Current and Recent Projects
Formal research involvement concluded in 2012. IPA involvement ran for over a decade and allowed us to work at the highest levels of drug policy research. Publications from this project appeared in high impact journals including the American Journal of Public Health and the Journal of Primary Prevention. In 2002 this partnership developed an Illicit Drug Policies chartbook “a Policy Research Partnership to Reduce Youth Substance Use.” We also were able to organize a number of Oral Sessions at the annual meetings of the American Public Health Association and the American Society of Criminology. The IPA is still listed as the Illicit Drug Team on the project website.
Andrews University Risk Behavior Survey
This is a survey that has been conducted about every five years. We examine the prevalence of youth risk behaviors, risk and protective factors, and trends in risk behaviors. These studies have resulted in a number of research presentations/publications for IPA related faculty and students as well as national and research awards for students. The data was collected in March of 2012 and is now being processed. We will examine the role of religion, parental bonding, childhood trauma, personality, depression on substance use and obesity. This was funded by a gift to the IPA. Follow up research was done in the form of qualitative interviews on the motivation for not using substances or engaging in other high risk behavior.
Christian Record Services for the Blind
This project is evaluating the products and services of Christian Record. We did an evaluation about 15 years ago and this is a follow-up. Duane is leading a survey and Curt is conducting a qualitative analysis and has completed that report. Overall, the focus group research showed a high level of support for all services. This project was funded by Christian Records.
Evaluation of Hope Channel Programs
This project utilized survey, focus group and diary methodology to examine Andrews University student evaluation of all Hope Channel Programs. Overall, we found that Evaluations were significantly more positive for students from developing countries. There was over 90% market penetration, no interest in reducing any type of programs, and a desire to increase programs directed at youth and families and a desire to improve production quality. High support for health programs the support base is strong and can grow if production issues are addressed.
United Way Evaluation Projects
For the fourth year in a row, the United Way of Southwest Michigan has contracted with the Center for Community Impact Research to develop and monitor its four community Impact Areas: Health, Education, Income, and Basic Needs. Students from the Andrews University Social Work Department’s Advanced Practice Evaluation class also conduct six to eight individual program evaluations for local agencies each year. Current programs under evaluation include:
Girls on the Run:
The purpose of this program evaluation is to determine whether girls who participated in the 2013 Girls on the Run (GOTR) and Girls on Track (GOT) programs in Berrien County, Michigan experienced improvements in four major areas: a) self-esteem; b) body image; c) participation in physical activity; and d) commitment toward physical activity. Results from the 2012 program evaluation showed statistically significant improvements in all four areas. New areas for evaluation in this year’s survey included levels of bullying, healthy eating choices, and amount of screen time with all forms of media. This is the third year we have conducted this survey for the United Way.
Adult Health Programs:
This evaluation combines questions from a nationally normed health behavior surveys to examine whether patients across five United Way-funded programs showed improvements in physical and emotional health as a result of services provided.
Pre-School Education Programs:
This program evaluation tracks changes in children’s’ developmental risk statuses of United Way-funded pre-school programs. The evaluation collects and analyzes data using the nationally normed Ages and Stages and Brigance developmental evaluations.
Pastoral Family Study
We have applied for an Andrews University faculty grant, as well as matching funding from the G.C. to examine the stressors in pastoral families, their relationship to risk behaviors and develop programs to reduce stressors. Findings suggest that stress levels are relatively high (30-40%) and the major causes are Church politics/disputes, financial and conflict between family expectations and church demands. Addiction issues tend to focus on pornography for males and a perception of verbal and spiritual abuser from children’s perspective. This is a combined project of the Andrews Seminary Department of and Religious Education, Behavioral Sciences/Family Studies, the IPA, Department of Social Work and The School of Social Work and Family Studies at Southern Adventist University.
Goodwill Industries of Greater Grand Rapids
This project will conduct three evaluations of programs currently being offered by Goodwill Industries in the area of job re-training programs for high-school dropouts, mentally ill and substance abusing clients on disability, and developmentally disabled clients.
Methamphetamines from Policy to Practice
The IPA conducted research from 2005-2008 examining state policies attempting to control the increasing production of methamphetamines in Small Toxic Labs. Generally, these state policies focused on the control of access to precursors used to make methamphetamine. Research addressed three questions:
- What is the nature and extend of state laws (as of October 1, 2005) focusing on controlling the salve of precursor chemicals used for the domestic manufacturing of methamphetamine?
- Do law enforcement personal and other professionals such as pharmacists with day-today responsibility for policy implementation perceive state methamphetamine chemical precursor laws to be effective, and what environmental and/or structural issues hinder or facilitate precursor law development, implementation, and effective?
- Is there an association between states with more restrictive precursor chemical laws and changes in the number of state methamphetamine-related lab seizures and what elements of laws are most related to STL seizure declines?
Research was sponsored by the National Institute of Justice. Several reports were published: the National Survey on Drug Use and Health Report “State Estimates of Past Year Methamphetamine Use”, “The Relationship between State Methamphetamine Precursor Laws and Trends in Small Toxic”, and “Controlling Methamphetamine Precursors: the View from the Trenches”.