying among students with autism spectrum conditions:A multi-informant analysis of risk and protective factors

Thursday, March 20, 2014

2014 Brown Center Report on American Education: How Well Are American Students Learning?

From the introduction:
This year’s Brown Center Report on American Education represents the third installment of volume three and the 13th issue overall since the publication began in 2000. Three studies are presented. All three revisit a topic that has been investigated in a previous Brown Center Report. The topics warrant attention again because they are back in the public spotlight.

Part I summarizes the recent controversy involving the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and its treatment of Shanghai-China. The PISA is a test given to 15-year-olds every three years in math, reading, and science. Sixty-five national and subnational jurisdictions participated in the 2012 PISA. When the scores were released in December 2013, no one was surprised that Shanghai-China scored at the top in all subjects. But what has been overlooked by most observers—and completely ignored by the authorities running PISA—is that Shanghai’s population of 15-year-olds is sifted and shaped in ways that make its scores incomparable to those of any other participant.

Part II is on homework, updating a study presented in the 2003 Brown Center Report. That study was conducted at a time when homework was on the covers of several popular magazines. The charge then was that the typical student’s homework load was getting out of control. The 2003 study examined the best evidence on students’ homework burden and found the charge to be an exaggeration.
Source: Brookings Institution

Download full pdf report: 2014 Brown Center Report on American Education

The Health Consequences of Senior Hunger in the United States

The National Foundation to End Senior Hunger (NFESH) has released a study entitled The Health Consequences of Senior Hunger in the United States: Evidence from the 1999-2010 NHANES conducted by Dr. James P. Ziliak and Dr. Craig G. Gundersen. This NFESH commissioned report is the first to examine trends in health outcomes across food security status for the entire first decade of the 21st century in order to document whether there are health consequences attendant to the dramatic increase in food insecurity among seniors during that period.
Source: National Foundation to End Senior Hunger

Download pdf report: The Health Consequences of Senior Hunger in the United States
Download pdf executive summary of The Health Consequences of Senior Hunger in the United States

Scraping By: Income and Program Participation After the Loss of Extended Unemployment Benefits

Despite unprecedented extensions of available unemployment insurance (UI) benefits during the "Great Recession" of 2007-09 and its aftermath, large numbers of recipients exhausted their maximum available UI benefits prior to finding new jobs. Using SIPP panel data and an event-study regression framework, we examine the household income patterns of individuals whose jobless spells outlast their UI benefits, comparing the periods following the 2001 and 2007-09 recessions. Job loss reduces household income roughly by half on average, and for UI recipients benefits replace just under half of this loss. Accordingly, when benefits end the household loses UI income equal to roughly one-quarter of total pre-separation household income (and about one-third of pre-exhaustion household income). Only a small portion of this loss is offset by increased income from food stamps and other safety net programs. The share of families with income below the poverty line nearly doubles. These patterns were generally similar following the 2001 and 2007-09 recessions and do not vary dramatically by household age or income prior to job loss.

Source: Institute for the Study of Labor

Download pdf of Scraping By: Income and Program Participation After the Loss of Extended Unemployment Benefits

‘Can’t Get Enough’: Prejudice, Contact Jobs and the Racial Wage Gap in the US

The wage gap between African-Americans and white Americans is substantial in the US and has slightly narrowed over the past 30 years. Today, blacks have almost achieved the same educational level as whites. There is reason to believe that discrimination driven by prejudice plays a part in explaining this residual wage gap. Whereas racial prejudice has substantially declined over the past 30 years, the wage differential has slightly converged overtime. This ‘prejudice puzzle’ raises other reasons in explaining the absence of convergence of this racial differential. In this paper, I assess the impact which of the boom of jobs in contact with customers has on blacks’ labor market earnings. I develop a search-matching model with bargaining to predict the negative impact which of the share of these contact jobs has on blacks’ earnings in the presence of customer discrimination. I test this model using the IPUMS, the General Social Survey and the Occupation Information Network. My estimates show that black men’s relative earnings are lower in areas where the proportions of prejudiced individuals and of contact jobs are high. I also estimate that the decreased exposure to racial prejudice is associated with a higher convergence of the residual gap, whereas the expansion of contact jobs partly explains the persistence of the gap.

