Social Policy

Disaster Forensics: Leveraging Crisis Information Systems for Social Science

Disaster Forensics: Leveraging Crisis Information Systems for Social Science
Proceedings of the Third International ISCRAM Conference edited by R Van De Walle and M Turroff. Newark Institute of Technology, May

Moss, M. & Townsend, A.
05/01/2006

This paper contributes to the literature on information systems in crisis management by providing an overview of
emerging technologies for sensing and recording sociological data about disasters. These technologies are transforming our capacity to gather data about what happens during disasters, and our ability to reconstruct the social dynamics of affected communities. Our approach takes a broad review of disaster research literature, current research efforts and new reports from recent disasters, especially Hurricane Katrina and the Indian Ocean Tsunami. We forecast that sensor networks will revolutionize conceptual and empirical approaches to research in the social sciences, by providing unprecedented volumes of high-quality data on movements, communication and response activities by both formal and informal actors. We conclude with a set of recommendations to designers of crisis management information systems to design systems that can support social science research, and argue for the inclusion of post-disaster social research as a design consideration in such systems.

Growing Older in World Cities: New York, Paris, London and Tokyo

Growing Older in World Cities: New York, Paris, London and Tokyo
Edited with Michael Gusmano. Nashville Tn: Vanderbuilt University Press,

Rodwin, V.G.
02/01/2006

Population aging often provokes fears of impending social security deficits, uncontrollable medical expenditures, and transformations in living arrangements, but public policy could also stimulate social innovations. These issues are typically studied at the national level; yet they must be resolved where most people live—in diverse neighborhoods in cities. New York, London, Paris, and Tokyo are the four largest cities among the wealthiest, most developed nations of the world. The essays commissioned for this volume compare what it is like to grow older in these cities with respect to health care, quality of life, housing, and long-term care. The contributors look beyond aggregate national data to highlight the importance of how local authorities implement policies.

Training Psychiatrists for Public Sector Care: A Survey of Residency Directors on Current Priorities and Preparation

Training Psychiatrists for Public Sector Care: A Survey of Residency Directors on Current Priorities and Preparation
Psychiatric Services. 57:238-243, February

Yedidia, M.J., Gillespie, C.C. & Berstein, C.A.
02/01/2006

OBJECTIVE: This study assessed how resident psychiatrists are being prepared to deliver effective public-sector care.

METHODS: Ten leaders in psychiatric education and practice were interviewed about which tasks they consider to be essential for effective public-sector care. The leaders identified 16 tasks. Directors of all general psychiatry residency programs in the United States were then surveyed to determine how they rate the importance of these tasks for delivery of care and how their training program prepares residents to perform each task.

RESULTS: A total of 114 of 150 residency directors (76 percent) responded to the survey. Factor analysis divided 14 of the tasks into three categories characterized by the extent to which their performance requires integration of services: within the mental health system (for example, lead a multidisciplinary team), across social service systems (for example, interact with staff of supportive housing programs), and across institutions with different missions (for example, distinguish behavioral problems from underlying psychiatric disorders among prisoners). Preparation for tasks that involved integration of services across institutions was rated as least important, was least likely to be required, and was covered by less intensive teaching modalities. Tasks entailing integration within the mental health system were rated as most important, preparation was most likely to be required, and they were covered most intensively. Midway between these two categories, but significantly different from each, were tasks relying on integration across social service systems.

CONCLUSIONS: Tasks that involved integrating services across institutions with different missions were consistently downplayed in training. Yet the importance of such tasks is underscored by the assessments of the psychiatric leaders who were interviewed, the high valuation placed on this type of integration by a substantial subset of training directors, and the extent of mental illness among populations who are institutionalized in nonpsychiatric settings.

Neighborhoods and Schools: Contexts and Consequences for the Mental Health and Risk Behaviors of Children and Youth

Neighborhoods and Schools: Contexts and Consequences for the Mental Health and Risk Behaviors of Children and Youth
In L. Balter and C. Tamis-LeMonda (Eds.), Child Psychology: A Handbook of Contemporary Issues (2nd ed.)

Gershoff, E.T. & Aber, J.L.
01/01/2006

This second edition of Child Psychology: A Handbook of Contemporary Issues reflects the increasingly sophisticated and varied research methods used to examine the highly complex interactions contributing to children's cognitive, emotional, and social development. Those chapters that appeared in the previous edition have been thoroughly updated and new chapters by outstanding researchers have been introduced. In addition, there is an entirely new section on Adolescence and thorough coverage of salient Ecological Influences, which make this second edition a truly comprehensive resource on the important issues in child psychology. The volume is divided into five sections - Infancy, Preschool Years, Childhood, Adolescence, and Ecological Influences - which: * Describe the nature of development and individual variations in developmental trajectories across multiple domains * Identify the processes and mechanisms underlying developmental and contextual change * Explore the varied contexts in which development unfolds, including family, school, neighborhood, and culture * Apply cutting-edge research designs, methodologies, and analytic approaches to models of development The volume provides an invaluable and practical resource for students and instructors on a wide variety of courses, and for researchers and professionals working in the field of child development.

Toward a More Public Discussion of the Ethics of Federal Social Program Evaluation

Toward a More Public Discussion of the Ethics of Federal Social Program Evaluation
Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Vol. 24, No. 4, pp 824-852.

