Issue: September 2012

eNews from The Methodology Center


Podcast: New Methods for Smoking Research

Megan Piper, Lisa Dierker, and Stephanie Lanza

Our latest podcast is a discussion of time-varying effect models, the potential for ecological momentary assessment data to advance smoking research, and an upcoming special issue of Nicotine and Tobacco Research. Recorded primarily at a pre-conference workshop at the Society for Research Nicotine and Tobacco annual meeting in March, host Aaron Wagner talks with Megan Piper of the University of Wisconsin’s Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention, Lisa Dierker of Wesleyan University, and Stephanie Lanza of the Methodology Center. The call for papers for the special issue is open until October 1. 

Download the podcast.

Read the call for articles.


New Grant to Advance Methods for Combatting Tobacco Addiction

Graph of declining cigarette smoking

We would like to congratulate Stephanie Lanza, Runze Li, and Jingyun (Michael) Yang of The Methodology Center and Megan Piper of the University of Wisconsin’s Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention, who were recently awarded an R01 from the National Cancer Institute. The project, Advancing Tobacco Research by Integrating Systems Science and Mixture Models, will integrate time-varying effect models and latent class analysis in order to identify subgroups of smokers who experience the process of nicotine withdrawal differently. This research will facilitate the development of time-varying interventions to meet the needs of individual smokers.

Read more.


Opportunity to Test New Stata Plugin for Latent Class Analysis

The Methodology Center is pleased to announce that we are developing our first software for use with Stata: a plugin that includes all the functionality in the latest version of PROC LCA for SAS. This is an alpha release-the software has not been widely tested yet. We are looking for a few interested users to test the new plugin. If you use Stata and want to perform LCA, please email for details about a possible arrangement to test the software.

Learn more about PROC LCA.


Featured Article: Gauging the Impact of an HIV Intervention

Donna Coffman and Kari Kugler

The Reducing Risky Relationships HIV (RRR-HIV) intervention was designed to decrease incorrect and dangerous thoughts about relationships in order to reduce risky sexual behavior among women being released from prison. Results showed that women who participated in the program engaged in less unprotected sex.

For future interventions, it is important to determine why this happened. Was it because, as hypothesized, the intervention changed women’s beliefs about relationships? Was it because the intervention reduced their substance use? Or were other factors at work? In a recent paper in Nursing Research, Methodology Center Investigators Donna Coffman and Kari Kugler used propensity score methods to estimate the causal effect of the RRR-HIV intervention on unprotected sex. These methods are broadly applicable to measuring the impact of interventions that target a mediator in order to achieve an outcome.

Read more.



Poll: What software do you use?

Help us decide where to focus future development. Check all that apply:

Graph of declining cigarette smoking


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Our Facebook friends find out the news first. And sometimes we give things away. (Useful things, like books.)

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The Challenges of “Big Data”

Susan Murphy

Susan Murphy's work on sequential, multiple assignment, randomized trials (SMART) is discussed in the article "Big Data Present Big Challenges for Researchers" on the Alzheimer Research Forum.

Read more.


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