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April 2002

News for the investigators, staff and associates of the Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies

Karen Henry, editor

The Life Span Institute at the University of Kansas

1052 Dole Human Development Center

1000 Sunnyside Avenue

Lawrence, KS 66045-7555 (785) 864-4295 TDD (785) 864-5051

LSI web site:



Life Span recruits two top researchers, Michael Wehmeyer for UCDD director; Todd Little for RD&A Core director

Steve Schroeder to head Saudi disabilities research institute

John Colombo and Susan Carlson’s research impacts infant formula

Neuroscientist William Greenough discusses fragile X and brain plasticity research May 9

The National Association of Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers awards Jim Budde Lifetime Service Award

Vanderbilt University establishes the Richard E. Shores Award

USA Today cites Deborah Linebarger on children and TV

In Memoriam– Life Span Institute loses pioneering researcher Don Baer

Administration News

Project Development April update

Research Design & Analysis/Information Technology Services Workshops on Bootstrap Techniques set for Friday, May 10; Endnote 5 Site License; Norton Utilities update

Life Span Recruits top researchers for critical posts

Beach Center’s Michael Wehmeyer named new UCDD director

The University Center on Developmental Disabilities at the University of Kansas has named Michael L. Wehmeyer as its new director after a nationwide search.

Wehmeyer is associate director of the Beach Center on Disability and associate professor of special education at KU, positions he will continue to hold along with the directorship of the UCDD.

The UCDD, long known as the University Affiliated Program, conducts and disseminates research on disabilities through post-doctoral and in-service training, technical assistance and direct services.

The UCDD is one of 12 affiliated centers of KU's Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies and one of 61 such centers in the United States authorized by the U.S. Administration on Developmental Disabilities.

Wehmeyer will coordinate UCDD activities at Lawrence, Parsons and the KU Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan. In 2001 alone, the UCDD trained, served or assisted some 30,000 Kansans.

Wehmeyer is noted for his research in self-determination for people with cognitive disabilities and teaching children with severe, multiple disabilities. He currently directs seven major federally funded projects at KU.

In 1999, Wehmeyer's peers gave him the Council of Exceptional Children's Division for Research's Distinguished Early Career Research Award. In 2000, he again was recognized with the American Association on Mental Retardation Region V Research Award.

"As one of the top special education-rehabilitation researchers, he is simply the best person I can imagine for this critical role," said Steven Warren, Life Span Institute director.

Recruited by the Beach Center on Disability in 1999, Wehmeyer previously was director of the Bill Sackter Center on Self-Determination and assistant director of the Department of Research and Program Services for The Arc of the United States.

"For more than 30 years, the Kansas UCDD has set high standards in promoting and supporting self-determination, independence, consumer control and direction, and inclusion for people with developmental disabilities," Wehmeyer said. "I look forward to working with the stakeholders and leaders in developmental disabilities across Kansas to continue this tradition of excellence."

A Wichita native, Wehmeyer received his doctorate in human development and communication sciences from the University of Texas at Dallas in 1989. He holds a master's degree in experimental psychology from the University of Sussex in England and bachelor's and master's degrees in special education from the University of Tulsa.

A prolific author, he has published widely in his field and has served as guest and consulting editor for several journals. He is currently the co-editor of the American Association on Mental Retardation's Research to Practice Series, Innovations. He has co-written or edited 10 books, including "Mental Retardation in the 21st Century," as well as numerous book chapters and training materials.

Wehmeyer succeeds Stephen R. Schroeder, who retired as the director of the Life Span Institute in October and continued as the interim UCDD director.

Yale researcher Todd Little to lead RD&A Core

The Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies and the Department of Psychology at the University of Kansas have recruited Yale University research psychologist Todd D. Little.

Little will serve as the scientific director of the Research, Design, and Analysis Core Support Program of the Life Span Institute and as associate professor in the Department of Psychology.

“This is an extraordinary opportunity for the Life Span Institute and the University,” said Steven Warren, Life Span Director. “Professor Little is advancing the understanding of human development and behavior through his innovations in quantitative methodology.”

Little will provide overall scientific leadership in research design and analysis to the more than 70 researchers at the Life Span Institute in Lawrence, Kansas City, and Parsons.

Before his tenure at Yale as assistant professor of psychology and director of the Yale Agency Lab, beginning in 1998, Little was a faculty research scientist at the prestigious Center for Life Span Psychology at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin.

