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The Society for Social Work and Research
2013 Annual Conference  
  January 16-20, 2013 I Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina I San Diego, CA
Online Registration Ends January 10!
  ..Social Work for a Just Society:  
    ..Making Visible the Stakes and Stakeholders

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Access SSWR 2012 Annual Conference Abstracts Online

Any questions? Please contact:

DeeJay Garringo
Program Director
SSWR National Office
11240 Waples Mill Road, Suite 200
Fairfax, VA 22030
703-359-7562 fax


::: Thursday Workshops/Special Sessions

Available PowerPoint Slides from the 2013 Conference

Research Methods Workshops:

RMW-1: "Theory Construction and Causal Modeling", James J. Jaccard, PhD (New York University) PDF Download

RMW-2: "Mixed Methods Research in Social Work", Wendy L. Haight, PhD (University of Minnesota-Twin Cities) PDF Download

RMW-3: "Publishing Rigorous Qualitative Research: Common Pitfalls and Solutions", Laura S. Abrams, PhD (University of California, Los Angeles), Deborah K. Padgett, PhD (New York University) PDF Download

RMW-4: Using and Analyzing Large Secondary Data Sets: National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health and the Survey of Income and Program Participation
Alida Bouris, PhD (University of Chicago), Chi-Fang Wu, PhD (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) PDF Download

Special Sessions on Research Priorities and Capacity Building:

SSRPCB-1: "Research Opportunities at NIH", G. Stephane Philogene, PhD (National Institutes of Health Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research), Denise Juliano-Bult, PhD (National Institute of Mental Health), Jacqueline Lloyd, PhD (National Institute on Drug Abuse), Margaret Murray, PhD (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism), Carly Parry, PhD, MSW (National Cancer Institute) PDF Download

SSRPCB-3: "Working with Private Foundations: Lessons Learned from Successful Grantees", Catherine Cubbin, PhD (University of Texas at Austin), Mark Courtney, PhD (University of Chicago) PDF Download

SSRPCB-4: "Building Research Capacity in Social Work Education Programs", Ruth G. McRoy, PhD (Boston College), Joan Zlotnik, PhD (National Association of Social Workers), Jerry Flanzer, PhD (San Jose State University), Carol M. Lewis, PhD (University of Texas at Austin) PDF Download

SSRPCB-5: "Panel of Recently Funded Scholars", Michael Lindsey, PhD (University of Maryland), Leyla Ismayilova, PhD (University of Chicago), Janet Schneiderman, PhD (University of Southern California), Douglas Smith, PhD (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) PDF Download

SSRPCB-6: "Building Research Capacity in Social Work: The Role of RCTs in Program and Policy Innovation", Mark W. Fraser, PhD (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), Michal Grinstein-Weiss, PhD (Washington University in Saint Louis), Jeffrey M. Jenson, PhD (University of Denver), Mark F. Testa, PhD (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) PDF Download

Select: Research Methods Workshops I Special Sessions on Research Priorities and Capacity Building

Research Methods Workshops I Thursday, January 17, 2013

Registration fee is $100. Register early as space is limited!

8:00 am – 12:00 pm Half-Day Workshop
Theory Construction and Causal Modeling
Presenter: James Jaccard, New York University

This workshop teaches participants strategies for constructing causal theories and casual models on a conceptual level, and provides participants with guidelines for how to statistically analyze data to gain perspectives on those theories.

The first part of the workshop reviews philosophical and scientific conceptions of causality and then describes examples of the building blocks of causal theories. These include direct causal effects, indirect causal effects (mediation), moderated causal relationships, spurious relationships, reciprocal causality, and feedback loops. I also discuss the concepts of mediated moderation, moderated mediation, mediated mediation, and moderated moderation. I describe a range of thought experiments and thinking strategies for generating research ideas using these concepts and illustrate how to use influence diagrams to summarize one’s theory.

The second part of the workshop focuses on issues to consider when statistically analyzing data to test a causal model. This includes how to translate an influence or path diagram into a set of equations that can then be tested using either structural equation modeling or general(ized) linear models. I distinguish between limited information estimation and full information estimation and discuss the basics of statistical modeling in each case. This includes the importance of using correctly specified models when analyzing data and exploring common sources of specification error, including (1) measurement misspecification (making measurement assumptions problematic to the modeling process at hand), (2) left out variable error (also known as omitted variable bias), (3) function misspecification (assuming linear relationships when non-linear relationships apply; failing to model interaction effects when they are present), and (4) residual misspecification (making assumptions about population residual terms that are incorrect, such as independence, normality, variance homogeneity, or uncorrelated error for longitudinal data). The emphasis is on providing participants with a non-technical appreciation for these issues and directions for analytic strategies to deal with them.

I assume that participants are familiar with the general logic of hypothesis testing (p values and confidence intervals), and the basics of multiple regression. I use thought provoking examples that are relevant to social work researchers. I present advanced statistical concepts in a way that is both accessible and practical.

