Graduate Students Present at PAA

Nine current graduate students present results of their original research at the Annual Meetings of the Population Association of America in New Orleans, LA.

Citations and Abstracts for graduate students presenting at the 2013 PAA meetings

Foster, Brad. "Immigration, Migration, and Demographic Polarization in the US, 1995-2000." (Poster)

Abstract: Some evidence suggests that the selective migration patterns of immigrants and natives in the U.S. during the 1980s and 1990s contributed to demographic polarization along the lines of ethnicity, race, age, income, and education. The implied assumption that this polarization was driven by native “flight” has been heavily scrutinized, however, and the extent and importance of polarization on a national scale relies on the continuation of selective migration patterns. I examine 1995-2000 county migration data for evidence of such continuation and question the native "flight" assumption. Results show that polarizing selective migration patterns continued into the late 1990s. Net of other factors, counties with larger immigrant inflow rates experienced greater native outmigration. Moreover, the distance traveled by native migrants increased as a function of immigration in surrounding counties. These findings support the implicit native “flight” assumption and reiterate the importance of extra-local effects for migration studies.

Laird, Jennifer.  "The Paradox of Hispanic Unemployment: Evidence and Explanations for an Immigrant Employment Advantage"

Abstract:  Using data from the Current Population Survey, I present evidence for a Hispanic employment paradox. Given their educational and occupational attainment, Hispanic immigrant men should have had very high unemployment during the recession. Compared to native-born men, they are on average, considerably less educated, over represented in high-unemployment construction occupations, and geographically clustered in the regions where employment plummeted during the recession. I find that after controlling for education and occupation, Hispanic immigrant men had lower probabilities of unemployment than native-born white men. I test three possible explanations for the paradox: differential rates of underemployment, lack of access to unemployment benefits, and the positive selection of migrants for employment. None of these explanations fully account for the paradox, although non-citizen Hispanic men – many of whom do not have access to unemployment benefits because they are undocumented – were the least likely to be unemployed during the recession.

Tyler McCormick, Hedwig Lee, Nina Cesare and Ali Shojaie. "Using Twitter for Demographic and Social Science Research: Tools for Data Collection."

Abstract:  Despite recent interest in using Twitter to examine human behavior and attitudes, little work has been done to develop systematic ways of collecting Twitter data for social science research.  Further, gleaning key demographic information about Twitter users, a key component of much social science research, remains a challenge.  This paper develops a scalable, sustainable toolkit for social science researchers interested in using Twitter data to examine behaviors and attitudes, as well as the demographic characteristics of the populations expressing or engaging in them. We begin by describing how to collect Twitter data on a particular population – in this case, individuals who do not plan to vote in the 2012 U.S. presidential election. We then describe and evaluate a method for processing data to retrieve demographic information reported by users that is not encoded as text (e.g., details of images) and assess the reliability of these techniques. We end by assessing the challenges of this data collection strategy and discussing how large-scale social media data may benefit demographic researchers.

Kerry MacQuarrie and Jeffrey Edmeades. "Seeking the Story: Can abortion narratives be retrieved from a mixed-methods study in India”

Researchers implemented a mixed-methods research project in Madhya Pradesh, India in 2002-2003 to obtain improved data on abortion, other reproductive events, and the gender context in which they occur.  The motivation for mixed-methods was to harness the positive and complementary attributes of both qualitative and quantitative methods while avoiding the limitations of using either of these in isolation.  The research project went beyond the traditional qualitative/exploratory pilot-quantitative survey-qualitative follow-up sequence to fully integrate qualitative and quantitative techniques into one mixed-method study.  However, the effectiveness of this approach was assessed primarily by quantitative performance criteria and the resulting data used almost exclusively for statistical analyses.  This study assesses a) whether it is possible to retrieve the individual, personal narratives that underlie the quantitative dataset; b) the quality and utility of these data as qualitative data; and c) compares the results of analyzing them as qualitative versus as quantitative data.

