Beth Ann Griffin

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Codirector, RAND Center for Causal Inference; Senior Statistician; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
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Ph.D. in biostatistics, Harvard University; S.M. in biostatistics, Harvard University; B.A. in mathematics, University of Pennsylvania

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Beth Ann Griffin is a senior statistician at the RAND Corporation, where she codirects the RAND Center for Causal Inference, and is a professor of the Pardee RAND Graduate School. Her statistical research focuses on causal effects estimation when using observational data. Her substantive research has primarily fallen into three areas: (1) substance abuse treatment for adolescents, (2) military health, and (3) neighborhood level predictors of health.

Her studies include estimating the causal effects of cumulative treatment episodes for adolescents, examining sleep problems among servicemembers in the post-deployment period, and assessing the relationship between urban sprawl and coronary heart disease in women. Griffin's research has appeared in leading journals such as Drug and Alcohol Dependence, Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, Statistics in Medicine, Journal of the American Statistical Association, Annals of Applied Statistics, Journal of Causal Inference, American Journal of Public Health, Health and Place and Environmental Health Perspectives.

She is currently the principal investigator of two projects sponsored by the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), one which is focused on improving a promising health services research tool (the TWANG package) for estimating causal effects of treatment using propensity score weights ( and the other which aims to develop well-operationalized, empirically-supported sequences of decision rules—known as “Adaptive Interventions” (AIs)—to provide guidance about substance-use services decisions for adolescent clients. Griffin also serves on the editorial board the Annals of Applied Statistics, Statistics in Medicine and Observational Studies. She received her Ph.D. in biostatistics from Harvard University.

Pardee RAND Graduate School Courses

Recent Projects

  • Estimating the cumulative effects of treatment for adolescents with substance use disorders
  • Examining the correlates and consequences of sleep problems among servicemembers in the post-deployment period
  • Examining the association between health outcomes and neighborhood characteristics such as neighborhood socioeconomic status, urban sprawl, and ambient air particulate matter

Selected Publications

Ridgeway, G, Kovalchik, S, Kabeto, M, Griffin, BA, "Propensity score analysis with survey weighted data," Journal of Causal Inference (forthcoming)

Schwartz, H, Burkhauser, S, Griffin BA, Kennedy, DP, Green, HD, Kennedy Hendricks, A, Pollack, CE, "Do the Joneses help you keep pu? A natural experiment in exposure to nonpoor neighbors," Housing Policy Debate, 25(2), 2015

Troxel, WM, Shih, R, Pedersen, E, Geyer, L, Fisher, MP, Griffin, BA, Haas, AC, Kurz, J, Steinberg, PS, Sleep in the military: Promoting healthy sleep among U.S. servicemembers, RAND Corporation (RR-739), 2015

Schuler, M, Griffin, BA, Ramchand, R, Almirall, D, McCaffrey, D, "Effectiveness of treatment for adolescent substance use: Is biological drug testing sufficient?" Journal of Studies of Alcohol and Drugs, 75(2):358-370, 2014

Griffin, BA, Ramchand, R, Almirall, D, Slaughter, ME, Burgette LF, McCaffrey, D, "Estimating the causal effects of cumulative treatment episodes for adolescents using marginal structural models and inverse probability of treatment weighting," Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 136(1):69-78, 2014

Deployment Life Team (including Griffin, BA), The Deployment Life Study: Methodological overview and baseline sample description, RAND Corporation (RR-209), 2014

McCaffrey, DF, Griffin, BA, Almirall, D, Slaughter, ME, Ramchand, R, Burgette, LF, "A tutorial on propensity score estimation for multiple treatments using generalized boosted models," Statistics in Medicine, 32(19):3388-3414, 2013

Griffin, BA, Eibner, C, Bird, CE, Jewell, A, Margolis, K, Shih, R, Slaughter, ME, Whitsel, EA, Allison, M, Escarce, JJ, "The relationship between urban sprawl and coronary heart disease in women," Health & Place, 20:51-56, 2013

Honors & Awards

  • Faculty Memorial Prize, 2006, Department of Biostatistics, Harvard University
  • Best Student Oral Presentation, 2005, International Biometrics Society EMR, Corfu, Greece
  • Excellence in Teaching as a teaching assistant for Statistical Inference II, 2005