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 STIMHR Data Lab


An integral component of STIMHR is the newly established computer laboratory and training program, located in the McKinney Humanities (MH) formerly known as (HSS) in room 4.03.14 at the UTSA 1604 Campus.

Designed for faculty and students wishing to augment their mental health research, the STIMHR Data Lab features four Pentium computers and a dot matrix printer, and provides access to a variety of national, comprehensive databanks in addition to quantitative and qualitative software to facilitate statistical data analyses

STIMHR promotes the importance of secondary analysis of pre-existing data is an important way for researchers and educators to further existing projects and enhance learning environments for research students. The Data Lab provides links and utilization information for numerous mental-health related databases, including the following:






The Substance Abuse & Mental Health Data Archive (SAMHDA) is an initiative of the Office of Applied Studies at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the United States Department of Health and Human Resources. The goal of the archive is to provide access to substance abuse and mental health research data and to promote the sharing of these data among researchers, academics, policymakers, service providers, and others.



The National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging (NCDA) is designed to advance research on aging by helping investigators profit from the under-exploited potential of a broad range of datasets. NCDA acquires and preserves data relevant to gerontological research and promotes the dissemination of the information.



The Health and Medical Care Archive (HMCA) is devoted to preserving and making available research data that boast significant secondary-analytic value for expanding knowledge on, and ultimately contributing to, improvement of the health of people in the United States. The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) was developed by the Center for Disease Control to assess on an ongoing basis the prevalence of health-risk behaviors across the United States. The databank contains current information on health-related behaviors for all states, including the District of Columbia and three territories.



An important resource for many social scientists is the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR). Established in 1962, ICPSR is the world's largest archive of digital social science data and is now available for researchers at UTSA. ICPSR acquires, preserves, and distributes original research data, as well as provides information and training on analysis. ICPSR offers training seminars like the Summer Schools of the Inter­-University Consortium for Political and Social Research.



The National Institute of Mental Health Collaborative Psychiatric Epidemiology Surveys (CPES) is host to a number of important data collections focused on  the distributions, correlates, and risk factors of mental disorders among the general population, with a special emphasis on minority groups.  CPES joins together three nationally representative surveys: the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R), the National Survey of American Life (NSAL), and the National Latino and Asian American Study (NLAAS).


  The National Latino and Asian American Study (NLAAS)  provides "national information on the similarities and differences in mental illness and service use of Latinos and Asian Americans".  NLAAS was conducted using up-to-date scientific strategies in design, sampling procedures, psychiatric assessments, and analytic techniques.  Known as one of the most comprehensive studies of Latinos and Asian Americans ever to be conducted in the U.S., NLAAS will provide important baseline information about Latinos and Asians. The data collected by NLAAS is expected to play a critical role in assessing  mental health disparities  in the future.


  The National Survey of American Life (NSAL), which investigated “racial and ethnic differences in mental disorders, psychological distress, and informal and formal service use from within the context of a variety of presumed risk and protective factors in the African-American and Afro-Caribbean populations of the United States as compared with white respondents living in the same communities.” NSAL data has been used to better understand a range of topics concerning health disparities for U.S. black populations.



The Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) is a series of national probability surveys conducted by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality on the financing and utilization of medical care in the United States.


  The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) compiles statistical information on health status as a function of race, ethnicity, SES, region, and other population gradients. Thus, it provides information that can address a variety of health-related questions, including issues of ethnic disparities.


  The National Longitudinal Surveys (NLS) Series, which began in the 1960's, is sponsored by the US Department of Labor and the data permit the study of determinants of labor supply, earnings and income distribution, job search and separation, labor market inequities, and human capital investments. The survey series has "gathered information at multiple points in time on the labor market experiences of five specific groups of American men and women: older men aged 45-59, mature women aged 30-44, young men aged 14-24, young women aged 14-24, and youths aged 14-21." 


The NLS Web-Investigator allows users to search the database for variables based on words found in the variable name or question text, survey year and question number. Users can view the codebook information associated with that variable, select and extract variables, and create a codebook unique to the variables chosen for each of the various NLS Cohorts. 1- 2- and 3-way frequency distributions can be generated, and users can apply weights to the tables if they wish.


The Data Lab also provides the following specialized statistical software programs popularly used in social science inquiry specifically designed for large data sets:


  • AMOS (used for structural equation modeling)
  • SAS (used for comprehensive statistical and graphical analysis)
  • SPSS (used for comprehensive data mining; e.g., correlational and regression analyses)
  • HLM (used for hierarchical data analysis)
  • LISREL (used for structural equation modeling)


  • ATLAS TI (available soon)


The data lab provides access to mental-health data at the local and regional levels. This information is available from a variety of sources, including the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District and the Bexar County Community Health Collaborative.


Contingency Research Assistance

When they are not staffing the Data Lab, the two research assistants will be available to help STIMHR-affiliated faculty with their research. STIMHR Director Dr. Raymond Garza will take requests for RA time from UTSA faculty who need help with their mental-health research, but do not have grants or other avenues of research assistance. The RA assignments will involve time-limited activities (such as library research, conducting experiments, coding data), thus enabling the RA time to devote time to a variety of mental-health projects. Although limited in scope, this type of flexible assistance can be extremely valuable to beginning researchers who otherwise do not have access to research assistants.