Research

MAP Academy research falls within five primary themes:

Applied Psychometrics Mixed Methods Prevention Science Program Evaluation Statistics & Modeling

Applied Psychometrics

We are committed to advancing methodology related to applied psychometrics in the areas of instrument development, analysis and evaluation. Our team integrates perspectives from disciplines such as statistics, psychology, and education to build a strong foundation for improving the field of psychometrics. This foundation facilitates our ability to develop creative solutions to applied psychometric questions for researchers across a variety of academic disciplines.

Our goals in the area of applied psychometrics are to:

  1. Advance scientific knowledge of psychometric methodology
  2. Enhance the scope, quality and impact of UNL's grant-supported interdisciplinary research by investigating innovative psychometric approaches
  3. Engage in interdisciplinary collaborations providing expertise related to instrument development, evaluation and psychometric methodology
  4. Disseminate scientific findings related to innovative methods that enhance the field of psychometrics
  5. Develop and foster networks of researchers and practitioners that conduct high-quality scholarship in the field of psychometrics

Our research focus in the area of applied psychometrics includes conducting methodological and applied research studies that advance our understanding of psychometrics in the following areas:

  • Best practices in instrument development, such as item writing, general design, and administration
  • Analytic methods including classical test theory, item response theory, confirmatory factor analysis, and measurement invariance analysis
  • Innovative approaches for translating psychometric research into real-world settings

Mixed Methods

Our expertise extends to both quantitative and qualitative methodologies, and we often collaborate with interdisciplinary and mixed methods projects. As such, we’re especially interested in using mixed methods for educational research—including instrument development studies, program evaluation and intervention designs.

Our goals in mixed methods are to:

  1. Enhance the scope, quality and impact of UNL's grant-supported interdisciplinary research by investigating innovative mixed methods approaches
  2. Engage in interdisciplinary collaborations by providing expertise related to mixed methods research designs
  3. Disseminate innovative methods and approaches that enhance the field of mixed methods
  4. Develop and foster networks of researchers and practitioners that conduct high-quality scholarship in the field of mixed methods

Our research focus in the area of mixed methods includes conducting methodological and applied research studies that advance our understanding of mixed methods in the following areas:

  • Use of mixed methods in education and intervention research studies
  • Novel approaches and developments in the field of mixed methods research
  • Best practices in instrument development, such as item writing, general design, and administration
  • Interdisciplinary, mixed methods research teams

Prevention Science

We are dedicated to advancing research methods related to the prevention of social, academic, and physical and mental health problems, as well as risky behaviors. By integrating methodological perspectives from a variety of disciplines—including statistics, psychology, education, human development, and public heath—we address research questions related to prevention science. By collaborating with prevention scientists, we create foundations for continued innovation and excellence in prevention science.

Our goals in prevention science are to:

  1. Advance the scientific knowledge base related to prevention science methodology
  2. Enhance the scope, quality and impact of UNL's grant-supported interdisciplinary prevention science research
  3. Provide expertise in preventive-intervention research design, sampling, and evaluation of efficacy and effectiveness
  4. Disseminate scientific findings related to innovative methods that enhance evidence-based prevention science;
  5. Develop and foster networks of researchers and practitioners that conduct high-quality scholarship on evidence-based prevention science methodology.

Our research focus in the area of prevention science includes conducting rigorous methodological and applied research studies that advance our understanding of mechanisms related to prevention science in the following areas:

  • Statistical methodologies, including mediation, moderation, longitudinal modeling, missing data, multilevel modeling, and person-oriented models
  • Identification of modifiable risk and protective factors
  • Methods for adapting evidence-based preventive-interventions for racial/ethnic minority youth and families
  • Methods for adapting preventive interventions for real-world settings
  • Methods to translate prevention science research and promote health equity and improvements, well-being, and educational outcomes

Program Evaluation

Our research focus includes program evaluation within educational settings from preschool through early career. We are committed to translating evaluation theory to practice.

Our goals in program evaluation are to:

  1. Enhance the scope, quality and impact of UNL's grant-supported interdisciplinary research by contributing to education evaluation, research and policy
  2. Engage in interdisciplinary collaborations by providing expertise related to program evaluation and engaging community stakeholders
  3. Disseminate innovative methods and approaches that enhance the field of program evaluation

Our evaluation research focus includes conducting methodological and applied research studies that advance our understanding of education evaluation in the following areas:

  • Accountability and assessment
  • Early childhood education
  • School improvement, effectiveness and reform

Statistics & Modeling

MWE are dedicated to the development, improvement, evaluation, and novel application of quantitative methods, with the end goal of fostering methodologically sound research in the social sciences. Our combined backgrounds in statistics, quantitative methods, psychology, and education allow us to conduct research on quantitative methods that is statistically rigorous and innovative, and at the same time maximally relevant to real-world applications.

Our research goals in the area of Statistics and Modeling are to:

  • Advance the scientific knowledge base of the field of quantitative methods
  • Inform and enhance the application of quantitative methods in the social sciences
  • Foster conversations between quantitative and social science researchers to identify existing methodological shortcomings that implore future research on quantitative methods
  • Engage in interdisciplinary collaborations with the goal of facilitating methodologically sound research in the social sciences

We are currently conducting research on quantitative methods in the following areas:

  • Structural equation modeling with emphasis on latent variable measurement models for categorical data, latent variable interactions, and multilevel models for contextual factors
  • Multilevel modeling with emphasis on the analysis of complex survey data and categorical data
  • Mixture modeling with emphasis on latent class analysis
  • Experimental design with emphasis on cluster randomized controlled trials, planned missing data designs, adaptive or sequential designs, and accelerated longitudinal designs
  • Modeling of “messy” data with emphasis on small samples, missing data, non-normal data, and other data characteristics that violate model assumptions

If you are interested in collaborating with us or have any general questions or comments, please email us at MAPACADEMY@unl.edu.