8:00 am – 12:00 pm Half-Day Workshop
Mixed Methods Research in Social Work
Presenter: Wendy Haight, University of Minnesota

In this workshop, we will explore methods for combining qualitative and quantitative traditions in social work research. We will discuss paradigmatic/conceptual issues, reasons for mixing methods, various research designs and analytic strategies, enhancing rigor, and an example of an NIH funded mixed method program of social work research. Workshop participants will be invited to discuss ways in which they might expand their own research agendas to encompass mixed method approaches.

8:00 am – 12:00 pm Half-Day Workshop
Publishing Rigorous Qualitative Research: Common Pitfalls and Solutions
Presenters: Laura Abrams, University of California, Los Angeles; Deborah K. Padgett, New York University

In this workshop, we aim to impart critical skills for scholars in preparing qualitative manuscripts for publication. The intended audience is doctoral students and candidates, junior researchers, and those newer to qualitative methods. As scholars in social work who often review as well as publish qualitative articles, chapters, and books, we are aware of several common mistakes that scholars make when attempting to prepare their data for publication. These pitfalls include, among others: attempting to fit qualitative methodology and its limitations into a quantitative epistemological frame (particularly in relation to generalizability); failing to specify how codes, themes, or other results were developed; lacking a solid conceptual framework or failing to incorporate theory; misusing grounded theory as a “catch all” for qualitative methods more broadly; and failing to assess the study for its adherence to standards of rigor. This workshop will address these pitfalls and offer concrete solutions.

Recognizing that much scholarly work involves learning by doing (including qualitative publishing), the learning objectives of this workshop are:
1) Understand common pitfalls and how to avoid them in the framing of the research, methods, analysis, presentation of the results, and discussion. Hands-on examples of reviews we have conducted for top-tier journals will be shared as well as reviews of our own manuscripts.
2) Apply best practices in publishing qualitative work by analyzing published exemplars and ‘lessons learned’ from them.
3) Enhance skills in writing through group exercises using excerpts from the presenters’ or attendees’ manuscripts.

The workshop methods will include didactic techniques along with exercises and breakout group discussion. For example, ‘mock’ write-ups will be developed and presented and groups asked to critique them based on the tools provided in the workshop. In addition to the above learning goals, attendees will leave the workshop with the ability to better critique qualitative work and greater confidence to submit their qualitative manuscripts to top tier journals in social work and related disciplines.

8:00 am – 12:00 pm Half-Day Workshop
Using and Analyzing Large Secondary Data Sets: National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health and the Survey of Income and Program Participation
Presenters: Alida Bouris, University of Chicago; Chi Fang Wu, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The purpose of this workshop is to introduce large public datasets and to describe steps in using and analyzing longitudinal secondary data. This workshop will specifically provide an overview of Add-Health and SIPP; present the survey content and data structure; demonstrate how to use the core waves, topical modules files, and longitudinal panel files; and describe procedures for linking multiple files. Moreover, the workshop will focus on analytical strategies for longitudinal secondary data analyses. It will provide participants with knowledge and skills to identify appropriate statistics for analyzing longitudinal data, understand analytical procedures, and interpret the results. Specific examples of secondary data analyses, SAS codes and SPSS programming, and related outputs and results will be presented.

The Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), conducted by the Bureau of the Census, is a longitudinal panel survey with nationally representative and random stratified samples of non-institutionalized U.S. households. The SIPP consists of a number of panels from the 1984 to 2008 panels. The sample size for each panel ranges from approximately 14,000 to 52,300 households. Interviews of each sample occurred every 4 months (referred to as a “wave”) for an approximately 2 ½ years to 4-year period in each panel. Each interview consists of a core questionnaire on detailed labor force participation, earnings, income sources, program participation, and family composition. In addition to the core questionnaire, the SIPP gathers information on specific topics (topical modules), which change from wave to wave, such as adult and children’s well-being, health status and utilization of health care service, medical expenses, financial assets, child care, and welfare reform. An important advantage of using SIPP data is that the SIPP collects information more frequently than the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) and the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID). Thus, the SIPP data allow for a fuller examination of the longitudinal patterns of employment, income sources, and program participation.
The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), supported by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and 17 other federal agencies, is a nationally representative, school-based sample of American youth who have been followed from adolescence to adulthood. The main purpose of Add Health is to examine how health behaviors and social environments, such as families, schools, peers, partners, and neighborhoods, influence health and wellbeing in adolescence and adulthood. From 1994 to 1995, a stratified random sample of approximately 90,000 students completed a brief in-school survey; following this, student rosters were used to select a random sample to complete a detailed in-home survey. In addition, several groups were oversampled, including Cuban, Puerto Rican, and Chinese adolescents, disabled youth, and African American youth from well-educated families. Currently, four waves of data have been collected, with over 14,000 respondents interviewed at each Wave. At Wave I, adolescents in grades 7-12, their parent (usually the resident mother), and a school administrator were interviewed. Wave II, conducted one year later in 1996, youth and school administrators were re-interviewed. Wave III was conducted six years later, when youth were aged 18-26, and also interviewed a sub-sample of romantic partners. Finally, Wave IV was conducted in 2007-2008, when the sample was aged 24-32. The dataset includes self-report data as well as biomarker data on STIs, HIV, stress, and genetics. To date, it is the nation’s largest, most comprehensive longitudinal survey of adolescents and presents a unique opportunity to understand contextual influences on physical, psychological, social and economic wellbeing.

