Publication Abstract

Maples, Jerry J., Susan A. Murphy, and William G. Axinn. 2002. “Two-Level Proportional Hazards Models.” Biometrics 58(4):754-763.

We extend the proportional hazards model to a two-level model with a random intercept term and random coefficients. The parameters in the multilevel model are estimated by a combination of EM and Newton-Raphson algorithms. Even for samples of 50 groups, this method produces estimators of the fixed effects coefficients that are approximately unbiased and normally distributed. Two different methods, observed information and profile likelihood information, will be used to estimate the standard errors. This work is motivated by the goal of understanding the determinants of contraceptive use among Nepalese women in the Chitwan Valley Family Study (Axinn, Barber, and Ghimire, 1997). We utilize a two-level hazard model to examine how education and access to education for children covary with the initiation of permanent contraceptive use.

DOI: 10.1111/j.0006-341X.2002.00754.x

Publication Abstract

Pearce, Lisa D. 2002. “Integrating Survey and Ethnographic Methods for Systematic Anomalous Case Analysis.” Sociological Methodology 32(1):103-132.

This paper describes how the salience of research findings can be enhanced by combining survey and ethnographic methods to draw insights from anomalous cases. Using examples from a research project examining the influence of religion on childbearing preferences in Nepal, the author illustrates how survey data can facilitate the selection of ethnographic informants and how semistructured interviews with these deviant cases leads to improved theory, measures, and methods. A systematic sample of 28 informants, whose family size preferences were much larger than a multivariate regression model predicted, were selected from the survey respondent pool for observation and in–depth interviews. The intent was to explore relationships between religion and fertility preferences that may not have been captured in the initial multivariate survey data analyses. Following intensive fieldwork, the author revised theories about religion’s influence, coded new measures from the existing survey data, and added these to survey models to improve statistical fit. This paper discusses the author’s research methods, data analyses, and resulting insights for subsequent research, including suggestions for other applications of systematic analyses of anomalous cases using survey and ethnographic methods in tandem.

DOI: 10.1111/1467-9531.00113

Publication Abstract

Barber, Jennifer S., Lisa D. Pearce, Indra Chaudhary, and Susan Gurung. 2002. “Voluntary Associations and Fertility Limitation.” Social Forces 80(4):1369-1401.

This article investigates the influence of participation in and exposure to voluntary associations on fertility-limiting behavior. Its theoretical framework, drawn from the sociological literature on social networks and voluntary associations, the demographic literature on program participation, and the literature on health behavior, delineates the mechanisms through which participation in voluntary associations is likely to influence permanent contraceptive use. The article draws from three data sources to empirically test the framework: individual-level survey data from couples residing in the Chitwan Valley in south-central Nepal; data on the neighborhoods of the Chitwan Valley collected using an integrated application of ethnographic, survey, and archival methods; and the authors’ own ethnographic interviews in these neighborhoods. Empirical analyses show that participation in a range of voluntary associations increases permanent contraceptive use. Furthermore, living in a neighborhood with a voluntary association increases permanent contraceptive use. Finally, participation in different types of voluntary associations — including credit groups, women’s groups, agricultural groups, and youth groups — appears to be similarly related to permanent contraceptive use.

DOI: 10.1353/sof.2002.0019

Publication Abstract

Beutel, Ann M., and William G. Axinn. 2002. “Gender, Social Change, and Educational Attainment.” Economic Development and Cultural Change 51(1):109-134.

Sociological research has focused much attention on processes of educational attainment. In part, this is because of direct benefits thought to result from education and, in part, because educational attainment is considered a key step in other processes of attainment, such as occupational attainment. Because education gives individuals opportunities to achieve status mobility, the links between ascribed dimensions of status, such as gender, race, and education, have always drawn sociologists’ attention. The spread of mass education constitutes a fundamental social transformation and a watershed in attainment processes because it opens up previously unavailable status mobility routes. Rarely, however, do we have an opportunity to examine directly the relationship between ascribed dimensions of status and educational attainment during the very beginning of the spread of mass education. In this article, we use a unique set of measures from a setting in the midst of the spread of education to examine both the impact of gender on processes of educational attainment and the ways in which community‐level social change attenuates the impact of gender on education.

DOI: 10.1086/345517