Blustein, J.
10/01/2005

Federal social program evaluation has blossomed over the past quarter century. Despite this growth, there has been little accompanying public debate on research ethics. This essay explores the origins and the implications of this relative silence on ethical matters. It reviews the federal regulations that generally govern research ethics, and recounts the history whereby the evaluation of federal programs was specifically exempted from the purview of those regulations. Through a discussion of a recent evaluation that raised ethical concerns, the essay poses - but does not answer - three questions: (1) Are there good reasons to hold federal social program evaluations to different standards than those that apply to other research?; (2) If so, what ethical standards should be used to access such evaluations?; and (3) Should a formal mechanism be developed to ensure that federal social program evaluations are conducted ethically?

Measuring School Performance and Efficiency: Implications for Practice and Research

Measuring School Performance and Efficiency: Implications for Practice and Research
Eye on Education: Larchmont, NY,

Stiefel, L., Rubenstein, R., Schwartz, A.E. & Zabel, J., eds.
05/30/2005

School performance and efficiency measurement have taken center stage in much of the debate and research in education policy since at least the mid-1990s. Despite the clear theoretical and practical importance of understanding the ways in which school performance can be measured, only limited research exists on alternative ways to measure how well schools are educating their students, delivering what parents want, and using resources efficiently. In this volume, the authors of eight chapters address the measurement of school performance, an issue that lies in between the study of technical characteristics of student assessments, on the one hand, and the effectiveness of accountability systems that use those assessments, on the other. Although psychometricians focus on the reliability, validity, and fairness of individual student assessments, and social scientists address whether state and local accountability systems that use those student assessments are effective ways to influence school performance, the authors of this volume consider the pros and cons of alternative measurements of school performance and efficiency, per se.

Network Systems Revisited: The Confounding Nature of Universal Systems

Network Systems Revisited: The Confounding Nature of Universal Systems
In O. Coutard, R. Hanley, and R. Zimmerman, eds. Sustaining Urban Networks: The Social Diffusion of Large Technical Systems. London, UK: Routledge, pp. 1-12. ISBN 0415324580 (HB); ISBN 0415324599 (PB).

Coutard, O., Hanley, R.E. & Zimmerman, R.
01/01/2005

Taking sustainability in its triple economic, environmental and social dimensions, the contributors take stock of previous research on large technical systems and discuss their sustainability from three main perspectives: uses, cities, rules/institutions.

Leadership and the Psychology of Power

Leadership and the Psychology of Power
In D. M. Messick & R. Kramer (Eds.),The Psychology of Leadership: New Perspectives and Research. Lawrence Erlbaum,

Magee, J.C., Gruenfeld, D.H., Keltner, D. & Galinsky, A.
12/01/2004

This chapter begins to fill in a gap in the leadership literature by looking at the psychological experience of leaders. We assume most leaders possess power over those whom they lead, and we explicate a theory of how power affects cognition and behavior. First, power-holders' attention is focused on non-conscious and conscious goal-relevant information. Thus, power-holders interpret social information in relation to their goals. They are less likely to process social norms and standards of behavior that could impede progress toward goals, and they are more likely to see others in relation to their goals. Second, as judgments of the self by others are less consequential, power-holders experience a decrease in public self-awareness, or self-consciousness. Third, power-holders' self-regulatory mechanisms, which require effortful control, break down for reasons of motivation and cognitive busyness. Power-holders are less motivated to control their behavior because they care less about others' judgments, but they also are less able to control their behavior because their cognitive resources tend to be more occupied. These three factors -- increased goal focus, decreased self-consciousness, and decreased self-regulation - converge to increase the likelihood of automatic behavior that represents power holders' "dominant" situational responses.

Children Facing Economic Hardship in the United States: Differentials and Changes in the 1990's

Children Facing Economic Hardship in the United States: Differentials and Changes in the 1990's
Demographic Review, June 2004, Vol 10, Article 11.

Lu, H.H., Palmer, J., Song, Y., Lennon, M.C. & Aber, J.L.
06/18/2004

This paper helps document significant improvements in the child low-income rate as well as the significant decrease in the proportion of children who relied on public assistance in the United States during the 1990s. Many disadvantaged groups of children were less likely to live in poor or low-income families in the late 1990s than such children a decade earlier. The improvement in the child low-income rates of these disadvantaged groups was accompanied by a substantial increase in parental employment. However, parental employment appears to do less to protect children from economic hardship than it did a decade earlier. This paper shows that working families� children in many disadvantaged social groups, especially groups in medium risk ranks�children in families with parents between ages 25 to 29, with parents who only had a high-school diploma, and in father-only families�suffered the largest increase in economic hardship. Our results indicate that the increased odds of falling below low income lines among children in working families facing multiple disadvantaged characteristics and the increased proportion of these children in various subgroups of working families in the 1990s can help explain the increased economic hardship among subgroups in the medium risk ranks listed above. Finally, the paper also notes that the official measure of poverty tends to underestimate low-income rates.

From Consent to Mutual Inquiry: Balancing Democracy and Authority in Action Research

From Consent to Mutual Inquiry: Balancing Democracy and Authority in Action Research
Action Research, March, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 47-69 (22) Sage Publications.

Ospina, S., Dodge, J., Godsoe, B., Mineri, J., Reza, S. & Schall, E.
03/01/2004

The Leadership for a Changing World (LCW) program is a joint endeavor between the Ford Foundation, the Advocacy Institute, and the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. This paper focuses on the experiences of the Research and Documentation component of LCW – lead by a research team from the Wagner School – during the initial implementation phases of the research. This component formed an inquiry group consisting of both academic researchers and social change practitioners to collaboratively explore and discover the ways in which communities doing social change engage in the work of leadership. We used group relations theory to understand a series of critical dilemmas and contradictions experienced by the coresearchers. This paper identifies four such paradoxes that center around issues of democracy and authority.

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