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The use of duration models in political science continues to grow, more than a decade after Box-Steffensmeier and Jones (2004). However, several common misconceptions about the models still persist. To improve scholars’ use and interpretation of duration models, we point out that they are a type of regression model and therefore follow the same rules as other more commonly used regression models. In this article, we present four maxims as guidelines. We survey the various duration model interpretation strategies and group them into four categories, which is an important organizational exercise that does not appear elsewhere. We then discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these strategies, noting that all are correct from a technical perspective. However, some strategies make more sense than others for nontechnical reasons, which ultimately informs best practices.
Children with congenital heart disease are at high risk for malnutrition. Standardisation of feeding protocols has shown promise in decreasing some of this risk. With little standardisation between institutions’ feeding protocols and no understanding of protocol adherence, it is important to analyse the efficacy of individual aspects of the protocols.
Adherence to and deviation from a feeding protocol in high-risk congenital heart disease patients between December 2015 and March 2017 were analysed. Associations between adherence to and deviation from the protocol and clinical outcomes were also assessed. The primary outcome was change in weight-for-age z score between time intervals.
Increased adherence to and decreased deviation from individual instructions of a feeding protocol improves patients change in weight-for-age z score between birth and hospital discharge (p = 0.031). Secondary outcomes such as markers of clinical severity and nutritional delivery were not statistically different between groups with high or low adherence or deviation rates.
High-risk feeding protocol adherence and fewer deviations are associated with weight gain independent of their influence on nutritional delivery and caloric intake. Future studies assessing the efficacy of feeding protocols should include the measures of adherence and deviations that are not merely limited to caloric delivery and illness severity.
Can rebel organizations in a civil conflict use social media to garner international support? This article argues that the use of social media is a unique form of public diplomacy through which rebels project a favorable image to gain that support. It analyzes the Libyan civil war, during which rebels invested considerable resources in diplomatic efforts to gain US support. The study entails collecting original data, and finds that rebel public diplomacy via Twitter increases co-operation with the rebels when their message (1) clarifies the type of regime they intend to create and (2) emphasizes the atrocities perpetrated by the government. Providing rebels with an important tool of image projection, social media can affect dynamics in an ever more connected international arena.
Many political processes consist of a series of theoretically meaningful transitions across discrete phases that occur through time. Yet political scientists are often theoretically interested in studying not just individual transitions between phases, but also the duration that subjects spend within phases, as well as the effect of covariates on subjects’ trajectories through the process's multiple phases. We introduce the multistate survival model to political scientists, which is capable of modeling precisely this type of situation. The model is appealing because of its ability to accommodate multiple forms of causal complexity that unfold over time. In particular, we highlight three attractive features of multistate models: transition-specific baseline hazards, transition-specific covariate effects, and the ability to estimate transition probabilities. We provide two applications to illustrate these features.
Survey-based contingent valuation (CV) techniques are commonly used to value the potential effects of a policy change when market-based valuation of those effects is not possible. The results of these analyses are often intended to inform policy decisions, which are made within the context of formal policymaking institutions. These institutions are typically designed to reduce the large number of potential options for addressing any given policy problem to a binary choice between the continuation of current policy and a single, specified alternative. In this research we develop an approach for conducting CV exercises in a manner consistent with the decision structure typically faced by policymakers. The data generated from this approach allow for an estimate of willingness to pay (WTP) for a defined policy alternative, relative to leaving policy unchanged, which we argue is of direct interest to policymakers. We illustrate our approach within the context of policy governing the storage of used nuclear fuel in the United States. We value the policy option of constructing an interim storage facility relative to continuation of current policy, wherein used nuclear fuel is stored on-site at or near commercial nuclear generating plants. We close the paper with a discussion of the implications for future research and the role of CV in the policymaking process.
In this paper we illustrate the use of Ultra Soft X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy (USXAS) for the characterization of polymeric materials by highlighting three novel applications of the technique. The surface sensitivity of electron yield (3 nm) and the bulk information available from fluorescence yield USXAS (200 nm) provide unique information on the chemistry of polymer surfaces and interfaces. USXAS is sensitive to both concentration and orientation of functional groups in polymers. The systems highlighted here include the characterization of flame treated model acrylic automotive coatings, ultra-low surface energy crosslinked fluorocarbon films, and spin cast polystyrene films. The chemical and surface sensitivity of the technique are emphasized by the ability of USXAS to detect an increase in the trigonally coordinated carbon at the surface after treatment with a reducing flame. The sensitivity to functional group orientation at the surface is demonstrated by the characterization of the crosslinked flurocarbon polymer films. The results show that the pendant fluoroalkyl moieties of these polymers are strongly oriented perpendicular to the film surface. Spin coated polystyrene films were characterized as a functionv of molecular weight, film thickness and casting solvent. The pendant phenyl groups were found to be preferentially oriented towards the normal to the surface plane, independent of casting solvent, molecular weight, and film thickness
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