Source: Institute for the Study of Labor

Download pdf publication: ‘Can’t Get Enough’: Prejudice, Contact Jobs and the Racial Wage Gap in the US

State Estimates of Adult Mental Illness from the 2011 and 2012 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health

  • New State-level estimates produced by SAMHSA will advance our understanding of the nature and extent of mental illness; State-level data is critical to policymakers responsible for the planning and implementation of effective programs and services in communities 
  • Among adults aged 18 or older, the rate of serious mental illness (SMI) in the past year ranged from 3.1 percent in New Jersey to 5.5 percent in West Virginia; nationally the rate was 4.0 percent, which equates to 9.3 million Americans with SMI 
  •  Nationally, 42.5 million adults aged 18 or older experienced any mental illness (AMI) in the past year, corresponding to a rate of 18.2 percent of the adult population; among States, AMI rates ranged from 14.7 percent in New Jersey to 22.3 percent in Utah 
Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Link to online report and statistics: State Estimates of Adult Mental Illness from the 2011 and 2012 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health

Measuring National Well-being: Life in the UK, 2014

Measuring National Well-being: Life in the UK, 2014 provides the latest overview of well-being in the UK today. A snapshot of well-being is provided across the 10 domains of well-being (for example, 'Health', 'Where we live', 'What we do'); together with a brief overview of international comparisons. The report is the second summary of life in the UK to be delivered by the Measuring National Well-being programme and will be updated annually. 
Download pdf report: Measuring National Well-being: Life in the UK, 2014
Data Tables in excel format available for download: National Well-being Measures, March 2014 (Excel sheet 1582Kb)

Differential effects of a systematic vocabulary intervention on adolescent language minority students with varying levels of English proficiency

There is a strong interest in the educational outcome of language minority students in the United States, but the majority of research on these students’ educational attainments has focused on one subgroup: those language minority students with limited English proficiency. Much less is known about language minority students who are classified as fully English proficient, either initially (at school entry) or after some period of bilingual or English-as-a-second-language (ESL) education at school. Language minority students qualify as fully English proficient based on test scores, but may still show somewhat different patterns of skills and weaknesses to those of English-only (EO) classmates in mainstream classrooms. This paper examines different performance profiles of students within the language minority population and investigates whether they respond similarly or differently to an academic vocabulary intervention, Word Generation. 

The International Journal of Bilingualism, U.C. Irvine [via eScholarship Repository]

Download pdf publication: Differential effects of a systematic vocabulary intervention on adolescent language minority students with varying levels of English proficiency

Under the Skin: How Childhood Adversity Takes Its Toll

Abstract from the study:
The current study examined the prospective effects of exposure to stressful conditions in early childhood on physical health in young adulthood, and explored continuing exposure to stressors, as well as depression, in adolescence as possible mechanisms of this relationship. Method: A prospective longitudinal design was used to examine 705 mother–child pairs from a community-based sample, followed from offspring birth through age 20 years. Mothers provided contemporaneous assessments of early adverse conditions from offspring birth through age 5. Offspring responses to the UCLA Life Stress Interview, Structured Clinical Interview for DSM Disorders, Physical Functioning subscale of the SF-36 Health Survey, and questions about the presence of chronic disease were used to assess youth stress at age 15, depression from ages 15–20, and physical health at age 20. Results: Early adversity conferred risk for elevated levels of social and nonsocial stress at youth age 15, as well as depression between ages 15 and 20. Social and nonsocial stress, in turn, had effects on physical health at age 20, directly and indirectly via depression. Conclusion: Findings suggest that early adverse conditions have lasting implications for physical health, and that continued exposure to increased levels of both social and nonsocial stress in adolescence, as well as the presence of depression, might be important mechanisms by which early adversity impacts later physical health.
Source: American Psychological Association
From online article:  Under the Skin: How Childhood Adversity Takes Its Toll
Download pdf published in Health Psychology: Early Adversity and Health Outcomes in Young Adulthood: The Role of Ongoing Stress

