Scholarship on disabilities and the policies shaping university research

Modeling Developmental Processes in Ecological Context
March 4-6, 2004 in Tempe, Arizona

The influence of families, peers, schools, neighborhoods, and communities is important to consider in the study of human development. Which methods are the best for representing and modeling ecological context? At this conference, statisticians, developmentalists, and quantitative scholars discussed ecological effects, such as:

  • direct influences on development
  • mediators and/or moderators of change
  • nested hierarchical levels of influence
  • dynamic systems.

Participants also discussed common methodological concerns, including:

  • measurement issues
  • incomplete data
  • sample heterogeneity (a person-centered approach)
  • power and sample size.


Peg Barratt was a conference participant. At the National Science Foundation, she is Program Director for Developmental and Learning Sciences.

Co-sponsors: the National Science Foundation>>, the Society of Multivariate Experimental Psychology, and the Merrill Advanced Studies Center at the University of Kansas

Pictured left to right - back row: Donald Hedeker, David Francis, Jack McArdle, David Slegers, Scott Hofer, Kim Wilcox, Patrick Curran, Joy Simpson, Daniel Bauer, Steven Boker, Bud MacCallum, Sam Green, Susan Embretson, Steven Zubrick, Emily Ledford, Niall Bolger, Lesa Hoffman, Keith Widaman, Siek-Toon Khoo, Kate Taylor, David MacKinnon, Steve West, Robert Barnhill
Pictured left to right - seated front row: John Nesselroade, Duane Alwin, Steve Warren, Peg Barratt, Todd Little, Mabel Rice, Janet Marquis, Joe Rodgers, Kathleen McCluskey-Fawcett, Jim Bovaird.

Photo by Tim Trumble

Conference organizers at the University of Kansas:

  • Todd Little - Director, Research Design and Analysis Unit, Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies & Associate Professor of Psychology
  • Janet Marquis - Co-Director of the RDA Unit, Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies
  • James Bovaird - Research Associate, RDA Unit

Abstracts of conference presentations:

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