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2013 NDACAN Summer Research Institute

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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.

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20th Annual NDACAN Summer Research Institute supports secondary analysis projects

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The National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect hosted its 20th annual Summer Research Institute from June 11-15 on the Cornell Ithaca campus. The Summer Research Institute provides a week-long opportunity for child maltreatment researchers to spend extended time working on their own research projects in a supportive and collaborative atmosphere. All the projects are based on research proposals to use child maltreatment datasets that are distributed by the Archive. Throughout the Institute, Archive staff, statistical consultants, and fellow participants are all available to provide help as questions or other needs arise. The ultimate goals of the Summer Research Institute are to facilitate original research that will result in valuable contributions to the scientific literature and to promote inter-university and cross-disciplinary collaborations within the child maltreatment research community.

An impressive group of 16 researchers representing the fields of social work, medicine, developmental psychology, and sociology were invited to attend this year. Participants were selected through a competitive process based on the clarity and quality of their research proposals and the likelihood of publication. This year’s Institute took place in a state-of-the-art computing facility within the new Human Ecology Building with IT support provided by the Human Ecology Computing Services Group. Special assistance was provided by Chris Wiesen, Statistical Analyst from the Odum Institute for Research in Social Science at UNC Chapel Hill and Francoise Vermeylen, Director of the Cornell Statistical Consulting Unit.

The next Summer Research Institute will be held June 10-14, 2013.

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2011 NDACAN Summer Institute

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2011 NDACAN Summer Institute

The National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect (NDACAN) sponsored its annual Summer Research Institute (SRI) on the Cornell University campus June 13-17. The 2011 Institute was another outstanding experience for the participants and the NDACAN staff. The SRI provides an intensive experience in the secondary analysis of child abuse and neglect data preserved at the Archive. In addition, the Institute provides child abuse and neglect researchers an invaluable opportunity for networking and collaborating with each other. The seventeen participants were selected on a competitive basis and represented a wide variety of disciplines (e.g., psychology, medicine, epidemiology, law, social work). A featured speaker was Shenyang Guo, Ph.D. from UNC Chapel Hill, who gave a detailed presentation entitled “Propensity Score Analysis in Child Welfare Research” which participants rated very highly. Interested researchers can check the NDACAN website for more information about the SRI and the Archive.

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