DATE OF LAST UPDATE: 1/22/08

CJ 8305/605

ADVANCED CRIMINAL JUSTICE STATISTICS:

MULTILEVEL MODELS IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE & CRIMINOLOGY
SPRING 2008
SYLLABUS

R. B. Taylor

Main Course Page: http://www.rbtaylor.net/605_sp08_main.htm

Instructor Home Page: http://www.rbtaylor.net

All users : See LEGAL link below.  Your use of these pages explicitly implies you have read and understood the legal conditions stipulated.

 

SEQUENCE   |   ASSIGNMENTS   |   HANDOUTS    |   MEMOS   |   DATA   |   LEGAL   |   OTHER   |   WHOSWHO

POSTER SESSION

KEY LINKS FOR THIS COURSE

 

 

Class Bulletin Board

2/26/08 - to get to Excel file for calculating R squared in HLM go to:

www.rbtaylor.net/rsquared_in_hlm.xls

2/19/08 Questions for readings cleaned up

2/10/08 - assignment page cleaned up; see Bboard for additional data files

1/26/08 Program and data files added to bboard

Important information will be posted here

Basics

Instructor R. B. Taylor (GH 536-7)
Time and Place TUESDAY 3:00 - 5:30 (+/-)
Office Hours Thursday 3:00- 5:00 and by appt. as needed
Contact
 
TEL: 215.204.7169 (v). You also can ring 1-7918 and ask Ms. Salerno if we need to chat and the phone is not being picked up.
EMAIL: tuclasses@fastmail.fm
The syllabi polizei require I include my Temple email on the syllabus. Here it is:
ralph.taylor@temple.edu but Please do not use it.

Policies

This section includes various policies that apply to this course. It does not include all of my teaching and grading policies. Therefore, you may encounter policies during the semester that are not included here, although I have tried to include as many of them as possible.

Disability statement
This course is open to all students who meet the academic requirements for participation. Any student who has a need for accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the instructor privately as soon as possible. Contact Disability Resources and Services at 215.204.1280 in 100 Ritter Annex to coordinate reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities. You may require special services if you are sight or hearing impaired, or if you wish to register for gaining extra time for taking exams or completing assignments.

 Statement on Student and Faculty Academic Rights and Responsibilities and Academic Freedom.
"
Freedom to teach and freedom to learn are inescapable facets of academic freedom. Temple University has adopted a policy on student and faculty academic rights and responsibilities." Temple University students who believe that instructors are introducing extraneous material into class discussions or that their grades are being affected by their opinions or views that are unrelated to a course’s subject matter can file a complaint under the University’s policy on academic rights and responsibilities.  The full policy can be found at:

http://policies.temple.edu/getdoc.asp?policy_no=03.70.02

The policy encourages students to first discuss their concerns with their instructor.  If a student is uncomfortable doing so, or if discussions with the instructor do not resolve the student’s concerns, an informal complaint can be made to the Student Ombudsperson for the student’s school or college.  Unresolved complaints may be referred to the dean for handling in accordance with the school or college’s established grievance procedure. Final appeals will be determined by the Provost.

Snow Cancellation
Yes, winter is here. This is a day class and the emergency closing number is 101. If there IS a closing I will post an announcement on Blackboard (if it's working) and on the main course page. If there is no closing, assume that I am doing my best to get here.

Religious Holidays
"If you will be observing any religious holidays this semester which will prevent you from attending a regularly scheduled class or interfere with fulfilling any course requirement, your instructor will offer you an opportunity to make up the class or course requirement if you make arrangement by informing your instructor of the dates of your religious holidays within two weeks of the beginning of the semester, or three days before the holidays if the occur in the first two weeks of class."

Policy on Cell Phones, pagers, PDAs, iPods, laptops, Newspapers
1. Turn off cell phones, PDAs, pagers, and iPods before you come to class

2. If by chance you forget to turn it off, and your phone or pager rings, I expect you to turn it off immediately.

Email
You would do well to start thinking about how to send email in a professional manner. You can get a book about this called: “Send: The Essential Guide to Email for Office and Home.” To learn more about this book CLICK HERE.

For this course you may expect that I will reply to any email from you within five business days. I may reply sooner, but there is no guarantee. If there is something we need to address speedily, it may be faster to chat with me about it at the next class meeting or call me at home.

Special Services
Students who may require special services should notify the instructor at the earliest opportunity, and I will put you into contact with the Office of Disability Resources and Services at Temple (http://www.temple.edu/disability -  215.204.1280). You may require special services if you are sight or hearing impaired, or if you wish to register for gaining extra time for taking exams.