Gender and self citation across fields and over time

From the introduction:
Papers authored by women receive fewer citations than do papers by men, even controlling for tenure status, institution, and journal. Fewer citations to female- authored papers could be due to gender differences in self- citations (when an author cites his or her own previously published work). Research analyzing approximately 3000 publications in the international relations literature from 1986-2000 shows men cite their own papers more than one and a half times as often as women.
Source: is an academic research project co-founded by Jevin West and Carl Bergstrom and sponsored by the Bergstrom Lab in the Department of Biology at the University of Washington.

Download pdf publication: Gender and self citation across fields and over time 

Interactive tool: The Gender Browser 
The gender browser provides a multiscale view of gender representation across multiple domains of scholarly publishing.

Monday, March 17, 2014

New Database: Diversity Data Kids: public access to measures of child wellbeing and equity throughout the U.S.

From the press release:

The Institute for Child, Youth and Family Policy (ICYFP) at Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management has launched a new online data and analysis tool, providing unprecedented insight into wellbeing and equity among the ever- more diverse child population in the United States.

The site,, allows users to create customized profiles, rankings and maps that make data visual and digestible. It also features a neighborhood-level child opportunity index, the first of its kind, developed in partnership with the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Ohio State University. This index allows users to view interactive maps of the opportunities that are available to children in their own neighborhoods; a story that is often strikingly different by race/ethnicity. In addition to providing this index and hundreds of standard data indicators broken down by race and ethnicity, this site generates unique, equity- focused indicators of known structural factors that influence disparities in healthy child development. It also allows users to drill down from the national level to smaller levels of geography such as metropolitan areas and school districts, and in some cases, down to the neighborhood level, providing pinpoint views of the often nuanced inequities present among children of various racial and ethnic groups.
Source:  Institute for Child, Youth and Family Policy (ICYFP) at Brandeis University

Link to site:

Thursday, March 13, 2014

National Institute of Justice: The Pathways to Desistance Study

How serious adolescent offenders reduce or stop their criminal offending is critical information for the juvenile justice system to have as it attempts to redirect adolescent offenders while ensuring public safety. The Pathways to Desistance Study is a multi-site, collaborative research project that followed 1,354 serious juvenile offenders from adolescence to young adulthood. The investigation sought to:
  • identify initial patterns of how serious adolescent offenders stop their antisocial activity
  • describe the role that social context and developmental changes play in promoting these positive changes
  • compare how well sanctions and interventions promote these changes
The larger goals of the study were to improve decision making by court and social service personnel and to clarify debates about alternative policies for serious adolescent offenders.
Source: National Institute of Justice (U.S.)
Download final pdf report: The Pathways to Desistance

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Quantifying policy tradeoffs to support aging populations

Coping with aging populations is a challenge for most developed countries. Supporting non-working adults can create an unsustainable burden on those working. One way of dealing with this is to raise the normal pension age, but this has proven unpopular. A complementary approach is to raise the average labor force participation rate. These policies are generally more politically palatable because they often remove barriers, allowing people who would like to work to do so.
Source: Demographic Research

Download full pdf publication: Quantifying policy tradeoffs to support aging populations

Who Believes that Astrology is Scientific?

Who believes that astrology is scientific and who believes that it is not scientific at all? This paper uses representative samples of the adult general public to challenge two of the most common assumptions of political psychology: (1) that a belief in astrology is such a good indicator of conservatism that it is appropriate to use as a measure of conservatism itself; and (2) that Republicans and conservatives tend to hold views opposing science. Data from the 2012 General Social Survey are analyzed and demographic correlates of a belief in astrology are reported by age, gender, education, and region of the country, as well as by political party and conservative-liberal orientation. Also reported are which political groups know that the Earth revolves around the Sun.
Source: Northwestern University - School of Law [via SSRC]

Download full pdf publication: Who Believes that Astrology is Scientific?