Dave Sharrow, Sam Clark, and Adrian Raftery.  "Modeling Age Specific Mortality for Countries with Generalized HIV Epidemics" (Poster)

Abstract:  Population projections that forecast the future size and age-composition of a country are crucial tools for appropriately planning the future allocation of societal resources. A projection model for countries with generalized HIV epidemics should take into account the future trajectory of the epidemic given the severe effect a generalized epidemic can have on the mortality conditions and composition of a population. We present a model of age-specific mortality as a function of life expectancy, HIV prevalence, and antiretroviral therapy coverage for the 39 countries of the world experiencing a generalized HIV epidemic. We perform an in-sample validation, which shows modest errors for several mortality indicators. Combined with the outputs of existing epidemiological and demographic models, this model makes it possible to estimate future mortality profiles for countries with generalized HIV epidemics.

Ashley M.  Loving  “Exploring Factors Influencing the Decision to Drink among Native Americans”

Abstract:  Although Native Americans are frequently the subject of studies involving alcohol, current research rarely relies on quantitative analyses from large, nationally representative data and often focuses on alcohol misuse rather than factors influencing drinking decisions. Using Wave 2 of the National Epidemiologic Survey of Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC), I examine the current drinking status (lifetime abstainer, former drinker, or current drinker) of 513 Native American respondents. After establishing that Native Americans are significantly more likely to report instances of adverse childhood experiences and dysfunction in their childhood homes than other ethnic groups, I treat these variables as risk factors for current drinking, with enculturative factors and close social ties as protective factors. Results indicate that current drinkers are more likely to have suffered through adverse childhood experiences than lifetime abstainers, while preferences for a native language and Native American peers increase the likelihood of being a lifetime abstainer.

Ryan Gabriel and Kyle Crowder.  “Residential Mobility and Attainment of Interracial Couples”

Abstract:  In this paper we utilize data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics linked to neighborhood and metropolitan data from multiple population censuses to compare the residential mobility and attainment of several groupings of mixed-race couples to racially homogomous couples. As a first analysis of the topic, we examine these couples’ access to, and movement between, neighborhoods characterized by their levels of racial and ethnic compositional diversity – mobility patterns that continually reshape broader patterns of residential segregation by race. Analyses reveal that mixed couples tend to be located in tracts with significantly higher levels of racial and ethnic diversity than are white or black monoracial couples. However, the level of neighborhood diversity also varies substantially across mixed-race couples. Additionally, we find evidence that much of the difference in neighborhood diversity between mixed and monoracial couples reflects differences in the racial composition of the broader metropolitan area.

April Fernandes.  “How far up the river? Assessing the health consequences of criminal justice contact”

Abstract:  The rapid and steady increase of incarceration has had substantial consequences on health outcomes due to exposure and transmission of disease. Research has shown that physical and mental health outcomes for imprisoned populations are affected by residence in a carceral institution.  The exposure to individuals with communicable diseases facilitates the transmission of disease while the stress of incarceration and lack of adequate medical facilities assist in exacerbating existing conditions. Given that the jail population grew in line with prison incarceration during this period, the health effects of less severe forms of criminal justice contact should be investigated. Using the NLSY97, I will explore both the transmission and exacerbation of previous medical illnesses as a result of short jail stays, arrests and convictions.  In addition, I will also ascertain the effect on mental health as a result of criminal justice contact, controlling for treatment availability inside and outside of the institution.

Athena Pantazis "Male Infertility among the Gwembe Tonga of Zambia."

Abstract: Population level measures of infertility rely on birth histories and are thus limited to women despite the fact that subfertility or sterility is a condition of the couple with men estimated to contribute between 20% and 60% to overall couple infertility. In this study, male and female birth histories available from the Gwembe Tonga Research project are used to estimate infertility for both men and women in the population. Infertility increased with age for both men and women, though it increased more sharply for women and women's odds of infertility were three times that of men's. While issues associated with the complications of paternity reporting, differential mortality, and migration of the male population should be considered when interpreting these findings, the finding of a non-negligible group of men experiencing infertility demonstrates a quantifiable burden of male infertility on the population and produces a starting point for comparisons over time and with women in same population.