He received his Ph.D. in developmental psychology from the University of California, Riverside in 1988 under the directorship of noted quantitative psychologist, Professor Keith F. Widaman.

“Dr. Little is a tremendous addition to the Psychology Department both as a teacher and researcher,” said Gregory Simpson, Psychology Department chair. “As procedures for analyzing psychological data become more sophisticated, there is increased demand for scholars of Dr. Little's ability.”

Janet Marquis, who chaired the successful search committee, will continue as co-director and coordinator of the RD & A core.

Patricia Hawley, his wife and a creative researcher in her own right, will join the KU faculty as an assistant professor of psychology.

“We are thrilled that Dr. Hawley is coming to KU, as she has an outstanding teaching record and her research provides an excellent complement to the existing strengths of the department,” said Simpson.

Her research is innovative, and unique in its consideration of the evolutionary basis of children's social interaction in groups.

Hawley received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Riverside, in 1994. She held a post-doctoral fellowship at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development from 1994 to 1998, and has served as a research affiliate at Yale University and an assistant professor at Southern Connecticut State University from 1999 until the present.

The Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies finds research-based solutions for the challenges of human and community development, disabilities, and aging.

Steve Schroeder to lead disabilities research center in Saudi Arabia

Although it hasn’t seemed like Steve has retired since he officially “retired” as Life Span director last fall, who would have thought he would begin a new adventure in Saudi Arabia?

As described in the Lawrence e Journal-World article at, Steve had been approached to direct the Saudi research center two years ago and again early in 2001, but it was really September 11 that made up his mind.

"I have found in my past international activities that people with disabilities know how to get along a lot better than people without disabilities. They are the natural instrument for peaceful collaboration.”

Steve promises to send us breathless dispatches from Saudi that we will print here.

Bon voyage and go in peace!

Colombo/Carlson collaboration impacts infant formula

When Susan Carlson, KUMC nutrition professor, needed someone to interpret infant behavior, she called on infant development researcher John Colombo, psychology professor and associate dean of the Graduate School.

Carlson and Colombo’s collaboration showed how two fatty acids found in breast milk were needed for optimal development - especially for preterm infants. They believed that DHA and ARA should be included in commercial formulas.

Eventually, their research along with other studies, resulted in Enfamil LIPIL™ and Similac Advance™, infant formulas that were released earlier this year by Mead Johnson Nutritionals and Ross Products respectively.

Read more about their research on, one of the most visited health information web sites at

Neuroscientist William Greenough continues discussion of fragile X research May 9

Note: The first Colloquium featured Don Bailey, director of the Carolina Fragile X Project, who presented findings from his longitudinal study of fragile X on April 17. His PowerPoint presentation will be available to LSI researchers soon.

A major figure in discovering how the brain stores memory is the second speaker in the Kansas Colloquia on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

William Greenough, Swanlund and Center for Advanced Study Professor of Psychology, Psychiatry and Cell and Structural Biology at the University of Illinois, will continue the Colloquia’s discussion of fragile X developments at noon, Thursday, May 9, in the University of Kansas Medical Center Rieke Auditorium.

The Kansas Colloquia on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities bring scientists in the forefront of developmental disabilities research to the Lawrence and Kansas University Medical Center campuses for free public lectures and small group meetings with KU faculty and students.

Greenough brings the perspective of the neuroscientist to understanding fragile X syndrome, the most common inherited form of mental retardation, in his work on the role of FMRP. The Fragile X syndrome genetic mutation shuts down FMRP, a protein that is essential for regulating brain function.

FMRP may cause cellular changes that affect the stability of newly formed connections or synapses between nerve cells, according to Greenough. This has brought new understanding of fragile X as well as how experience may be recorded in the brain.

Greenough is an authority on the effects of experience and learning on the structure and function of the mammalian brain. His research is the basis for the current belief that memory involves the formation and modification of the synapses through which nerve cells communicate.

The Colloquia are sponsored by KU developmental disabilities researchers who represent a spectrum of the behavioral and biological sciences including the Kansas Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Center, the Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies, the Institute for Child Development, the Center for Reproductive Sciences, the Beach Center on Disability, the Juniper Gardens Children's Project, and the Kansas University Center on Developmental Disabilities.

