2013 NDACAN Summer Research Institute
June 28, 2013
On June 10, an intrepid group of 17 child maltreatment researchers navigated around tropical storm Andrea to begin their week-long experience at the NDACAN Summer Research Institute. The Institute, now in its 21st year, is an annual event hosted by the National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect. The Institute is an opportunity for participants to spend a week of uninterrupted time working on their statistical analyses for research projects based on data from the Archive. Surrounded by colleagues, Archive staff, expert statistical consultants, and good food and coffee, participants are able to make tremendous progress on their research projects, which will be submitted for publication in academic journals.
This year's group consisted of eight advanced doctoral students, six professors, and three other academic professionals who came from all around the United States. One participant traveled from Ireland. A range of important topics were addressed with Archive data including the experience of youth living in foster care and the services they receive, the outcomes of children who have suffered multiple forms of maltreatment or have been exposed to violence, predictors of resiliency for children in child welfare, and recent trends in the financing of state child welfare services.
Expert data management and statistical advice was provided by the Archive staff and three special guests: Chris Wiesen from the Howard W. Odum Institute for Social Science at UNC Chapel Hill; Keith Smith from RTI International; and Francoise Vermeylen, the Director of the Cornell Statistical Consulting Unit. Assistant Professor Felix Thoemmes from the Department of Human Development gave an excellent overview of a statistical technique known as propensity score analysis and gave a demonstration of a user-friendly program he has developed to carry out propensity score matching.