Caught In The Scammer’s Net: Risk Factors That May Lead to Becoming an Internet Fraud Victim

The present study surveyed some 11,271 individuals age 18 and older nationally and in 12 state oversamples.  The survey sought to answer the following questions:
  1. Are there behaviors and life experiences that may increase a person’s risk of becoming a victim of online fraud?
  2. What proportion of individuals nationally, and in particular target states may be at risk of being victimized by online fraud?
  3. How concerned are Americans about online fraud and what if any steps are they taking to protect themselves?
Data from this national and multi-state survey of over 11,000 online users also shows that Americans are very concerned about online fraud, yet many avoid taking basic precautions to protect themselves.  

Source: AARP Research

Download full pdf publication: Caught In The Scammer’s Net: Risk Factors That May Lead to Becoming an Internet Fraud Victim

RAND Report: Topics in Migration Research

With respective emigrant and immigrant stocks that are among the largest in the world, Mexico and Germany are affected by migration like few other countries are. They also exemplify that migratory movements need not be permanent, but are also often less temporary than initially assumed. This dissertation explores topics related to the determinants and consequences of migration in these two countries.

Source: RAND Corporation

Download full pdf publication: Topics in Migration Research

Russian Political, Economic, and Security Issues and U.S. Interests (updated CRS Report)

Russia made uneven progress in democratization during the 1990s, but this limited progress was reversed after Vladimir Putin rose to power in 1999-2000, according to many observers. During this period, the State Duma (lower legislative chamber) became dominated by governmentapproved parties, gubernatorial elections were abolished, and the government consolidated ownership or control over major media and industries, including the energy sector. The Putin government showed low regard for the rule of law and human rights in suppressing insurgency in the North Caucasus, according to critics. Dmitry Medvedev, Putin’s longtime protégé, was elected president in 2008; President Medvedev immediately designated Putin as prime minister and continued Putin’s policies. In August 2008, the Medvedev-Putin “tandem” directed military operations against Georgia and recognized the independence of Georgia’s separatist South Ossetia and Abkhazia, actions condemned by most of the international community. In late 2011, Putin announced that he would return to the presidency and Medvedev would become prime minister. This announcement, and flawed Duma elections at the end of the year, spurred popular protests, which the government addressed by launching a few reforms and holding pro-Putin rallies. In March 2012, Putin was (re)elected president by a wide margin. The day after Putin’s inauguration in May 2012, the legislature confirmed Medvedev as prime minister. Since then, Putin has tightened restrictions on freedom of assembly and other human rights.
Source: Congressional Research Service (via U.S. State Department Foreign Press Center)

Download full pdf publication: Russian Political, Economic, and Security Issues and U.S. Interests

Reasoning about equivalence in semantic fieldwork

The job of a fieldworker involves both elicitation from native speakers and inter- pretation of the data thus elicited. This chapter concerns the process of reasoning by which the bare results of elicitation are interpreted. One hypothesis often used in interpretation is that the input to translation and the output of translation are equivalent in meaning. Another is that, in a particular context, speakers will accept (or reject) sentences expressing the same range of propositions regardless of what language they are speaking. Both hypotheses can be highly useful in reasoning about field data, but neither should be blindly followed all of the time. The reasons stem from differences among languages in the range of propositions they make it possible and practical for their speakers to convey. 
Source:U.C. Santa Cruz [via eScholarship repository]

Download pdf publication: Reasoning about equivalence in semantic fieldwork

World Digital Library grows to 10,000 items

From the Washington Post:
The World Digital Library led by the Library of Congress is reaching a milestone of 10,000 items with the addition of ancient manuscripts from the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore. Officials will announce Thursday that the World Digital Library now holds more than 10,000 digitized manuscripts, maps, books, prints, photographs, films, sound recordings and other cultural items. The growing collection is a collaborative project that includes contributions from 102 institutions in 46 different countries.
Link to the World Digital Library:

Citizen Security with a Human Face: Evidence and proposals for Latin America

The Regional Human Development Report 2013-14 for Latin America maps the problems of crime and violence in the region, and offers important recommendations for improving public policies on citizen security. 
The report builds on UNDP’s Central America Human Development Report launched in 2009, and the Caribbean Human Development Report of 2012. This report analyzes the phenomenon of citizen security in-depth, studying successful experiences, and proposing concrete recommendations for improvements.
Source: United Nations Human Development Programme (UNDP)

Download pdf executive summary (English): Citizen Security with a Human Face: Evidence and proposals for Latin America

Download full pdf report (Spanish): Citizen Security with a Human Face: Evidence and proposals for Latin America

A Lack of Material Resources Causes Harsher Moral Judgments

In the research presented here, we tested the idea that a lack of material resources (e.g., low income) causes people to make harsher moral judgments because a lack of material resources is associated with a lower ability to cope with the effects of others’ harmful behavior. Consistent with this idea, results from a large cross-cultural survey (Study 1) showed that both a chronic (due to low income) and a situational (due to inflation) lack of material resources were associated with harsher moral judgments. The effect of inflation was stronger for low-income individuals, whom inflation renders relatively more vulnerable. In a follow-up experiment (Study 2), we manipulated whether participants perceived themselves as lacking material resources by employing different anchors on the scale they used to report their income. The manipulation led participants in the material-resources-lacking condition to make harsher judgments of harmful, but not of nonharmful, transgressions, and this effect was explained by a sense of vulnerability. Alternative explanations were excluded. These results demonstrate a functional and contextually situated nature of moral psychology. 
Source: Psychological Science. DOI: 10.1177/0956797613514092

Download full pdf publication of A Lack of Material Resources Causes Harsher Moral Judgments (academic affiliation required)

Read online APS article: Money and Morality: Lack of Resources May Lead to Harsher Moral Judgments

Pew Report: Most Say U.S. Should ‘Not Get Too Involved’ in Ukraine Situation

From the online summary:
As Russian troops remain in Ukraine’s Crimea region and Crimea’s Parliament has set up a secession vote, Americans prefer the U.S. to not get too involved in the situation. By a roughly two-to-one margin (56% vs. 29%), the public says it is more important for the U.S. to not get involved in the situation with Russia and Ukraine than to take a firm stand against Russian actions. The new national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted March 6-9, 2014 among 1,003 adults, find more disapprove (44%) than approve (30%) of the way the Obama administration is handling the situation involving Russia and Ukraine, while roughly a quarter (26%) offer no opinion.
Source: Pew Research Center for People and the Press

Download full pdf report:  Most Say U.S. Should ‘Not Get Too Involved’ in Ukraine Situation
Download topline questionnaire (pdf)

Monday, March 10, 2014

Supporting Immigrant Families' Access to Prekindergarten

Children of immigrants can benefit from attending prekindergarten, though they enroll less, on average, than children with US-born parents. This detailed report draws on interviews conducted with over 40 prekindergarten directors and staff, directors of early childhood education programs, and other specialists to present strategies for improving prekindergarten enrollment among immigrant families and English Language Learners. This includes strategies for outreach to support prekindergarten enrollment; helping immigrant families overcome language, documentation, and other logistical barriers when enrolling their children in prekindergarten programs; and building trust and good relationships with immigrant parents and designing immigrant- and ELL-friendly programs.
Source: Urban Institute

Download pdf of Supporting Immigrant Families' Access to Prekindergarten

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Coping with Stress and Types of Burnout: Explanatory Power of Different Coping Strategies

From the Abstract:
Burnout occurs when professionals use ineffective coping strategies to try to protect themselves from work-related stress. The dimensions of ‘overload’, ‘lack of development’ and ‘neglect’, belonging to the ‘frenetic’, ‘under-challenged’ and ‘worn-out’ subtypes, respectively, comprise a brief typological definition of burnout. The aim of the present study was to estimate the explanatory power of the different coping strategies on the development of burnout subtypes.
Source: PLoS One