The Focus

Statistical
Hierarchical Linear Models (HLM) or Multilevel models (MLM) represent a significant advance in social scientists' ability to understand how outcomes are affected by context, how individual and contextual factors interact, how outcomes change over time, and how to summarize results from a series of studies. We will be concentrating in this course largely on the first two uses of HLM. We will get to the other two uses of HLM - to investigate changes over time, and to summarize studies -- if and as time permits. I am optimistic. These models address a range of theoretical and methodological issues relevant to criminal justice, sociology, psychology, urban studies, education, and political science. The issues include multilevel analysis, aggregation issues, contextual analysis, and clustered samples. In simple, whenever the individual units of study (e.g., students) are nested within a higher level unit (e.g., schools), HLM is an appropriate, and some would argue the most appropriate form of analysis.

HLM refers both to an analytical technique, and a specific software program. There are other multilevel software programs available, like MLWin. In this course we are using HLM.

There are questions about whether MLMs are just a "fad" right now in criminal justice and criminology research. I don't think so, for the following reason. First, many problems in research and evaluation in criminal justice are most amenable to, and only amenable to, a multilevel approach. Offender or delinquency careers represent cases in point. In addition, the interaction between the lower level unit and the higher level unit (e.g., the officer and the police department) is fundamental to numerous theoretical and policy concerns, and MLMs provide a systematic way to approach these.

Here are some examples of "units nested within larger units" in criminal justice evaluation or research:
Level 1 units Level 2 units
Residents Different Neighborhoods
Police Officers Different Precincts
Police Precincts Different Police Departments
Cases Sentenced Different Judges
Prisoners Different Prisons
Sentenced Drug Offenders Different Drug Courts
Juveniles Different Treatment Programs
Decades Neighborhoods
Offenses by year Offenders

You will note with the last two examples time is nested. This is a repeated observation setup. You will be learning how observations can be nested within the same individual, or the same unit. This means that MLMs can analyze much of the same data analyzed by repeated measures ANOVA, or even time series, and in some cases, depending on the circumstances, do a better job of it. MLMs have become a powerful analytic tool for life course criminology, and there is an avid ongoing debate about trajectories vs. latent growth curve modeling.

At the same time, I do NOT think MLMs are going to "solve" all or nearly all of our analytic problems. That would be asking too much. In fact I think many may become disenchanted with MLMs because the answers they provide may not be to our liking. We have many theory and policy ideas around the interaction between person and context. But MLMs may often find that these interactions are nonexistent or trivial in the pragmatic sense.  Alternatively, I think MLMs can help "push" us in our theorizing, moving us to think in more detailed ways about processes. For a great example see: Wilcox, P., K.C. Land, and S.A. Hunt. 2003. Criminal circumstance: A Dynamic multicontextual criminal opportunity theory. New York: Aldine deGruyter.

In the long run, my guess is that MLMs will become like SEMs and other general purpose but also somewhat specialized multivariate techniques: very useful in a wide range of situations, but also easily mis-applied

In this class we use  examples from criminal justice and many other disciplines. There are a lot of examples here from neighborhood research, and also on neighborhoods, health, and well being. But there are also examples from social dynamics, court processing, and juvenile justice.

Goals and activities

The goals of this course revolve around different sets of activities. These activities break into two clusters.

CLUSTER 1

The first is concerned with general, doctoral student skills: completing secondary analysis, collaborating, and writing research papers. You will be asked, in the beginning of this course, to work with the an extract of the 2006 Philadelphia Health Management Corporation Southeastern Pennsylvania Adult Health Survey. PHMC does this survey every two years. I will ask you to concentrate on either social or health related outcomes and on Philadelphia respondents. We will group households into neighborhoods, and look at individual and neighborhood effects.

The plan as of this writing is that neighborhood crime counts or rates for a period preceding the surveys will become available to you, provided you are willing to agree to certain key conditions. Thus you will be able to explore -- hopefully -- the effects of crime rates on a range of health and psychosocial outcomes.

You will check these files, and learn about them. These are exactly the steps you take whenever you begin a secondary data analysis project.

In order to write your research paper,  you will be learning some about research in this area. I will provide you with some starter references in this area. For you to complete your papers you will need to do additional research on your own and find additional references to be incorporated into your work. The references provided are just starters. If you do not know how to conduct Social Science Citation Index Analyses to "grow" your reference list, then let me know, and we will schedule a session for folks.

