Blog Archives

Reminder: Comments on Proposed Elimination of ACS Questions Due December 30

On October 31, the U.S. Census Bureau within the Department of Commerce issued a request for public comment related to the 2014 Content Review of the American Community Survey (ACS). According to the Federal Register Notice, the 2014 review “is the most comprehensive effort ever undertaken by the Census Bureau to review content on the survey, seeking to understand which federal programs use the information collected by each question, the justification for each question, and assess how the Census Bureau might reduce respondent burden.” The review looked at the ACS’s 72 questions and proposed removal of seven from the annual questionnaire. Among the seven questions slated for elimination is the question on “Undergraduate Field of Degree.” This potential move raises concerns for many in the social and behavioral sciences community, as well as the National Science Foundation’s National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, which uses the data collected via the “field of degree” question in its efforts to measure and track the U.S. science and engineering workforce. The Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics (COPAFS) has already submitted a letter outlining its concerns with the proposed changes.

More information can be found in the Federal Register Notice. Comments are due December 30, 2014.

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Posted in Issue 22 (December 5), Update, Volume 33 (2014)

Census Releases New ACS Data, Special Feature on Young Adults

On November 4, the Census Bureau released 2009-2013 five-year estimates from the American Community Survey (ACS). The release includes new tables on field of bachelor’s degree, health insurance status, poverty status, and year of naturalization. In addition, a new Census Explorer feature, Young Adults: Then and Now, allows users to compare young adults (18-34) across the 1980, 1990, and 2000 decennial censuses and the 2009-2013 ACS five-year estimates and track changes in demographic, social, economic, and housing characteristics.

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Posted in Issue 22 (December 5), Update, Volume 33 (2014)

ERS Reports on Fast Food Purchasing Behavior

The Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service (ERS) has released a report, “The Role of Time in Fast-Food Purchasing Behavior in the United States,” which examines the factors impacting how Americans consume fast food. The study, conducted using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ American Time Use Survey, assessed the impact of time-use behaviors, prices, sociodemographic characteristics, and labor-force participation on fast food purchases. It finds that those who purchase fast food on a given day spend less time engaged in “primary” eating (eating while not doing something else), sleeping, doing housework, and watching television than the population average. And while the amount of time Americans spent eating out declined during the Great Recession, the percentage of people who had purchased fast food on a given day remained stable.

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Posted in Issue 22 (December 5), Update, Volume 33 (2014)

AHRQ Data Shows 50,000 Lives, $12 Billion Saved

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) released a report, “Interim Update on 2013 Annual Hospital-Acquired Condition Rate and Estimates of Cost Savings and Deaths Averted From 2010 to 2013” which provides preliminary 2013 estimates for hospital-acquired conditions (HACs), which include adverse events like falls, pressure ulcers, infections, and adverse drug events acquired during a patient’s hospital stay. The report finds a 17 percent decline in HACs from 2010 to 2013, equaling 1.3 million fewer patient harms over the three years. The decline also resulted in 50,000 fewer patients dying in a hospital as a result of a HAC, and a savings of $12 billion in health care costs. The data is part of a national measurement strategy on patient safety, coordinated in part by AHRQ, which produces the “AHRQ National Scorecard” on the HAC rate. (more…)

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Posted in Issue 22 (December 5), Update, Volume 33 (2014)

NCHS Releases Report on Drug Overdose Deaths

The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) released a report on “Trends in Drug-poisoning Deaths Involving Opioid Analgesics and Heroin: United States, 1999–2012,” based on data from the National Vital Statistics System’s multiple-causes-of-death mortality files. The report shows that between 1999 and 2012, the drug overdose (or drug poisoning) death rate more than doubled. The rate of death in evolving heroin nearly tripled. And while the drug poisoning rate involving opioid analgesics more than tripled over this period, it did decrease by five percent between 2011 and 2012—the first decrease in more than a decade. The states with the highest drug overdose rate over this period were West Virginia, Kentucky, New Mexico, Utah, and Nevada.

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Posted in Issue 22 (December 5), Update, Volume 33 (2014)

NIH: Systems Science and Health in Behavioral and Social Sciences

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has issued a funding opportunity announcement (FOA), Systems Science and Health in the Behavioral and Social Sciences (PAR-15-047), seeking applications that apply system science approaches such as system dynamic modeling, agent-based modeling, social network analysis, discrete event analysis, and Markov modeling to better understand complex and dynamic behavioral and social sciences processes and problems relevant to health. (more…)

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Posted in Issue 22 (December 5), Update, Volume 33 (2014)

NIH: Family and Interpersonal Relationships in an Aging Context

The National Institute of Aging (NIA) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is seeking applications designed to expand understanding of the role and impact of families and interpersonal relations on health and well-being in midlife and older age. (more…)

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Posted in Issue 22 (December 5), Update, Volume 33 (2014)

NIJ: Bridging Research and Practice Program

The National Institute of Justice’s (NIJ) Bridging Research and Practice Program (BRP) provides funding to former NIJ grantees to disseminate and share their findings with practitioner audiences. The goal of the program is to ensure that the research reaches as broad an audience as possible. (more…)

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Posted in Issue 22 (December 5), Update, Volume 33 (2014)

Steven Breckler, COSSA Chair, to Leave APA

Steven Breckler, Executive Director for Science at the American Psychological Association (APA), will leave APA at the end of the year after 10 years in the position. APA is a COSSA Governing Member and Breckler currently serves as chair of the COSSA Executive Committee. He is praised for his service to APA in the announcement of his departure released last month. Breckler’s service to COSSA as well cannot be overstated; he is a longtime member of the COSSA Board of Directors, served as chair of the Executive Committee for the last two years, and chaired the 2013 search committee for the new COSSA Executive Director, among other contributions. COSSA thanks him for his service – his leadership will be deeply missed.

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Posted in Issue 22 (December 5), Update, Volume 33 (2014)

Events Calendar

Webinar: Producing Government Data with Statistical Confidentiality Controls, American Statistical Association Privacy and Confidentiality Committee, December 17, 2014

COSSA Annual Meeting & Advocacy Day, Washington, DC, March 9-10, 2015

A list of COSSA members’ annual meetings and other events can be found on the COSSA web page.

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Posted in Issue 22 (December 5), Update, Volume 33 (2014)

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