Publications

2017
Diane L. Moore and Eric M. Stephen. 7/2017. “From Smith to Hobby Lobby: The Transformation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.” In Law, Religion and Health in the United States. Harvard Law School.
2016
Eric M. Stephen. 2016. “Proselytism and the Paradox of Tolerance: A Comparative Analysis of StateApproaches to Proselytism and Related Religious Speech.” In Stendahl Symposium. Harvard Divinity School. Publisher's Version
Arielle S. Selya, Eden Engel-Rebitzer, Lisa Dierker, Eric M. Stephen, Jennifer Rose, Donna L. Coffman, and Mindy Otis. 2016. “The Causal Effect of Student Mobility on Standardized Test Performance: A Case Study with Possible Implications for Accountability Mandates within the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.” Frontiers in Psychology, 7, Pp. 1-10. Publisher's VersionAbstract

This paper presents a limited case study examining the causal inference of student mobility on standardized test performance, within one middle-class high school in suburban Connecticut. Administrative data were used from a district public high school enrolling 319 10th graders in 2010. Propensity score methods were used to estimate the causal effect of student mobility on Math, Science, Reading, and Writing portions of the Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT), after matching mobile vs. stable students on gender, race/ethnicity, eligibility for free/reduced lunches, and special education status. Analyses showed that mobility was associated with lower performance in the CAPT Writing exam. Follow-up analyses revealed that this trend was only significant among those who were ineligible for free/reduced lunches, but not among eligible students. Additionally, mobile students who were ineligible for free/reduced lunches had lower performance in the CAPT Science exam according to some analyses. Large numbers of students transferring into a school district may adversely affect standardized test performance. This is especially relevant for policies that affect student mobility in schools, given the accountability measures in the No Child Left Behind that are currently being re-considered in the recent Every Student Succeeds Act.

fpsyg-07-01096.pdf
2015
Justine B. Quijada, Kathryn E. Graber, and Eric M. Stephen. 2015. “Finding “Their Own”: Revitalizing Buryat Culture Through Shamanic Practices in Ulan-Ude.” Problems of Post-Communism, 62, 5, Pp. 258-272.Abstract

The shamans working at the Tengeri Shamans’ Organization in Ulan-Ude, Republic of Buryatia, claim that their work is devoted to reviving “traditional” Buryat culture, despite local criticism of the “nontraditional” institutional nature of their practices. Ethnographic and survey data collected in 2012 confirm that this is in fact the case for the urban Buryats who are drawn to the organization. Shamanic healing at Tengeri requires patients to learn family genealogies and revive clan rituals, and it offers both practical opportunities and encouragement for the use of the Buryat language, thereby providing a locus for cultural revitalization.

buryatia.pdf
Justine B. Quijada and Eric M. Stephen. 2015. “Performing “Culture”: Diverse Audiences at the International Shaman’s Conference and Tailgan on Ol’khon Island.” Études Mongoles et Sibériennes, Centrasiatiques et Tibétaines, 46, Pp. 1-18. emscat.compressed.pdf
2014
Eric M. Stephen, Jennifer S. Rose, Lindsay Kenney, Francine Roselli-Navarra, and Ruth Striegel Weissman. 2014. “Prevalence and Correlates of Unhealthy Weight Control Behaviors: Findings from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health.” Journal of Eating Disorders, 2, 16, Pp. 1-9.Abstract

Background

A recent study examined the prevalence, clinical correlates, age trends, and stability of unhealthy weight control behaviors (UWCB; purging and diet pill use) in a nationally representative sample of Norwegian boys and girls. The purpose of this study was to provide similar, comparative analyses for a nationally representative sample of American youth.

Methods

Data were extracted from the restricted use data files of survey Waves I, II, and III of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), selecting all participants who at Wave I had provided information on age, sex, and UWCB. Using UWCB information, three groups were created (purging, diet pill use, and no recent UWCB “controls”) and compared on indicators of adverse health or mental health.

Results

Girls consistently were more likely than boys to report UWCB. UWCB were significantly associated with higher body mass index, self-perception of being overweight, low self-esteem, depression, and delinquency. Prevalence estimates for purging remained relatively constant across the three survey waves; in contrast, diet pill use was especially common at Wave III.

Conclusions

Age trends, gender differences, and clinical correlates of change in the likelihood of UWCB between Waves I-III were all identified in analyses comparing purging and diet pill use in American adolescents. Females and older adolescents were specifically more likely to engage in pill use than purging, and individuals with increased weight dissatisfaction, a history of delinquent behaviors, more depression symptoms, or lower self-esteem were more likely to engage in an unhealthy weight control behavior over time. While the Norwegian study found that prevalence of purging was lower among young adult participants, our results suggested that there were no significant differences in prevalence between age groups.

jed_prevalence.pdf
Eric M. Stephen, Jennifer Rose, Lindsey Kenney, Francine Roselli-Navarra, and Ruth Striegel Weissman. 2014. “Adolescent risk factors for purging in youngwomen: findings from the national longitudinalstudy of adolescent health.” Journal of Eating Disorders, 2, 1, Pp. 1-9.Abstract

Background

There exists a dearth of prospective adolescent eating disorder studies with samples that are large enough to detect small or medium sized effects for risk factors, that are generalizable to the broader population, and that follow adolescents long enough to fully capture the period of development when the risk of eating disorder symptoms occurring is highest. As a result, the purpose of this study was to examine psychosocial risk factors for purging for weight control in a nationally representative sample of adolescents. Data were extracted from the restricted-use data sets of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Waves I-III), selecting females with valid demographic and purging information (N = 5,670).