Collaborating with colleagues is another social science skill. It is important to work on it in graduate school. Given the importance of this skill, and given the size of this class, teams of at least two will be randomly formed. Your team will select a topic area. I expect that each member of the team will complete all of the analyses on their own, and that each member will write at least some of the results section. Further, each member will of the team will edit and revise the sections written by the other member.

Jointly you can:
* plan which analyses to run
* divide up the literature searching
* divide up the writing tasks

I will be asking when each final paper is submitted for a detailed record of who contributed what, and we will talk about how to keep track of this.

You will be completing portions of the research paper as the semester progresses, and, in a poster session at the end of the semester, you will be presenting your results at an "in house" event.

Note. If you wish to work on another data set other than the 2006 PHMC that is an option. We can talk about that. I am open. 2006 PHMC is provided for those students who do not currently have in hand a data set easily amenable to MLMs.

CLUSTER 2

The second cluster is specific to course content: carrying out and interpreting contextual regressions; understanding the fundamentals of HLM; and carrying out and interpreting HLMs.  In addition, we will be reading a small number of articles using HLM, so that you become familiar with interpreting HLM tabular output.

We will be having some lab time. Not sure at this time exactly how much. There is a student version of HLM you can acquire. Encourage you to do so because then you can do some simple things at home. Details on the student version limits appear below. It is going to be extremely important for you to practice with the HLM program on your own. It also is important for you to keep me posted on how you are doing with the program.

To help you make progress with the mechanics, there will be a series of weekly assignments early in the semester. I strongly encourage you to complete these assignments, write them up as directed, and bring your write ups to class. We will review the results from these in class. I will not ask you to hand these in nor will I grade them. But if you do not do these assignments you do so at your own risk.

Topical
As mentioned above, many of the readings address neighborhood effects, issues of health and well being and social dynamics. What will be of interest will be net effects of crime on these outcomes. I also sought to include HLM readings from a range of topics:reactions to crime, collective efficacy, juvenile justice processing, court sentencing, and life course criminology.


Assumptions

I assume you understand the basics of OLS multiple regression AND RUNNING SPSS, including:

variance
covariance
correlation
scatterplots
R squared
adjusted R squared
F test of R squared
b weights
standard errors of b weights
beta weights
t tests of b weights
constant
residuals
predicted scores
residual diagnostics
tests for linear vs. curvilinear impacts
coefficient of alienation
SAVING DATA FILES
WORKING IN SYNTAX BOXES
BASIC DATA PROCESSING STATEMENTS - computing new variables, transforming variables, and the like.

In addition, I assume you know your way around SPSS for Windows. This includes being able to write syntax boxes, and save them, and diagnose what is happening with them.

If any of the above terms is unfamiliar to you, you have some remedial work to do!.


Readings and books

You will be reading books, articles, and handouts. The  required and "sort of" required books have been ordered. Of course, although I officially recommend the College Bookstore for all your collegiate purchases, you also may find you can save money either through Amazon.com or through ssicentral.com's bookstore.

In addition to the books indicated below, there are handout note files prepared by the instructor (see handouts link), and additional works completed in the area. 

You also will be reading many articles in your interest area.

Required
Stephen Raudenbush, Anthony Bryk, Yuk Fai Cheong, Richard Congdon, and Mathilda duToit  (2004). HLM 6: Hierarchical Linear and Nonlinear Modeling . Chicago: SSI Scientific Software International. This is the program manual.
Be sure you get version 6

Sort of Required
 Stephen W. Raudenbush, Anthony S. Bryk  (2002). Hierarchical Linear Models : Applications and Data Analysis Methods. SECOND EDITION Thousand Oaks: Sage.
This book costs a lot but it is a crucial reference. It is close to $100. Feel free to look for used copies. [This is in the category "sort of" required because of the cost. Many students when they are done with this course have concluded that this book was impenetrable, not that helpful, and extremely expensive. Although it is the "standard" reference, you may not wish to buy this unless you are certain that you will be doing a lot of multilevel modeling in the future.]

Perhaps Helpful (recommended)

This first book says it provides a basic overview. The running example is from political science. I am not sure yet what I think about this book. In the first few pages I have found stuff that is potentially confusing. But try it -- it is cheap at least -- and see if it works for you:

Luke, Douglas A. (2004). Multilevel modeling. (Series: Quantitative Applications in the Social Sciences #143). Thousand Oaks: Sage.

These next two are recommended in that they provide additional detail; they are not necessarily oriented to those who are looking for more basic help. Kreft and DeLeeuw is a lot easier to penetrate than Snijders.