Special Sessions on Research Priorities and Capacity Building I Thursday, January 17, 2013

These training-oriented sessions target cutting-edge topics vital to contemporary social work research. Registration fee is $15. Enroll early for these important opportunities to engage with national experts, funding institutions, and research colleagues.

8:00 am – 10:00 am
Research Opportunities at NIH

Presenters: G. Stephane Philogene, National Institutes of Health, Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research; Denise Juliano-Bult, National Institute of Mental Health; Jonathan King, National Institute on Aging; Jacqueline Lloyd, National Institute on Drug Abuse; Valerie Maholmes, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; Peggy Murray, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism; Carly Parry, National Cancer Institute

Representatives from NIH funding agencies will provide insight into developing successful approaches to writing a fundable proposal. In addition, attention will be paid to updates in funding opportunities as well as social work priorities. An overview of the funding mechanisms will be provided to aid in the identification of appropriate programs and utilize information and resources from NIH.

8:00 am – 10:00 am
Securing Access and Implementing Research Within Local and Global Organizations: Strategies, Trends, Opportunities, and Challenges

Presenters: Michael Austin, University of California, Berkeley; Michàlle Mor Barak, University of Southern California; Tom Packard, San Diego State University

An integral part of initiating research for best, promising, or evidence based practice is often securing and navigating organizational settings and engaging sponsors and project stakeholders at various levels within host organizations. This session provides strategies, with examples, on obtaining “buy-in” and gaining and using access to nonprofit, public, for-profit, and international organizational settings, understanding current stages in organizational life cycles, creating and facilitating partnerships and collaborations, enhancing organizational capacities for knowledge management and organizational culture change, and adopting a variety of roles to implement meaningful applied research. The session will also include a discussion of current trends, opportunities, and challenges in effectively leading the research process within complex organizational environments.

8:00 am – 10:00 am
Working with Private Foundations: Lessons Learned from Successful Grantees

Presenters: Catherine Cubbin, University of Texas at Austin; Mark Courtney, University of Chicago

Private foundations often support social work research and engagement projects. This session, led by faculty whose work has been supported by private foundations, will discuss the preparation and process of applying for foundations grants. They will share lessons learned from their experience in working with foundations using examples from their own research.

10:15 am – 12:15 pm
Building Research Capacity in Social Work Education Programs

Presenters: Ruth G. McRoy, Boston College; Joan Levy Zlotnik, National Association of Social Workers; Jerry Flanzer, San Jose State University; Carol M. Lewis, University of Texas at Austin

This session examines the current status of research infrastructures, culture and climate in social work education programs. It is intended to be relevant and useful for BSW, MSW and PhD/DSW programs. Moreover, this interactive session is designed so that deans and directors, faculty, doctoral students, and others fostering research initiatives within social work education programs may explore new directions for building their research plans. It will include a discussion of specific strategies for building research infrastructure and capacity, stimulating funding support for social work research, as well as administrative challenges in grant submission and the implementation process.

10:15 am – 12:15 pm
Panel of Recently Funded Scholars

Facilitator: G. Stephane Philogene, National Institutes of Health, Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research

A panel of recently funded social work researchers will present on their experience of applying and successfully competing for federal research dollars. Each will discuss the application process, interactions with the program staff in their respective agency and share their thoughts on strategies for success in funding.

10:15 am – 12:15 pm
Building Research Capacity in Social Work: The Role of RCTs in Program and Policy Innovation

Presenters: Mark Fraser, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Michal Grinstein-Weiss, Washington University; Jeff Jenson, University of Denver; Mark Testa, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Findings from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) increasingly inform public policy decisions, including the design of health and employment services. But for a variety of reasons, RCTs, also called randomized field trials outside of laboratory or clinical settings, have yet to gain a firm foothold in many areas of social work practice, such as child welfare and community organization. This session examines how RCTs are changing the stakes of what qualifies as credible evidence. It will present a how-to guide on getting buy-in for mounting RCTs using several examples from social work. The session will examine the types of resistance typically encountered and how to take into account such concerns. It will supply tangible examples of putting these new ideas into practice, including pre-randomization consent designs to improve generalizability and place-based randomized designs to evaluate large-scale innovations. It is intended to be relevant and useful for practitioners, administrators, educators and researchers in the university, the voluntary sector, government and business.

11240 Waples Mill Road, Suite 200, Fairfax, VA 22030
703-352-7797 I 703-359-7562 Fax I