Results

The prevalence of purging was 0.88% at Wave II and 0.56% at Wave III. In multivariable multinomial logistic regressions, purging at Wave II was predicted by parental poverty and low levels of self-esteem at Wave I; purging at Wave III was predicted by body mass index and the frequency of delinquent behaviors at Wave I.

Conclusions

Individuals with high body mass index, individuals with low self-esteem, and individuals in families experiencing economic hardship appear specifically at risk for the development of purging behaviors in later years and may benefit from more targeted prevention efforts.

jed_risk.pdf
Eric Stephen. 2014. “Shamanic Rituals and Religio-Cultural Revival: An Empirical Analysis of Demographic and Cultural Differences among Attendees at Shamanic Ceremonies in Buryatia, Russia.” In Association for the Study of Nationalities. Columbia University.Abstract

During the summer of 2012, anthropologist of religion Justine Quijada and colleagues collected ethnographic and survey data at five shamanic ceremonies led by a religious organization in Buryatia named Tengeri. The goal of this interdisciplinary research was to examine—through both quantitative and qualitative lenses—the ways in which these rituals provide a space for individuals in Buryatia to engage with the elements of traditional Buryat religion and culture that had been suppressed during the Soviet period. This work represents the first attempt to place these various methodological approaches in conversation with one another to provide a more holistic understanding as to why individuals choose to attend Tengeri’s ceremonies. In line with the ethnographic fieldwork analyzed by Quijada, it was found that individuals who attend these ceremonies report behavior patterns consistent with traditional Buryat culture—such as Buryat language use and past shamanic practice—at much higher rates than the population of Buryatia more broadly. Additionally, significant cultural differences were identified between individuals who attended Tengeri’s small ceremonies and those who attended the organization’s large ceremony on Olkhon Island. Moreover, statistical analyses revealed a striking contrast with regard to attendance choice between self-reported ethnicity and one’s connection to Buryat culture. As such, the data mining techniques and empirical analyses used in this work not only bolster the ethnographic hypotheses developed by Quijada and colleagues but also identify areas for future academic research.

asn_paper.pdf
Eric M. Stephen. 2014. “Shamanic Rituals as Sites of Religio-Cultural Revival: A Statistical Analysis of the Demographic and Cultural Differences of Attendees at Shamanic Ceremonies in Buryatia, Russia.” Psychology.Abstract

During the summer of 2012, anthropologist of religion Justine Quijada and colleagues collected ethnographic and survey data at five shamanic ceremonies led by a religious organization in Buryatia named Tengeri. The goal of this interdisciplinary research was to examine—through both quantitative and qualitative lenses—the ways in which these rituals provide a space for individuals in Buryatia to engage with the elements of traditional Buryat religion and culture that had been suppressed during the Soviet period. This work represents the first attempt to place these various methodological approaches in conversation with one another to provide a more holistic understanding as to why individuals choose to attend Tengeri’s ceremonies. In line with the ethnographic fieldwork analyzed by Quijada, it was found that individuals who attend these ceremonies report behavior patterns consistent with traditional Buryat culture—such as Buryat language use and past shamanic practice—at much higher rates than the population of Buryatia more broadly. Additionally, significant cultural differences were identified between individuals who attended Tengeri’s small ceremonies and those who attended the organization’s large ceremony on Olkhon Island. Moreover, statistical analyses revealed a striking contrast with regard to attendance choice between self-reported ethnicity and one’s connection to Buryat culture. As such, the data mining techniques and empirical analyses used in this work not only bolster the ethnographic hypotheses developed by Quijada and colleagues but also identify areas for future academic research.

thesis_final_draft4.30.pdf
2013
Eric M. Stephen. 2013. “Introductory Commentary to the Honorable Aharon Barak, Former President of the Supreme Court of Israel, and His Lecture "Human Dignity and Free Speech".” In The 23rd Hugo L. Black Lecture on Freedom of Expression.Abstract

The honorable Aharon Barak is the former President of the Supreme Court of Israel,credited as “the most influential Justice Israel has ever known”. As an honored speaker for the Hugo L. Black Lecture on Freedom of Expression at Wesleyan University, President Barak will explore the interrelationship between the freedom of speech and human dignity in a democratic society. However, because the United States and Israel differ dramatically with regard to both their governmental structure and also their conceptualizations of the democratic principle of free speech, this essay seeks to provide a framework with which to develop a working understanding of Israeli free speech jurisprudence. By first describing Israel’s constitutional model and the nature of the rights protected by it, the essay will ground Barak’s interpretations of free speech and human dignity in the context of Israeli law. Emphasis is placed on Barak’s method of judicial analysis and how it is applied to issues of free speech.

barak.pdf