ISR logo

Expertise

Experience

Longitudinal Studies

Transition to Adulthood Project (TAP)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Washington University at Saint Louis
The Transition to Adulthood Project (TAP) began collecting data from Veterans Administration (VA) Twins Registry fathers and their families in 2002 and continued conducting follow-up interviews with the adult children of twins. During the four waves of data collection, the TAP team measured young adult milestones, like marriage and parenthood, completion of education, occupation and job satisfaction and how these milestones related to health, especially in the areas of mood and the use of alcohol, tobacco and drugs.

Telephone
In-person
Mail
Web
RDD
List
x
x
x
x

 

The National Longitudinal Survey of Freshmen (NLSF)
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Office of Population Research at Princeton University
For the fifth wave of interviews, this study was designed to produce detailed longitudinal data files that included both retrospective and prospective event histories compiled for Caucasian, African-American, Latino and Asian college students at 28 selective colleges and universities. CATI interviews were completed from a sample of 3,904 respondents most of whom were in their fourth year of college.

Telephone
In-person
Mail
Web
RDD
List
x
x
x
x

 

National Survey of Families and Households (NSFH) Wave II
This study, one of the first national studies completed with computer-assisted in-person interviewing (CAPI), was a reinterview of persons originally interviewed in 1987-1988. The survey examined the family holistically, with question sequences on many areas of family life, covering not only current behavior and retrospective family history but also relationships, interactions, attitudes and feelings. Parents and children of the original respondents were also interviewed.

ISR was responsible for planning and conducting the pretests; recruiting, hiring and training interviewers; planning and managing the data collection process and field staff; coding, data entry, and data cleaning; and providing computerized data files to the client's specifications.

Sample size of total eligible cases was 21,563 for the main respondents and spouses/partners; 4,257 for parents of main respondents; 1,436 for 10 to 17-year-old children of main respondents and1,152 for 18 to 24-year-old children of main respondents.

In-person interviews were conducted in both English and Spanish with the main respondents and their spouses/partners. New spouses/partners of the main respondents were also interviewed in-person. Telephone interviews were conducted with a 10 to 24-year-old child of the main respondent and one of the main respondent's parents. Telephone interviews were also conducted with some main respondent and spouses/partners who could not be interviewed in-person.

The interview response rates were 80% (17,202/21563) for the main respondents/spouses/partners; 76% (3253/4257) for the parent respondents; 92% (1323/1436) for the 10 to 17-year-old children and 89% (1028/1152) for the 18 to 24-year-old children.

Telephone
In-person
Mail
Web
RDD
List
x
x
x

 


Substance Abuse and Mental Health

Assessing Mental Health Literacy for Anxiety Disorders
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), State University New York Binghamton
Assessing Mental Health Literacy for Anxiety Disorders was submitted in response to NIMH Program Announcement PAR-07-018, "Understanding and Promoting Health Literacy". Temple University ISR developed a questionnaire for the assessment of health literacy in regards to the anxiety disorders.

Temple University ISR conducted four focus groups composed of various combinations of gender and ethnic backgrounds to determine the content of the questionnaire instrument and to assess issues such as response format, understandability, cultural sensitivity, and data quality. After internal pretesting, Temple University ISR piloted computer-assisted telephone (CATI) interviews. After analyzing the data from the pilot interview, Temple University ISR completed a national random digit dial (RDD) survey to gather data sample composed of relatively equal numbers of males and females, as well as African-American and Caucasian persons, and with a spread in age and SES, were collected. Temple University ISR completed 593 interviews, 71.3 % of the screened sample. Temple University ISR mailed out short validation surveys with the $20 money order incentive. Temple ISR validated 35.5% of all completes through validation letters.

Telephone
In-person
Mail
Web
RDD
List
x
x
x

 

National Alcohol Study
This study was the latest in a series of national studies conducted by ISR for the Berkeley-based Alcohol Research Group (ARG). This study collected data on a wide variety of topics, including: patterns of drinking over one's lifetime and during the past 12 months; problems, costs and injuries related to drinking; and domestic conflict and violence. The research is intended to track national trends in drinking patterns and problems, and how these trends vary by gender, age, marital status and race/ethnicity. A total of 6,575 face-to-face interviews were completed with main respondents and their spouses. Follow-up CATI interviews were conducted with 1,100 respondents to examine the methodological impacts of changing from an in-person method of data collection to using CATI for future alcohol studies.