Ita G. G. Kreft, Jan De Leeuw (1998). Introducing Multilevel Modeling (Introducing Statistical Methods) Thousand Oaks: Sage. [Chapter 2 is a nice review of contextual models. There are some nice graphical examples of varying slopes.] The text uses a different program than we are using, so the programming examples are not that helpful.

Tom A. B. Snijders and Roel J. Bosker (1999). Multilevel analysis: An Introduction to basic and advanced multilevel modeling Thousand Oaks: Sage. [More "advanced" [confusing?] than the above book. Good discussion of sampling issues, however. Uses Greek alphabet differently than HLM program does.]  This book, however, has some stuff you cannot find anywhere else.

J. J. Hox (1995) Applied Multilevel Analysis. This is on your cd: hlm_applied_hox.pdf. This is over a hundred pages.  I like the discussion about connecting across levels.  There is some useful, basic material here. Again, you will need to be careful because his Greek differs from the other Greek you will see in other places. Please do not print this all out - just print out pages as you need them.

Articles and Files

Articles. We are going to be reading a good number of articles and handouts.

Some of these will just be examples of MLM uses. Others will address specific conceptual issues. I am going to try and put most of these on a CD, although some may appear later on Blackboard.
Handouts.  The handouts are a series of HLM lecture notes you get directly off the website. 

Other

MLM is growing like topsy. Luke (2004) recommends a couple of websites as being among the best. These include

The folks at University of Bristol (UK) maintain the following:

  http://www.mlwin.com/  [This used do be: http://multilevel.ioe.ac.uk/]

The folks at UCLA, of whom deLeeuw is one, maintain:

http://statcomp.ats.ucla.edu/mlm/

These may or may not prove helpful.


Class Structure

You will complete the assigned readings on a weekly basis and come to class prepared. To help you prepare there are questions to go along with the article readings. You want to write answers to some of those questions after you have read the articles. If it turns out that discussion in class is lagging because a significant number of students are not doing the readings, and not answering the questions beforehand, I will revise the class grading structure to reduce the weight of both exams somewhat, and add a required number of written answers.  You should expect that I will call on you in class to read answers you have written to questions.

Early in the semester there are a number of specific assignments. The purpose of these is to get you used to doing certain operations and interpreting results. In other words, the goal is to speed up the learning curve. These are not graded, nor will but I will ask you to turn them in. But you should do them, and bring them to class, and then compare how/what you did to how/what others did.  Later in the semester some assignments ask you to turn in  draft portions of your final paper. You will be required to turn these in, and I will be clear about what is due when. The ones you turn in will not be graded, but you need to turn them in on time so I can give you feedback.  Each of these later assignments will build toward a broader, final paper. These papers will, hopefully, represent building blocks that can later be put together to form a paper of potentially publishable quality. In class I will tell you why it is important to produce something like this.

The weekly readings provide the needed conceptual background for carrying out the work assigned, and for understanding how MLMs are advancing scholarship in criminal justice and criminology. Thus it is important that you keep up with the readings. They provide not only examples that help us decode MLMs, they also provide very interesting background for the conceptual work.

You will notify me beforehand if it is absolutely essential for you to miss a class. Given the amount of ground we must cover, a missed class may create a significant burden for your learning curve. If you do miss a class it is completely your responsibility to get all handouts, assignments, and so on, that were distributed.

There is a public research poster session at the end of the semester. You will prepare a poster and learn how to "present" a poster at a research session. Yes, this is another skill.


Grades

Your grade at the end of the semester will be based on the following:

30% Final paper. It is intended that this be of close-to-submittable quality 
30%  Final examination. This will focus on the identification of an appropriate tool to use in a particular situation; and on interpreting results presented in tables
10% CREDIT for turning in written assignments, related to the paper project, on time. These build to the final paper. IF you make a credible attempt to complete the assignment, and turn it in on time, you get full credit.
20% Short, in-class, mid-term examination
10% Poster session presentation

Grading Policies

1. Assignments are due on the date indicated. If you cannot get your paper in to me at class time, please send me an email explaining why, and let's be sure to have a follow-up chat. The assignments that I do ask you to hand in must not only be credible but also handed in ON TIME in order for you to get full credit. Same applies to the final paper.

2.  If I encounter solid evidence of academic misconduct I reserve the right to fail you on the assignment in question, and/or to assign you a failing grade for the course. I will try to state as clearly as I can the ways in which it is acceptable for you to cooperate with one another and network, and the ways in which it is not acceptable.

