Current Projects

The following are studies that the Iowa Social Science Research Center is currently supporting: 

Focus Group Study of Iowa Farming Parents on Their Attitudes Regarding Firearm Storage in Homes and Firearm Injury Prevention Efforts

Primary Investigator

Who to Contact with Questions
Pam Hoogerwerf:
Charles Jennissen:
Kristel Wetjen:
Marc Doobay:

Description of Project
Firearm-related injuries are the leading cause of child and adolescent death in the United States. Rural areas have higher rates of firearm-related unintentional and suicide deaths. Focus Groups will be conducted to understand better rural families’ current practices and attitudes regarding firearm and ammunition storage, what practices they would be willing to change to increase safety and prevent injury, and what messaging and safety programming they think would be most effective in educating rural families to improve storage practices and help decrease firearm-related deaths and injuries among adolescents in farming/ranching communities. 

Medicaid New Enrollee Data Collection Project 2023-24

Primary Investigator
Betsy Momany Ph.D.

Who to Contact with Questions

Description of Project This data collection effort seeks to study recent enrollees of the Medicaid program in the state of Iowa. Researchers seek to learn about barriers to enrollment as well as preconceptions of participation.  More information can be found at:

Emergency Preparedness and Support for Caregivers of Persons with Dementia

Primary Investigator 
Dr. Sato Ashida

Who to Contact with Questions

Description of Project: ISRC will conduct phone interviews and recruitment for the Caregivers of Family Members with Dementia. For part of this project, the ISRC will recruit members by phone. For the other part of the study ISRC will conduct phone interviews with approximately 143 respondents within 7-10 days after recruitment once they have received their packet (mailed out by client). The ISRC will then conduct follow up interviews after 3 months and after 6 months.

Polk County Mental Health & Disability Services Annual Assessment

Primary Investigator 
Tessa Heeren, MSW

Who to Contact with Questions

Description of Project: For more than a decade, Polk County Mental Health & Disability Services (PCMHDS) has enlisted a third-party research team, at the University of Iowa, to collect and analyze satisfaction-type data from program participants. The Iowa Social Science Research Center (ISRC) provides the telephone and in-person data collection services for this annual assessment. Survey respondents answer questions about their experiences and the success of their services. The resultant data is shared with both PCMHDS and the service provider to evaluate provider performance, determine future support, and detect inadequacies, if any exist. Information attained is confidential and helps to inform agency decision-making and funding.