Thursday Workshops and Special Sessions


Research Methods Workshops ($100 per workshop)
Special Sessions on Research Priorities and Capacity Building ($15 per session)

RESEARCH METHODS WORKSHOPS 83427a5ead9b4659b12e75ff64069923

Thursday, January 15, 2015
Registration fee is $100. Register early as space is limited!

8:00 am – 12:00 pm Half-Day Workshop
Social Work and Technology
Presenters: Julie Gilliam, University of Maryland, and Lela Rankin Williams, Arizona State University

The purpose of this workshop is to provide participants with an opportunity to become familiar with common technology approaches and its application to social work research. The common approaches emphasized in this workshop include audio and visual aesthetic communication, information communication technologies in healthcare, and mobile technology. This workshop focuses on learning to identify, apply, and incorporate technology approaches to provide social work participants with 1) a comprehensive skill set and knowledge base inclusive of technology applications within social work, placing social work goals at the forefront, and 2) a range of methods for presenting information and intervention.

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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 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. The presenter will also discuss the concepts of mediated moderation, moderated mediation, mediated mediation, and moderated moderation. The presenter will also 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 a path diagram into a set of equations that can then be tested using either structural equation modeling or general(ized) linear models. The presenter will distinguish between limited information estimation and full information estimation and discuss the basics of statistical modeling in each case. Presenter will also briefly consider some of the more common sources of model specification error, including measurement misspecification, left out variable error, and function misspecification. The emphasis is on providing participants with a non-technical appreciation for these issues and practical analytic strategies to deal with them.

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8:00 am – 12:00 pm Half-Day Workshop
Population Informatics: Applying Data Science to Advance the Health and Welfare of Populations
Presenter: Hye-Chung Kum, Texas A&M Health Science Center

Data science is the systematic study of digital data using scientific techniques of observation, theory development, systematic analysis, hypothesis testing, and rigorous validation. Data scientists are those that can apply data science to continuously changing deluge of digital raw data that are often inconsistent and erroneous to extract and deliver actionable knowledge in a timely manner. The ability to convert existing raw data (e.g., administrative data, EHR, claims data) into timely information that is useful, applicable, and ultimately transformational requires specialized interdisciplinary data science teams with individuals who are cross-trained in the domain science (i.e. social work, health sciences), computer science, and statistics. The three types of data scientists are (1) domain knowledgeable computer scientists with strong expertise in programming and data mining, (2) data capable domain scientists with strong expertise in the problem domain and statistical modeling methods used in the domain, and (3) data savvy decision makers with expertise in the domain, in particular to applying the knowledge based on data and statistics to real decisions.

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8:00 am – 12:00 pm Half-Day Workshop
Systematic Review Methods: The Science of Research Synthesis
Presenters: Julia H. Littell, Bryn Mawr College, and Brandy R. Maynard, Saint Louis University

The best empirical evidence for social change comes not from single studies, but from scientific analyses and syntheses of multiple studies on the same topic. Replication is an essential principle of science, but pure replications are very rare in social work research. Instead, most studies investigate variations on important themes: How widespread are various conditions? Which risk and protective factors are associated with specific conditions? How acceptable are certain interventions in different populations? Which interventions have been rigorously evaluated with what results? What works best for whom under what conditions? These questions and others can be addressed with systematic reviews and meta-analyses, even in the presence of substantial (and statistical) heterogeneity across studies. Workshop presenters will describe and illustrate the scientific principles and methods that guide the conduct of rigorous reviews of empirical research. They will present empirical evidence for current guidelines and standards for systematic reviews and meta-analyses.

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Thursday, January 15, 2015
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, PhD (NIH/OBSSR), Denise Juliano-Bult, MSW (NIMH), Jacqueline Lloyd, PhD (NIDA), Margaret Murray, PhD (NIAAA), and, Suzanne Heurtin-Roberts, PhD (NCI)

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
Developing Successful Minority Social Work Scholars
Presenters: Ruth McRoy, Boston College, Rowena Fong, University of Texas at Austin, Yolanda Padilla, University of Texas at Austin, Sean Joe, Washington University in St. Louis, Joan Levy Zlotnik, National Association of Social Workers, and Carol M. Lewis, University of Texas at Austin

This interactive session is designed for deans and directors, faculty, doctoral students, and others interested in building a pool of successful minority researchers in social work. It will include a discussion of 1) specific strategies for mentoring and training future minority scholars, 2) building research infrastructure and capacity to enhance their success, 3) strategies to generate funding support for social work research and 4) addressing administrative challenges in grant submission and the implementation process. In addition, the panel will discuss strategies for building transdisciplinary and crossuniversity connections; enhancing community agency/university research partnerships to increase the likelihood of successful grant collaborations and applying translational research strategies in communities participating in research. Examples of successful minority scholars will be provided.

8:00 am – 10:00 am
Theory-based Constructs of Culture in Research with Latinos
Presenter: Esther Calzada, University of Texas at Austin

This interactive session, designed for scholars interested or engaged in research with Latinos, will examine ways to systematically and concretely consider culture in study designs. It will include a discussion of theory-based constructs of culture and their application in studies with diverse Latino populations. Emphasis will be placed on cultural constructs with direct implications for interventions that aim to support Latinos. Drawing on research conducted by the presenter and others as examples, participants will have the opportunity to explore how to incorporate culture into their own work.

10:15 am – 12:15 pm
A New Reporting Guideline for Trials of Social and Psychological Interventions: CONSORT-SPI
Presenters: Joanne Yaffe, University of Utah, Paul Montgomery, University of Oxford, Phyllis Solomon, University of Pennsylvania, and Sean Grant, University of Oxford

CONSORT-SPI is an evidence-based reporting guideline for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of social and psychological interventions. Reports of RCTs testing these interventions often omit important information, hindering critical appraisal and the effective transfer of this research evidence to policy and practice decision-making. The objective of this workshop is to present the rationale behind CONSORTSPI, the methods used in its development, and the guideline checklist itself, including instructions for its use and examples from social work research. Following these presentations, a panel of leading social work scholars and editors will discuss the guideline and its implications for the social work literature.

10:15 am – 12:15 pm
Publishing Rigorous Qualitative Research
Presenter: Laura Abrams, PhD, University of California, Los Angeles

This session will help workshop participants to strengthen their skills in publishing qualitative research articles in peer reviewed journals. The session will focus on issues including journal choice, research questions, use of theory, methodology (i.e. design, data collection, sampling, rigor, and analysis), presentation of results, discussing findings and limitations, and responding to peer reviewers. The workshop is suitable for doctoral students, early career researchers, scholars who are new to qualitative methods, and those currently preparing qualitative manuscripts for publication.

10:15 am – 12:15 pm
Aging, Interventions and Services Research at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH): Priorities and Opportunities
Presenters: Jovier Evans, National Institute of Mental Health, and Denise Juliano-Bult, National Institute of Mental Health

This session will highlight new opportunities and developments at the National Institute of Mental Health with regard to both interventions and services research, with a particular focus on Geriatric and Aging related efforts. Representatives from the NIMH who oversee portfolios in adult and geriatric services, interventions, and translational research will discuss current priorities and initiatives to foster new work in the area of geriatric mental health. Discussion will also follow about particular grant mechanisms and funding opportunity announcements that may be of interest to participants.

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