Download pdf of Coping with Stress and Types of Burnout: Explanatory Power of Different Coping Strategies

Violence against women: an EU-wide survey

This FRA survey is the first of its kind on violence against women across the 28 Member States of the European Union (EU). It is based on interviews with 42,000 women across the EU, who were asked about their experiences of physical, sexual and psychological violence, including incidents of intimate partner violence (‘domestic violence’).
Source: European Union for Fundamental Rights

Download full pdf publication: Violence against women: an EU-wide survey

Other supporting documents in a variety of languages are available from the site.

Study finds Black Boys Viewed as Older, Less Innocent Than Whites

From the news release:
Researchers tested 176 police officers, mostly white males, average age 37, in large urban areas, to determine their levels of two distinct types of bias -- prejudice and unconscious dehumanization of black people by comparing them to apes. To test for prejudice, researchers had officers complete a widely used psychological questionnaire with statements such as “It is likely that blacks will bring violence to neighborhoods when they move in.” To determine officers’ dehumanization of blacks, the researchers gave them a psychological task in which they paired blacks and whites with large cats, such as lions, or with apes. 
 Source:  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, [via newswise]

Download pdf of “The Essence of Innocence: Consequences of Dehumanizing Black Children,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,

Find the Best Journal for Your Research with a New Tool: JournalGuide

About JournalGuide:
JournalGuide is a free tool that helps researchers to evaluate scholarly journals. In addition to searching by journal name, category or publisher, authors can use the title and abstract of a paper to discover journals that have already published articles on similar topics. By matching journals to a paper’s content, researchers can see which journals would be most likely to have interest in their story.

The people/company behind JournalGuide:
JournalGuide is a division of Research Square, which makes it a sister company to Rubriq (independent peer review) and AJE (manuscript preparation services). As an independent company, we are not a publisher or journal and have no plans to become one. Our team is made up of published researchers and software developers — combining a deep understanding of the publication process with cutting-edge technology tools.
Link to JournalGuide (beta)

Arabic and Persian medical books available online.

The Yale Library has made selected Arabic and Persian medical books available online.
The collection includes some unique Arabic and Persian medical materials, housed in the Medical Historical Library. Created by scholars from the past who adopted, translated and augmented Greek and Roman medical knowledge, this corpus of materials was transmitted to Western societies during the Renaissance.
Link to access page for viewing Arabic and Persian medical books.
Link to other digital collections from the Medical Historical Library.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Face to Face Versus Facebook: Does Exposure to Social Networking Web Sites Augment or Attenuate Physiological Arousal Among the Socially Anxious?

The present study tested two competing hypotheses about the effect of Facebook exposure on the physiological arousal level of participants who then encountered the stimulus person in a face-to-face situation. Facebook exposure may attenuate later arousal by providing increased comfort and confidence, but it is also possible that Facebook exposure will augment arousal, particularly among the socially anxious. Participants completed a measure of social anxiety and were exposed to a stimulus person via Facebook, face to face, or both. Galvanic skin response was recorded during the exposures to the stimulus person. Results were consistent with the augmentation hypothesis: a prior exposure on Facebook will lead to increased arousal during a face-to-face encounter, particularly for those high in social anxiety.
Source: Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking

Download pdf: Face to Face Versus Facebook: Does Exposure to Social Networking Web Sites Augment or Attenuate Physiological Arousal Among the Socially Anxious?

Ukraine Population Census

Issues of identity, language and ethnicity have been mentioned as part of the background of recent events in Ukraine, although scholars and commentators have diverging opinions on the extent to which they really reflect divisions in Ukrainian society. The 2001 Ukraine population census is available online with the following break out tables and information:
  • Total number of actual population
  • According to the refined data of the All-Ukrainian Population Census ‘2001, the total number of the actual population of Ukraine at the date of 5 December 2001 accounted for 48.457 thousand people.

