Issue: August 2013
eNews from The Methodology Center
Featured Article: Does Early Sex Lead to Delinquency? Causal Analysis in LCA Donna Coffman  and Stephanie Lanza lead the Methodology Center's research projects on causal inference and latent class analysis (LCA), respectively. Recently, they began integrating these research methods to reveal the impact that nonrandomized risks have on later, complex, behavioral outcomes. In a new article in Prevention Science, "A Framework for Estimating Causal Effects in Latent Class Analysis: Is There a Causal Link Between Early Sex and Subsequent Profiles of Delinquency?" Center researchers Nicole Butera, Stephanie, and Donna examine data on 1,890 adolescents from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health to determine whether early sexual initiation impacts later profiles of delinquent behavior. 


Read more.   


We are pleased to announce the release of the flexible and easy-to-use %FactorialPowerPlan SAS macro for planning a factorial or fractional factorial experiment. Factorial experiments are highly efficient and are often employed by researchers following the multiphase optimization strategy (MOST). Participants can either be assumed to be independent or nested within existing clusters as discussed in Dziak, Nahum-Shani, and Collins (2012).


 The macro can be used to calculate
  • statistical power based on an available sample size and assumed effect size,
  • required sample size based on a desired statistical power and an assumed effect size, or
  • minimum detectable effect size based on available sample size and desired statistical power.

Download the software or read more.


See all available software.



Video: Building Adaptive Interventions Methodology Center Principal Investigator Susan Murphy presented the talk, "Getting SMART About Adapting Interventions," at the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) Carriage House in Washington, DC on May 29. Each year, the MAA invites one statistician to present a Carriage House Lecture. This year, Susan discussed sequential, multiple assignment, randomized trials (SMARTs), the method she developed for building adaptive interventions.  
Adaptive interventions allow clinicians to tailor the intensity or type of treatment based on a patient's characteristics and response to treatment. In her lecture, Susan describes the rationale for adaptive interventions and the mechanisms through which a SMART design can help scientists build effective adaptive interventions.


Read more.    


Watch the talk on YouTube.



Debashis Ghosh Methodology Center Investigator Debashis Ghosh will receive the 2013 Mortimer Spiegelman Award. The award was created in 1970 by the Applied Public Health Statistics Section of the American Public Health Association (APHA) to honor a statistician, 40 years of age or younger, who has made outstanding contributions to health statistics, especially public health statistics. The award is presented annually at the APHA meeting, and it serves three purposes: to honor the outstanding achievements of both the recipient and Spiegelman, to encourage further public health involvement by the finest young statisticians, and to increase awareness of APHA and the Applied Public Health Statistics Section in the academic statistical community. The award will be presented at the 2013 APHA meeting in November.
In other news, Debashis has accepted an invitation to serve as chairperson of the Biostatistical Methods and Research Design Study Section at the NIH's Center for Scientific Review for the next two years.
Read more about the Mortimer Spiegelman Award.
Read more about the NIH Study Section.


Several program announcements from the National Institutes of Health seek proposals using innovative experimental methods. The multiphase optimization strategy (MOST) and sequential, multiple assignment, randomized trial (SMART) are specifically mentioned or described in the calls listed below.




Have you perused our research pages recently? There are resources for each of our research areas, and we are adding more resources every month. So if you are considering work on behavioral interventions, adaptive interventions, causal inference, latent class analysis, or EMA data, take time to see what software, reading lists, videos, and other resources we offer.




Summer Institute

Our annual summer institute is a great opportunity to get training on new methods from expert instructors. This year Center Investigators Stephanie Lanza and Bethany Bray presented the workshop "Introduction to Latent Class Analysis (LCA)." The two-day session covered basic and advanced topics including LCA with groups, LCA with covariates, and LCA with a distal outcome.    


See pictures from the institute.  


Read more



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