Jim Budde honored for lifetime of service

The National Association of Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers honored Jim Budde, director emeritus of the Research and Training Center on Independent Living (RTC/IL), with its Lifetime Service Award. He was recognized for his “continuous contribution to research and training in independent living and to advancing the empowerment of people of disabilities.” Budde founded KU’s RTC/IL in 1980 and has been a leader in the disabilities community for more than 40 years.

Vanderbilt University establishes the Richard E. Shores award

Life Span Senior Scientist Dick Shores (Parsons UCDD) was recognized by Vanderbilt University for his contributions to special education by establishing the Richard E. Shores award. The award will be given annually to outstanding doctoral students who show promise in teacher preparation. Shores is credited with helping establish Vanderbilt’s outstanding special education department during his 18-year career at that institution.

USA Today cites Deborah Linebarger on children and TV

Life Span Assistant Research Professor Deborah Linebarger has become something of an authority on the effect of television on children outside of academia. USA Today called her to comment on founder Al Neurath’s column predicting a dire future for newspapers because they have “abdicated children's interest stuff to TV.”

In her response, Linebarger said, "It's not that children watch television; it's what they watch that's important. My colleagues and I have found that early viewing of educational TV is actually related to better school-readiness scores, higher early literacy scores and, when teens, more leisure-book reading."

Linebarger had recently concluded that the TV program, Between the Lions, did help children learn to read in her project, Between the Lions: A multi-media initiative that teaches children to read. Linebarger is currently investigating how captioned television could help children learn to read.

In Memoriam: Life Span Institute loses pioneering researcher Don Baer

Ed Morris, chairman of the HDFL department, has offered us his tribute to Don. Since this was written, the memorial service has been set for 1:30 Friday, May 3 (tomorrow) at the United Methodist Church in Lawrence at 946 Vermont.

Donald M. Baer

Donald M. Baer, Roy A. Roberts Distinguished Professor of Human Development and Family Life and of Psychology at the University of Kansas, died unexpectedly at his home in Lawrence, KS on Monday, April 29, 2002. Don was born in Chicago in 1931; he joined the KU faculty in 1965; he died at age 70; he was to retire this June. He is survived by his wife, Elsie Pinkston, Professor of Social Work at the University of Chicago, and three daughters from an earlier marriage to Ann Marshall – Ruth Baer of Lexington, KY, Miriam Baer of Durham, NC, and Deborah Baer of Franklin, WI.

Don was an internationally renowned member of several generations of basic, applied, and developmental psychologists. He received his A.B. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Chicago in 1950 and 1957, respectively, the latter in psychology under the supervision of Jacob L. Gewirtz. Between 1957 and 1965, he established a “behavior analysis” approach to child development with Sidney W. Bijou at the University of Washington (e.g., Bijou & Baer, 1961; see also Baer, 1970, 1976), and contributed fundamentally to the experimental analysis of child behavior (e.g., Baer, 1960; Gewirtz & Baer, 1958). On the basis of then-pioneering work by Montrose M. Wolf and Todd R. Risley, he and they jointly founded the discipline of applied behavior analysis at the University of Kansas in the late 1960s (Baer, Wolf, & Risley, 1968, 1987). Applied behavior analysis is a science-based approach to treating problems of individual and social importance (e.g., developmental disabilities, mental retardation, chronic aberrant behavior).

In all, Don wrote over two hundred articles, chapters, and books, and made even more presentations, contributing significantly (a) to the literature on experimental design and methodology (e.g., Hains & Baer, 1989; Horner & Baer, 1978; Parsonson & Baer, 1978), (b) to intervention research in early childhood education (e.g., Baer & Bushell, 1981; Baer, Rowbury, & Baer, 1973), developmental disabilities and retardation (e.g., Baer), chronic aberrant behavior (e.g., Silverman, Watanabe, Marshall, & Baer, 1984), and the generalization of these treatment outcomes (e.g., Stokes & Baer, 1977), (c) to applied research in social development (e.g., Hart, Reynolds, Baer, Brawley, & Harris, 1968), imitation (e.g., Baer & Sherman, 1964), language development (e.g., Guess, Sailor, Rutherford, & Baer, 1968), and self-regulation (e.g., Herbert & Baer, 1972), (d) to behavior-analytic and developmental theory (e.g., Baer, 1983; Riegler & Baer, 1989), and (d) to professional and disciplinary topics (e.g., Baer, 1981).

