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Article ReferenceThe Shifting Salience of Skin Color for Educational Attainment
Findings of an association between skin color and educational attainment have been fairly consistent among Americans born before the civil rights era, but little is known regarding the persistence of this relationship in later born cohorts. The authors ask whether the association between skin color and educational attainment has changed between black American baby boomers and millennials. The authors observe a large and statistically significant decline in the association between skin color and educational attainment between baby boomer and millennial black women, whereas the decline in this association between the two cohorts of black men is smaller and nonsignificant. Compared with baby boomers, a greater percentage of the association between skin color and educational attainment among black millennials appears to reflect educational disparities in previous generations. These results emphasize the need to conceptualize colorism as an intersectional problem and suggest caution when generalizing evidence of colorism in earlier cohorts to young adults today.
Located in MPRC People / Amelia Branigan, Ph.D. / Amelia Branigan Publications
Article ReferenceNew Data Sources in Social Science Research: Things to Know Before Working With Reddit Data
Social media are becoming more popular as a source of data for social science researchers. These data are plentiful and offer the potential to answer new research questions at smaller geographies and for rarer subpopulations. When deciding whether to use data from social media, it is useful to learn as much as possible about the data and its source. Social media data have properties quite different from those with which many social scientists are used to working, so the assumptions often used to plan and manage a project may no longer hold. For example, social media data are so large that they may not be able to be processed on a single machine; they are in file formats with which many researchers are unfamiliar, and they require a level of data transformation and processing that has rarely been required when using more traditional data sources (e.g., survey data). Unfortunately, this type of information is often not obvious ahead of time as much of this knowledge is gained through word-of-mouth and experience. In this article, we attempt to document several challenges and opportunities encountered when working with Reddit, the self-proclaimed “front page of the Internet” and popular social media site. Specifically, we provide descriptive information about the Reddit site and its users, tips for using organic data from Reddit for social science research, some ideas for conducting a survey on Reddit, and lessons learned in merging survey responses with Reddit posts. While this article is specific to Reddit, researchers may also view it as a list of the type of information one may seek to acquire prior to conducting a project that uses any type of social media data.
Located in MPRC People / Frauke Kreuter, Ph.D. / Frauke Kreuter Publications
Article Reference Troff document (with manpage macros)Does Benefit Framing Improve Record Linkage Consent Rates? A Survey Experiment
Survey researchers are increasingly seeking opportunities to link interview data with administrative records. However, obtaining consent from all survey respondents (or certain subgroups) remains a barrier to performing record linkage in many studies. We experimentally investigated whether emphasizing different benefits of record linkage to respondents in a telephone survey of employee working conditions improves respondents’ willingness to consent to linkage of employment administrative records relative to a neutral consent request. We found that emphasizing linkage benefits related to “time savings” yielded a small, albeit statistically significant, improvement in the overall linkage consent rate (86.0) relative to the neutral consent request (83.8 percent). The time savings argument was particularly effective among “busy” respondents. A second benefit argument related to “improved study value” did not yield a statistically significant improvement in the linkage consent rate (84.4 percent) relative to the neutral request. This benefit argument was also ineffective among the subgroup of respondents considered to be most likely to have a self-interest in the study outcomes. The article concludes with a brief discussion of the practical implications of these findings and offers suggestions for possible research extensions.
Located in MPRC People / Frauke Kreuter, Ph.D. / Frauke Kreuter Publications
File“Neglected, Ignored, and Abandoned”? The Working Class in Popular U.S. Culture
Reeve Vanneman, University of Maryland; 2019-009
Located in Research / Working Papers / WP Documents
Melissa Kearney Comments on the Decline in Male Workers on NPR
There’s much less demand for the labor of less-educated men despite the job boon after the Great Recession
Located in News
Article Reference Troff document (with manpage macros)How Early Is Too Early? Identification of Elevated, Persistent Problem Behavior in Childhood
We inquire how early in childhood children most at risk for problematic patterns of internalizing and externalizing behaviors can be accurately classified. Yearly measures of anxiety/depressive symptoms and aggressive behaviors (ages 6–13;  n  = 334), respectively, are used to identify behavioral trajectories. We then assess the degree to which limited spans of yearly information allow for the correct classification into the elevated, persistent pattern of the problem behavior, identified theoretically and empirically as high-risk and most in need of intervention. The true positive rate (sensitivity) is below 70% for anxiety/depressive symptoms and aggressive behaviors using behavioral information through ages 6 and 7. Conversely, by age 9, over 90% of the high-risk individuals are correctly classified (i.e., sensitivity) for anxiety/depressive symptoms, but this threshold is not met until age 12 for aggressive behaviors. Notably, the false positive rate of classification for both high-risk problem behaviors is consistently low using each limited age span of data (< 5%). These results suggest that correct classification into highest risk groups of childhood problem behavior is limited using behavioral information observed at early ages. Prevention programming targeting those who will display persistent, elevated levels of problem behavior should be cognizant of the degree of misclassification and how this varies with the accumulation of behavioral information. Continuous assessment of problem behaviors is needed throughout childhood in order to continually identify high-risk individuals most in need of intervention as behavior patterns are sufficiently realized.
Located in MPRC People / Terence Thornberry, Ph.D. / Terence Thornberry Publications
Melissa Kearney featured in The New York Times on the interaction between economic growth and family formation
Social context partially determines the family formation response to a positive income or earnings shock
Located in News
Article ReferenceSexual minority youth are at a disadvantage: what now?
Located in MPRC People / Jessica N Fish, Ph.D. / Jessica N Fish Publications
Melissa Kearney Criticizes Universal Basic Income (UBI)
Despite the growing popularity, UBI is a flawed idea that would do little to fix problems
Located in News
Article ReferenceLow-Touch Attempts to Improve Time Management among Traditional and Online College Students
We evaluate two low-cost college support programs designed to target poor time management, a common challenge among many undergraduates. We experimentally evaluate the programs across three distinct colleges, randomly assigning more than 9,000 students to construct a weekly schedule in an online planning module and to receive weekly study reminders or coach consultation via text message. Despite high participation and engagement, and treated students at two sites marginally increasing study time, we estimate precise null effects on student credit accumulation, course grades, and retention at each site for the full sample and for multiple subgroups. The results and other supplemental evidence suggest that low-touch programs that offer scheduling assistance, encouragement, and reminders for studying lack the required scope to significantly affect academic outcomes.
Located in MPRC People / Nolan Pope, Ph.D. / Nolan Pope Publications