Methodology Center (Penn State)
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The Methodology Center is a research center that is housed primarily within the College of Health and Human Development at the University Park campus of Penn State University. There is also significant involvement by scientists within the college of Science at Penn State, and at the University of Michigan and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Research conducted at the Center focuses on methodological issues that arise in the social, behavioral and health sciences research, including issues in research design, data analysis, measurement, latent variable models, and cost-effectiveness.
The Center has been in existence since 1989. Previous directors were Dr. John Nesselroade (now at University of Virginia) and Dr. Alexander von Eye (now at Michigan State University). Dr. Linda M. Collins has been Director since 1994.
The Methodology Center is an interdisciplinary center that comprises faculty, research associates, post-docs, and students from several academic disciplines, including human development, psychology, statistics, and public health. Their work is funded by the National Institutes of Health and by the National Science Foundation.
In collaboration with prevention and treatment scientists, they conduct cutting-edge methodological research focusing on: (1) identifying issues in statistics, research design, and measurement emerging in the prevention and treatment of problem behaviors, particularly drug abuse; (2) conducting original research on these issues; (3) applying the new methods they develop in empirical research; and (4) disseminating new methods to prevention and treatment scientists.
Scientists and Trainees
The Center is an interdisciplinary environment. Scientists have backgrounds in Economics, Education, Engineering, Health Policy, Human Development, Sociology, Statistics, Pharmacy, Psychology, and Public Health.
Scientists and trainees in The Methodology Center are affiliated with Penn State, the University of Michigan, or the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Two scientists who were formerly at Penn State have remained closely involved in The Methodology Center. They are (1) Susan A. Murphy, H. E. Professor of Statistics and Research Professor, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, and (2) E. Michael Foster, Professor of Maternal and Child Health, Health Policy and Administration, and Biostatistics at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Each is one of the Principal Investigators of our P50 Center Grant, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. All of the scientists and trainees in The Methodology Center are listed here.
Research at The Methodology Center is funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health (primarily the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute on Mental Health) and the National Science Foundation. The Center also receives yearly support from the College of Health and Human Development at Penn State. 
All software developed and distributed by The Methodology Center is freely available on their web site. Currently available software includes PROC LCA & PROC LTA, SAS procedures for latent class and latent transition analysis, and NORM, a free-standing Windows application for conducting multiple imputation of missing data. They also have developed a Web applet for conducting sample size calculations for SMART trials.
- ^ What is the Methodology Center?
- ^ Our Mission
- ^ Who are the scientists and trainees in The Methodology Center?
- ^ How is the Methodology Center funded?