  • Urban and rural population
    The number of the urban population, according to the All-Ukrainian Population Census ‘2001 data, accounted for 32.574 thousand persons, or 67.2%, and that of the rural population 15.883 thousand people, or 32.8%.

  • Gender structure of the population
  • According to the All-Ukrainian Population Census ‘2001 data, the number of men totaled 22.441 thousand people, or 46.3%, that of women - 26.016 thousand people, or 53.7%.

  • Number of the cities
  • During the years that have passed since the census of the population ‘1989, the number of towns in Ukraine has increased by 20 and on the date of the All-Ukrainian Population Census ‘2001 there were 454 units.

  • Permanent population
  • The total number of the permanent population of Ukraine on the date of 5 December 2001 accounted for 48.241 thousand people, including men – 22.316 thousand people, or 46.3%, women - 25.925 thousand people, or 53.7%; the urban population – 32.291 thousand people, or 66.9%, the rural population – 15.950 thousand people, or 33.1%.

  • Age structure of population
  • The age structure of the population, stated by the All-Ukrainian Population Census ‘2001, is characterized by the following data: the part of children in population has decreased, while the part of the persons at the age older than able-to-work has increased, that considerably complicates present demographic situation in the country and says about ageing of the population.

  • National composition of the population
  • The peculiarity of the national structure of the population of Ukraine is its multinational composition. According to the All-Ukrainian Population Census ‘2001 data, the representatives of more than 130 nationalities and ethnic groups live on the territory of the country.

  • Linguistic composition of population
  • The language structure of Ukraine, according to the All-Ukrainian Census data, is various. The part of those whose mother tongue is Ukrainian totals 67.5% of the population of Ukraine, this is by 2.8 percentage points more than in 1989. The percentage of those whose mother tongue is Russian totals 29.6% of the population. Comparatively with the data of previous census this index has decreased by 3.2 percentage points. The part of other languages, specified like mother tongue, during the period that have passed since previous census has increased by 0.4 percentage points and accounts for 2.9%.

  • Educational level of the population
  • The results of the All-Ukrainian Population Census ‘2001 testified to the tendency to the rise of the educational standard of the population and the increase in the number of people with higher and complete secondary education.

  • Marital status
  • According to the All-Ukrainian Population Census ‘2001 data the number of married men and women accounted for 23.7 million people.

Racial Discrimination: How Far Have We Come?

From the press release:
In the midst of Black History Month, it is perhaps an appropriate time to examine some of our nation’s historical racial divides and reflect on changes that we as a country have seen over time. As far back as 1969 and 1972, The Harris Poll measured perceptions among U.S. adults as to whether blacks were discriminated against in a variety of areas of American life. A new Harris Poll revisits the same line of inquiry and finds that, 45 years later, there have been some sizeable changes – along with a disparaging lack of change in some regards.

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,236 adults surveyed online between January 15 and 20, 2014. 
Source: Harris Interactive

Download pdf of Harris Poll Racial Discrimination: How Far Have We Come?

Employment for Veterans: Trends and Programs

Veterans’ employment outcomes in the civilian labor market are an issue of ongoing congressional interest. This report offers introductory data on veterans’ performance in the civilian labor market as well as a discussion of veteran-targeted federal programs that provide employment-related benefits and services.
Source: Congressional Research Service via (via Federation of American Scientists)

Download pdf of Employment for Veterans: Trends and Programs

Age and Scientific Genius

Great scientific output typically peaks in middle age. A classic literature has emphasized comparisons across fields in the age of peak performance. More recent work highlights large underlying variation in age and creativity patterns, where the average age of great scientific contributions has risen substantially since the early 20th Century and some scientists make pioneering contributions much earlier or later in their life-cycle than others. We review these literatures and show how the nexus between age and great scientific insight can inform the nature of creativity, the mechanisms of scientific progress, and the design of institutions that support scientists, while providing further insights about the implications of aging populations, education policies, and economic growth.

Source: National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Download pdf report: Age and Scientific Genius