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  1. Smoking Diffusion through Networks of Diverse, Urban American Adolescents over the High School Period

    This study uses recent data to investigate if smoking initiation diffuses through friendship networks over the high school period and explores if diffusion processes differ across schools. One thousand four hundred and twenty-five racially and ethnically diverse youth from four high schools in Los Angeles were surveyed four times over the high school period from 2010 to 2013. Probit regression models and stochastic actor-based models for network dynamics tested for peer effects on smoking initiation.
  2. Cumulative Effects of Bullying and Racial Discrimination on Adolescent Health in Australia

    This study examined how cumulative exposure to racial discrimination and bullying victimization influences the health of Australian adolescents (n = 2802) aged 10 to 11 years (19.3% visible ethnic minorities [nonwhite, non-Indigenous]; 2.6% Indigenous) using data from three waves (2010–2014) of the nationally representative Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC). Cumulative exposure to racial discrimination and bullying victimization had incremental negative effects on socioemotional difficulties.
  3. Adverse Childhood Experiences, Early and Nonmarital Fertility, and Women’s Health at Midlife

    Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) have powerful consequences for health and well-being throughout the life course. We draw on evidence that exposure to ACEs shapes developmental processes central to emotional regulation, impulsivity, and the formation of secure intimate ties to posit that ACEs shape the timing and context of childbearing, which in turn partially mediate the well-established effect of ACEs on women’s later-life health.
  4. Cardiometabolic Risk and Cognitive Decline: The Role of Socioeconomic Status in Childhood and Adulthood

    Socioeconomic conditions in childhood predict cognitive functioning in later life. It is unclear whether poor childhood socioeconomic status (SES) also predicts the acceleration of cognitive decline. One proposed pathway is via cardiometabolic risk, which has been linked to both childhood SES and earlier onset of cognitive impairment. Using data from the Health and Retirement Study, we examine the impact of childhood SES on cognitive trajectories over six years and test whether it operates through increased cardiometabolic risk and adult SES.
  5. Familism and the Hispanic Health Advantage: The Role of Immigrant Status

    It is well known that Hispanic immigrants exhibit better physical and mental health than their U.S.-born counterparts. Scholars theorize that stronger orientations toward the family, also known as familism, could contribute to this immigrant advantage. Yet, little work directly tests whether familial attitudes may be responsible for the favorable health of foreign-born Hispanics. We investigate this possibility using biomarkers, anthropometrics, and mental health assessments from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (N = 4,078).
  6. Work–Family Conflict and Well-Being among German Couples: A Longitudinal and Dyadic Approach

    This study examines dual-earner couples to determine whether changes in work–family conflict predict changes in one’s own (i.e., actor effects) or partner’s (i.e., partner effects) health and well-being as well as gender differences in these relationships.
  7. Variable Selection and Parameter Tuning for BART Modeling in the Fragile Families Challenge

    Our goal for the Fragile Families Challenge was to develop a hands-off approach that could be applied in many settings to identify relationships that theory-based models might miss. Data processing was our first and most time-consuming task, particularly handling missing values. Our second task was to reduce the number of variables for modeling, and we compared several techniques for variable selection: least absolute selection and shrinkage operator, regression with a horseshoe prior, Bayesian generalized linear models, and Bayesian additive regression trees (BART).
  8. Imputing Data for the Fragile Families Challenge: Identifying Similar Survey Questions with Semiautomated Methods

    The Fragile Families Challenge charged participants to predict six outcomes for 4,242 children and their families interviewed in the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study. These outcome variables are grade point average, grit, material hardship, eviction, layoff and job training. The data set provided contained longitudinal survey and observational data collected on families and their children from birth to age 9. The authors used these data to create models to make predictions at age 15.
  9. Predicting GPA at Age 15 in the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study

    In this paper, we describe in detail the different approaches we used to predict the GPA of children at the age of 15 in the context of the Fragile Families Challenge. Our best prediction improved about 18 percent in terms of mean squared error over a naive baseline prediction and performed less than 5 percent worse than the best prediction in the Fragile Families Challenge. After discussing the different predictions we made, we also discuss the predictors that tend to be robustly associated with GPA. One remarkable predictor is related to teacher observations at the age of nine.
  10. Friend Request Pending: A Comparative Assessment of Engineering- and Social Science–Inspired Approaches to Analyzing Complex Birth Cohort Survey Data

    The Fragile Families Challenge is a mass collaboration social science data challenge whose aim is to learn how various early childhood variables predict the long-term outcomes of children. The author describes a two-step approach to the Fragile Families Challenge. In step 1, a variety of fully automated approaches are used to predict child academic achievement. In total 124 models are fit, which involve most possible combinations of eight model types, two imputation strategies, two standardization approaches, and two automatic variable selection techniques using two different thresholds.