Don was the intellectual leader of the Department of Human Development and among the first significant contributors to the Bureau of Child Research, now the Schiefelbusch Lifespan Institute. Frances Degan Horowitz, now president of the City University of New York, established the Department in 1963. Under her administrative guidance, she and Don built the premier national prominent program in behavior analysis and developmental psychology (Baer, 1993). It was the recipient of 20 years of continuous NIMH Training grant funding and, in 2000, was the first academic program to receive the award of the Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis (SABA) for Enduring Programmatic Contributions to Behavior Analysis. As a Senior Scientist in the Lifespan Institute, he contributed actively and successfully in securing funded grants for research in communication, early childhood education, mental retardation, and chronic aberrant behavior.

Don advised over 150 masters and doctoral level students at the University of Kansas, many of whom are now leaders in their own fields (e.g., behavior therapy, education, public health, social work, special education). His graduate course in research design and methods -- HDFL 803: Experimental Child Study -- was taken by every student who ever earned a doctorate in the program. Its number was “retired” from the curriculum this spring. Beloved by his past and present students, Don was honored by them on April 12-14 this year with a conference and a banquet – a BaerFest – held at the University. It celebrated his contributions to behavior analysis, his teaching and mentoring, and his impending retirement in June. Over 100 colleagues traveled from across the Unites States and abroad (Brazil, Japan, New Zealand, Norway) to join in the celebration.

Under the leadership of Professor Emeritus Barbara C. Etzel, this spring the Department established a Donald M. Baer Faculty Award with the University of Kansas Endowment Association. In its own wording:

The Award shall be given to a full professor of Human Development and Family Life. The award will acknowledge outstanding contributions to the experimental analysis of behavior, applied analysis of behavior, or the conceptual analysis of behavior as they pertain to our understanding and possible improvement of any part of human development across the lifespan.

Once funded, the Award will support a half-time graduate research assistant for the recipient. The Baer family asks that any gifts given to the University in Don’s name be contributed to this award.

Don received numerous other awards in his lifetime, among them the 1996 Edgar A. Doll Award from Division 33 (Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities) of the American Psychological Association (APA) for his contributions to people with developmental disabilities, APA’s 1987 Division 25 (Behavior Analysis) Don Hake Award for research that bridges basic and applied research, and a 1997 award for Distinguished Service to Behavior Analysis from SABA. He also served as president of the Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior (1983-1984) and the Association for Behavior Analysis (1980-1981), editor of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (1970-1971), and as a reviewer of federal grants and for numerous journals. Finally, Don was widely invited give invited colloquia and was often an international distinguished professor (e.g., Australia, Brazil, Japan, New Zealand, Norway). He had planned another such trip to Poland this summer.

Don will be remembered in the Department for his wit and his intellectual brilliance, his advocacy of high standards of experimental proof, his incisive and logical analysis in conceptual issues, his deep and abiding concern for creating and disseminating effective behavioral interventions, his advocacy on the behalf of individuals with mental and developmental disabilities, and his great generosity and good will toward his students and junior colleagues. He will be deeply and sorely missed.

Administration News

Project Development

Paul Diedrich, Associate Director for Project Development

Past Submissions not Previously Reported

1. Susan Jack submitted a new one-year proposal “Southeast Kansas Community Action Program (SEK-CAP) Head Start Training Project to SEK-CAP, Inc. on April 10, 2002.

2. Sara Sack and Sheila Simmons submitted a new five-year proposal “Kansas Community-based Research Network on Assistive Technology and Independence” to DE/OSERS/NIDRR on April 15, 2002.

3. Roderick Bremby, Steven Fawcett and Vincent Francisco submitted a new one-year proposal “Sunflower Foundation Community Health Workstation: Supporting Collaborative Health Improvement in Kansas” to the Sunflower Foundation on April 15, 2002.

4. Steven Mills is submitting a new four-year proposal “Bridging the Standards and Learning Gap: Linking Individual Learning Plans to Curriculum Standards to Strengthen Instruction in the Differentiated Classroom” via prime contractor the Holton Special Education Cooperative to the Kansas Department of Education on April 26, 2002.

5. Steven Mills, Brenda Myles and Matthew Reese are submitting a new four-year proposal “Southeast Kansas Rural Autism Resource Network” via prime contractor the SEK Interlocal #637 to the Kansas Department of Education on April 26, 2002.

6. Vincent Francisco, Jerry Schultz, Stephen Fawcett and Roderick Bremby are submitting a new three-year proposal “Co-Learning for Community Health Development” to the CDC on April 30, 2002.

