Recent & Upcoming Research Projects

Andrew University Risk Behavior Survey

This survey 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 last collected in March of 2023.  We will examine the role of religion, parental bonding, childhood trauma, personality, and mental health on substance use and obesity. 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.

Our major activity now with these data is to integrate data from 1995 through 2023 to examine trends in substance use and risk and protective behaviors.  We presented the Keynote address from the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts and Letters from these data entitled: "Trends in Substance Use in a Prohibitionist University Compared to General College Populations" or "Macro Secular Trends Amidst the Unfolding Hegelian Dialectic"

Global Church Member Survey

This project was a meta-analysis of data collected by a variety of research teams from all Divisions of the Seventh-day Adventist Church during 2017-2018. Questions and analysis focus on a wide variety of beliefs, practices, and health. A report was made to the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventist in October of 2018. The IPA was awarded the contract to construct a survey for the 2022/2023 Global Church Member Survey as well as the contract for the Meta-Analysis for the data. The instrument has been completed and accepted. We are currenttly analyzing the data and writing the report for this survey. 

Two major publications have come from the 2017-2018 data:

Religious Belief and Culture: The Curious Case of the Intuitive Soul

Health Beliefs, Behavior, Spiritual Growth, and Salvation in a Global Population of Seventh-day Adventists


Evaluation of Youth Alive Program

The IPA is working with the Health Ministries of the General Conference to evaluate the Youth Alive Program. A recent article can be found here, "Trauma and Substance Abuse in Teens"

Developing a Training Program for Adventist Recovery Ministries Facilitators and College Prevention Programming

The IPA is working with the Health Ministries Department of the North American Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church to develop a training program for those who work as facilitators for the Adventist Recovery Ministries Program.  We are also working with the NAD on developing a model substance abuse prevention program for Adventist Colleges.

Survey on Seventh-day Adventist LGBT+ Youth Risk Factors

Coming to terms with one’s sexual identity is a particularly complex process for Christian LGBT+ youth, many of whom are at high risk for negative outcomes such as depression, substance abuse and suicide. This survey of 310 Seventh-day Adventist adult Millennials explored perceived levels of their families’ acceptance or rejection of their sexual orientation or gender identity during their teen years. Other variables included recent levels of self-esteem, social support, depression, substance abuse, high-risk sexual activity, and suicidal thinking or attempts. Initial findings showed generally low levels of family acceptance and support, as well as elevated rates of depression and at-risk thoughts and behaviors. A high proportion of respondents have retained strong spiritual commitment and moderate church involvement.

United Way Evaluation Projects
The United Way of Southwest Michigan has contracted with the Center for Community Impact Research to analyze focus group data from its Turning Outward initiative, which asks a wide range of community members to envision the kind of community in which they would like to live, work and play.  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. 

Collection of research literature from SDA health studies

The purpose of this brief document is to provide research literature from health studies of Seventh-day Adventist populations.    The literature comes from the work the IPA team has done over the last few decades, the data repository of the Adventist Human-Subject Researchers Association, the Adventist Health Studies in the School of Public Health at Loma Linda University, Project Genesis at La Sierra University, members of the Health Ministries Team at the General Conference and Digital Commons at Andrews University.

Area Agency on Aging Projects
The Region IV Area Agency on Aging requested four community evaluations for a Planning Grant from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund. Individual interviews, focus groups, and surveys were distributed to complex care older adults and their caregivers, medical personnel, care management specialists, and community-based organizations.  The project explored assets, gaps, and barriers that exist to creating a complex care ecosystem.

Evaluations included:

Impact of COVID-19 on Community-Based Organizations Serving Older Adults

We surveyed 66 Community-Based Organizations to determine their capacity to serve complex care older adults.  The survey was designed to capture data before and 8 months into the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Caregiver Needs Assessment Survey

We surveyed 55 caregivers. Questions covered the age and relationship of the caregiver, assistance they provide, concerns they experience, resources needed, and how caregiving has affected them personally. 

Medicare Staff Questionnaire

Focus groups were conducted with 115 ambulatory care teams, inpatient care management, discharge planners, and navigators at specialty clinics.  We explored what they perceive to be assets, gaps, and barriers to care, care transitions, and stabilization of complex care older adults in the community.

Hospitalization Admission Risk Monitoring System (HARMS-8)

We interviewed patients and documented their pathway from the Emergency Department or Inpatient to home.  We asked what services they received (assets), what are their perceived gaps and barriers, and how can we work together with Home and Community-based services to enhance their transition and stabilize them long term at home.