Issue: September 2015

We are delighted to announce that the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) recently awarded The Methodology Center a $13 million grant to support both ongoing and new research for the next five years.
"This grant is the cornerstone of all our scientific funding," said Methodology Center Director Linda Collins. "Importantly, it is enabling us to launch a new initiative in the area of analysis of complex behavioral data related to substance use and HIV." 

The grant will provide funding for three of our largest research projects, all of which are developing research methods for complex data. The projects will be headed by Methodology Center Investigators Stephanie Lanza, Runze Li, and Susan Murphy.  

The Methodology Center is pleased to release the latest version (1.2.1) of the LCA Stata plugin for conducting latent class analysis (LCA)The latest version includes two small bug fixes and several changes to the users' guide. As always, the software is available for download free of charge, though you need Stata to use it. For an overview of the functionality of the LCA Stata plugin, please visit the download page.

After a maintenance period this summer, all Methodology Center software is available for download from our website. Please email with any questions or feedback.

The Methodology Center created the "Year of TVEM" to raise awareness among researchers, reviewers, and program officers at the National Institutes of Health about the potential value of time-varying effect modeling (TVEM). TVEM allows researchers to examine the dynamic mechanisms underlying healthy and unhealthy behaviors, and it can facilitate deeper understanding of complex developmental processes. Further, we expect TVEM to become a go-to approach to examine changes over time in the effectiveness of behavioral interventions.

Originally developed for use with intensive longitudinal data, n ewer applications of TVEM have focused on the analysis of cross-sectional and panel data to study behavior developmentally.

  Read moreYear of TVEM

Stephanie Lanza
Sara Vasilenko This podcast will introduce interested scientists to time-varying effect modeling (TVEM). Host Aaron Wagner talks with Methodology Center Investigators Stephanie Lanza and Sara Vasilenko about the new types of questions scientists can answer by applying TVEM to existing data or to new studies.  

Sara and Stephanie have been at the forefront of both applying TVEM and training scientists to use TVEM. Multiple participants from their TVEM workshop in June already have submitted TVEM manuscripts to journals. In this 25-minute podcast, they provide the introduction needed to determine whether TVEM could be useful in your work.

Twenty percent of South African youth report having experienced forced sex, or rape. Furthermore, youth who have been raped are more likely to engage in risky sexual behavior in the future. A new article, "Forced Sexual Experiences and Sexual Situation Self-Efficacy Among Youth," coauthored by former PAMT trainee Jacqui Miller, Methodology Center Investigator Donna Coffman and several investigators on the HealthWise South Africa project, examines whether South African youth who believe they can control a situation are less likely to experience rape by a peer or date.

Open the article. (Journal access required.)
Over the summer, much of The Methodology Center's website was unavailable. After an extensive upgrade to the site's architecture, the entire website is back online.


So,  visit our homepage and see what we've been up to recently. As our new center grant gets underway, a lot of new content will be added, so stay tuned!


New Director for Prevention Research Center
Diana Fishbein This Summer our sister center, the Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center (PRC) named Diana H. Fishbein as its new director. We are excited about working with Denni, and we look forward to many more years of great science from the PRC. Welcome, Denni!

There is an opening for a post-doctoral researcher as part of the Prevention and Methodology Training (PAMT) program. Come learn and work in an environment that fosters independent research.


Read the job description

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The Methodology Center
The Pennsylvania State University
404 Health and Human Development Building
University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-3253
Fax: 814-863-0000