Upcoming Submissions

1. Steven Warren and Paul Cheney, in conjunction with Charles Greenwood, Elias Michaelis, and Kathryn Saunders, are submitting the thirty-sixth-year non-competing continuation “Kansas Mental Retardation/Developmental Disabilities Research Center” to NICHD on May 1, 2002.

2. Mabel Rice, in collaboration with Kenneth Wexler (MIT) and Jeffrey Murray (UoI) submitted their ninth-year non-competing continuation “Morphosyntactic Abilities of SLI Probands and Families” to NIDCD on May 1, 2002.

3. Judith Carta, Jane Atwater, and Jean Ann Summers are submitting a new four-year proposal “Early Head Start Research Partnership: Infant Mental Health Model” to HHS/ACF Head Start on May 3, 2002.

4. Chris Smith and David Lindeman are submitting a new four-year proposal “Continuous System Level Assessment: Evaluating Head Start Consumer Progress, Program Improvement and Staff Performance” top HHS/ACF Head Starton May 3, 2002.

5. Susan Kemper is submitting a five-year, competing continuation for her “Research Training Program in Communication and Aging” to NIA on May 10, 2002.

New Awards (not previously funded) Information

1. Judy Carta received a new one-year award “Evaluation of the Early Learning Opportunities Act Grant” from the Mid-America Regional Council that began January 1, 2002.

Research Design and Analysis and Information Technology Services

Janet Marquis, Co-Director, Research Design and Analysis and Information Technology Services

May 10 Workshops on Bootstrap Techniques in Psychological and Behavioral Science

The topic for the spring workshops is bootstrapping, which is a resampling procedure used for making statistical inferences in research studies where the usual parametric procedures may not be not applicable or may be less powerful. Common situations where bootstrapping might be used are when samples are not large enough for the commonly used inferential statistical procedures to be valid, when the data are highly skewed or do not meet other assumptions, or when the statistic being used does not have easy-to-determine sampling properties (e.g., a statistic the researcher has “invented”). In addition to a general introduction to the bootstrap and an overview of its commonly used applications, the speaker will also discuss in more detail its application to more complex analysis questions, such as analyzing data in repeated measures designs and addressing problems of multiple comparisons.

The presenter for the workshops is Tom Loughin. Dr. Loughin is an Associate Professor of Statistics at Kansas State. He's been highly recommended as a very good presenter and has experience teaching courses to graduate students in the social and behavioral sciences as well as in the statistics department.

Workshop I. Bootstrap Analysis: General Overview
Friday, May 10, 9 –11:30 Big Twelve Room, Kansas Union

Workshop II. Using the Bootstrap for Multiple Comparisons and Other Situations
Friday, May 10, 1–3:30 Big Twelve Room, Kansas Union

A nominal fee is charged for participation and registration is required. Invitations and registration forms are in the mail. You may also register on line at

Endnote 5—Site License

Several researchers have inquired about the possibility of the Life Span Institute acquiring a site license for Endnote 5. For those who are not familiar with this program, Endnote 5 is a very useful bibliographic tool. It allows the user to organize their references and create instant bibliographies. The current version allows you to locate and insert citations from a bibliographic database without leaving Wordâ, and at the same time, build your reference list for your document. It also does the formatting for references in a variety of standard styles, including 5th edition APA style.

Depending upon the level of interest, as an Institute we could either purchase a site license and place the software on the network at each site (Lawrence, Juniper Gardens, Parsons –we’ll have to check out KUMC), or we could participate in a bulk purchase for either new copies to be placed on individual machines or upgrades for existing copies. If you would be interested in participating in the purchase of a site license or in a bulk purchase, please contact Edith Bond at 785 864-5630 or or Janet Marquis at (785 864-0561 or ).

Removal of Applications Software from Dolenet

As of June 1, old applications software will be removed from Dolenet. This includes the Office97 Suite, Corel 7 Suite, Endnote 2, SPSS 7.5, and SPSS 10.0.

Reminder: Norton Utilities WinDoctor and SpeedDisk--set to run on first Monday of month.

For those of you who have recently had Gerald install Norton Utilities, WinDoctor and SpeedDisk are set up to run automatically on the first Monday of the month— that’s next Monday evening, May 6. For most of you, the program will start at 4:45 p.m. Please be sure to leave your machine on. If you have questions, please contact Gerald (785 864-0558 or

Comments and questions to:

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