3. You do have a right to submit assignments for regrading. (The midterm, final, and paper.) You should state in writing the reason you think you deserve a higher grade, attach that to the original completed assignment, and return it to me. Your grade may go up, go down, or stay the same. I may consult with other faculty members as I deem fit.

Avoiding Academic Misconduct

CLICK HERE to see College Policy circa 1983 - I think this gives you the most detail. STRONGLY RECOMMENDED.

We will discuss in class the nature of academic misconduct, including plagiarism. You are responsible for understanding the different varieties of academic misconduct, and for understanding the Graduate School's policies as described below. If I encounter solid evidence of academic misconduct I will discuss the matter with you, and then deliver the consequence I deem appropriate. Possible consequences include: failure on the assignment in question (i.e., a 0); assigning a failing grade for the course; or attempting to have you expelled from Temple University. Should you wish to contest a decision I make on academic misconduct, I will inform you of the procedures to follow. The department and the college have fully specified grievance procedures for graduate students. 

The following materials are from the University's Graduate Bulletin statements on academic honesty of about six years ago  [http://isc.temple.edu/grad/Bulletin/Default.htm] Even though I can no longer find this in the current Graduate School Bulletin, it still applies.


Academic Honesty

Temple University believes strongly in academic honesty and integrity; therefore, any kind of academic dishonesty is prohibited. Essential to intellectual growth is the development of independent thought and of a respect for the thoughts of others. The prohibition against academic dishonesty is intended to foster this independence and respect. Primarily, the two types of academic dishonesty include the following: Plagiarism and Academic Cheating.

Plagiarism is the unacknowledged use of another person’s labor, ideas, words, or assistance. Normally, all work done for courses — papers, examinations, homework exercises, laboratory reports, oral presentations — is expected to be the individual effort of the student presenting the work. There are many forms of plagiarism: repeating another person’s sentence as your own, adopting a particularly apt phrase as your own, paraphrasing someone else’s argument as your own, or even presenting someone else’s line of thinking in the development of a thesis as though it were your own. All these forms of plagiarism are prohibited both by the traditional principles of academic honesty and by the regulations of Temple University. Our education and our research encourage us to explore and use the ideas of others, and as writers we will frequently want to use the ideas and even the words of others. It is perfectly acceptable to do so; but we must never submit someone else’s work as if it were our own, rather we must give appropriate credit to the originator.

Academic Cheating is, generally, the thwarting or breaking of the general rules of academic work or the specific rules of the individual courses. Some examples include: falsifying data; submitting, without the instructor’s approval, work in one course that was done for another; helping others to plagiarize; or cheating from one’s own or another’s work; or actually doing the work of another person.

The penalty for academic dishonesty can vary from a reprimand and receiving a failing grade for a particular assignment, to a failing grade in a course, suspension, or expulsion from the University. The penalty varies with the nature of the offense, the individual instructor, the department, and the school or college.

For more information about what constitutes Academic Dishonesty or about disciplinary and/or academic grievance procedures refer to the University’s Statement on Academic Honesty and the Student Code of Conduct or contact the Student Assistance Center, 215-204-8531.


Load

This course ends up being somewhat more demanding than some other graduate courses for some students. In short, for some of you, this may "feel" like a four credit or a six credit graduate course. Try to plan your weeks (and weekends) accordingly.


Software

For HLM we will use a specific program, put out by Scientific Software International. The main web page for SSI is SSICENTRAL.COM. This is a useful website, because you can look at the examples, and get help interpreting HLM output. I STRONGLY ENCOURAGE YOU TO GO THROUGH ALL THESE EXAMPLES ONCE WE ACTUALLY START WORKING ON HLM. Here is the link:

http://www.ssicentral.com/hlm/examples.html

The College has bought a site license for this program. This means that you need to do your work on College computers if you want to have access to the FULL version of the program. College labs are available in Gladfelter 513, basement Anderson, and 3rd Floor Gladfelter, 8th Floor Gladfelter. I do not know at this time whether the program also is available on other computers, like at the Tech Center.

There is, however, a STUDENT version of the file. See the SSCICENTRAL website for more details. I will be putting a version of the student program on your CD. If you want to go to SSICENTRAL in the meantime and download it yourself, you can do that too.

There are, however, a number of restrictions with the student model. Most importantly, you can not run very complex models Below are quotes from a paper I can no longer find that described the limitations of the student edition.



I know that getting to a place where you can run this program is going to be a hassle for many of you. I also know the program itself is prohibitively expensive for many of you. If you do end up coming to campus to run programs please  be aware that security in this building is not good during the evenings, and especially during the weekends. Please be cautious.