Theory Boot Camp:
A Post Conference Workshop
Facilitated by Sherry Hamby & Vicki Banyard
Statistics camps have long been popular, but advanced help for developing theories and applying conceptual frameworks has been lacking. Theory Boot Camp will provide concrete information and assistance to researchers, program evaluators, and others who want to conduct stronger science and improve their scientific writing.
This is our first Theory Boot Camp and we are offering a deeply discounted rate ($60) for this post-conference session, which is only open to ResilienceCon 2017 attendees. If you have registered for ResilienceCon 2017 and have not received the link for Theory Boot Camp registration, please email Alli Smith, Conference Administrator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Theory Boot Camp will cover highlights of the following topics:
1) The difference between direct and indirect mechanisms, and the difference between conceptual mechanisms and direct and indirect statistical effects (sadly, largely unrelated despite the similar terminology).
2) The difference between a mechanism and a risk or protective factor.
3) The difference between additive, buffering, and inoculation models of resilience, both in conceptual and statistical terms.
4) The difference between theoretical mediation (where something really should be in the causal chain) and moderation. Also, how to avoid the pitfalls of creating statistical models that do not map onto conceptual mechanisms (because statistics programs will allow you to arrange your models in almost any configuration, regardless of whether it makes theoretical sense or not.
5) The importance of clear definitions of each construct, illustrated by examples of the benefits of good definitions and the problems of bad ones.
6) The difficulty between identifying a theoretical framework and firmly linking the theoretical framework to the variables and statistical analyses in the study. Ideally, the theoretical framework should lead to the variables, measures and analyses. General references to “social learning theory” are often not particularly helpful guides as to what should (or should not) be studied. Although theoretical frameworks need not be restrictive, they should be informative.
7) The essential conceptual elements of a study on resilience and how to approach selecting measures to map onto these elements, using the Resilience Portfolio Model as a guide.
Future plans: A more intensive, 5-day Theory Boot Camp will be held in the Fall of 2017.
The 5-day camp will delve further into the above topics, and address the following:
a) The history of theoretical ideas in resilience, violence, and related areas. A guide will be provided to the appropriate citations for the major theoretical influences of the last 50 years (so you don’t find yourself getting scolded by a reviewer for citing the wrong person as the originator of a conceptual framework).
b) Ways to build on the existing state of knowledge and advance the field, and avoid the pitfalls of reinventing the wheel.
c) Provide an intensive opportunity to work on your own project, whether it be a dissertation, grant proposal, or manuscript, and develop the theoretical component. There will be 1:1 sessions with Drs. Hamby and Banyard and group activities (using many of the exercises and techniques from ResilienceCon) that will help all participants take their work to the next level. We hope that all participants will leave with beautiful, theoretically informed pieces of their very own.
Theory Boot Camp Facilitators:
Sherry Hamby, Ph.D., is Director of the Life Paths Appalachian Research Center (LPARC), Founder and Co-Chair of ResilienceCon, Research Professor of Psychology at the University of the South, and founding editor of the APA journal Psychology of Violence. A licensed clinical psychologist, Dr. Hamby has worked for more than 20 years on the problem of violence, including front-line crisis intervention and treatment, involvement in grassroots organizations, and research leading to the publication of more than 150 articles and books. Her theoretical work includes the co-development of the Resilience Portfolio Model and the concept of poly-strengths, the most comprehensive conceptual framework for poly-victimization, outlined in the book The Web of Violence: Exploring Connections Among Different Forms of Interpersonal Violence and Abuse (with John Grych, Springer, 2013), and a strengths-based framework for domestic violence safety planning (Oxford University Press, 2014). She has been invited to speak on better use of theory in violence research by the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Justice, and other organizations. She has extensive experience reviewing grant proposals for more than half a dozen U.S. and international scientific agencies, and has received funding from numerous Federal agencies and private foundations. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including the lifetime achievement award from the National Register of Health Service Psychologists.
Vicki Banyard, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of New Hampshire where she conducts research on prevention of and response to interpersonal violence. She is also Co-Chair of ResilienceCon. She has published over 80 articles and chapters on topics including bystander action to prevent violence and resilience after adversity. In addition to being an investigator on numerous federal violence prevention evaluation grants, she has written a number of conceptual and theoretical works including “Who will help prevent sexual violence: Creating an ecological model of bystander intervention” and co-developing the Resilience Portfolio Model. Dr. Banyard is the author of a revised theory of bystander prevention presented in her book Toward the next generation of bystander prevention of sexual and relationship violence: Action coils to engage communities (Springer, 2015). She was formerly Associate Editor Child Abuse and Neglect, serves on the editorial board of Psychology of Violence and has extensive experience reviewing for other journals and grant review panels.