Telephone
In-person
Mail
Web
RDD
List
x
x
x

 


Public Policy

Barriers to Child Care Subsidy (BCCS) Study
Temple University Center for Public Policy
The Institute completed a telephone interview study on child care subsidies for the Temple University Center for Public Policy. The purpose of this research was to provide policy makers with the information necessary to revise out-dated practices that may actually make it difficult for needy parents to obtain available child care subsidies. Eligibility was based on age, race, employment, neighborhood, and age of child (age 3 or under). Screening interviews were completed with 7,372 households (73%). Of the 588 eligible households screened, interviews were completed with 542 households (92.2%).

Telephone
In-person
Mail
Web
RDD
List
x
x
x
x

 

Urban Change
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Kellogg Foundation, the Ford Foundation and Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC)
The primary objectives of the Urban Change Project were the documentation and evaluation of changes that resulted from the implementation of the 1999 Welfare Reform Bill. ISR conducted a CAPI study in Philadelphia, Miami, Cleveland, and Los Angeles. Data were collected in two waves from the sample of 4,000 female heads of household who completed a survey in the first wave.

Telephone
In-person
Mail
Web
RDD
List
x
x
x
x

 


Public Health

National Survey of Adolescent Males (NSAM), Wave IV: HIV/STD Risk Trajectories
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Johns Hopkins University
The purpose of this study was to improve understanding of longitudinal changes in relationship formation and risk behaviors that lead to the transmission of HIV and other STDs. Data collected in this fourth wave of NSAM's unique longitudinal data set consisted of men's sexual and protective behavior reports from 1988, 1990-91, and 1995. The respondents were a nationally representative sample of 1,880 men, 15 to 19 years old in 1988 and 21 to 26 years old in 1995.

The fourth wave built upon prior and ongoing investigations concerning HIV/STD risk and protective behaviors of young American males, examining shifts across their life courses and the relationship transitions of individuals and subgroups from adolescence into adulthood. It included an examination of risk behaviors over the life course among men in the sample who had ever had sex with men (MSM) and a new module of questions specifically for these MSMs. ISR used a combination of CATI, Tele-ACASI, CAPI, and ACASI to collect data for this project.

Telephone
In-person
Mail
Web
RDD
List
x
x
x

 

Migration and Access to Care (MAC)
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Migration and Access to Care (MAC) was a cross-sectional survey of approximately 450 migrant farm workers in New York, North Carolina, and Florida. In-person interviews were conducted in English and Spanish with workers over a nine-month data collection period that began in Summer 2008. The success of the sampling plan and access to the target population had been demonstrated in an earlier pilot project, the Migrant Child Health Research Project. This study gathered much-needed empirical information about migration and health use helping to clarify the conflicting models of their relationship. The sampling plan was both innovative and replicable, and data laid the foundation for 1) reliable information for policy related to delivery of health care to this population, and 2) procedures for a later national study of two other migrant streams.

Telephone
In-person
Mail
Web
RDD
List
x
x
x
x

 


Crime and Criminal Justice

Evaluation of the Philadelphia Youth Violence Reduction Partnership (YVRP)
Public Private Ventures, William Penn Foundation
The Institute for Survey Research conducted interviews for Public Private Ventures' Evaluation of the Philadelphia Youth Violence Reduction Project (YVRP) funded by the William Penn Foundation. Data collection included the completion of baseline interviews with 300 youth age 12-24 who had been referred to the YVRP in Philadelphia Police precincts. Data collection also included an effort to maintain up to date location information for every respondent who had completed a baseline interview, so that an 18 month follow up interview was completed for at least 80% of the respondents. ISR conducted the baseline interviews using computer assisted telephone interviewing (CATI). The 18 month follow up interviews were attempted initially by CATI, but also used CAPI to achieve the highest possible completion rate.

Telephone
In-person
Mail
Web
RDD
List
x
x
x

 


Social and Behavioral Research

Second National Incidence of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Thrownaway Children (NISMART II)
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP)
The purpose of this study was to develop reliable and valid statistics on the incidence of children who were missing, abducted, runaway and thrownaway. The study included a household survey, a police records survey and a juvenile facilities study. A nationally representative household survey was conducted to support incidence estimates for family and non-family abductions, runaways, thrownaways and lost, injured or otherwise missing children. An RDD sample of 188,467 telephone numbers was selected, and 16,577 CATI interviews were completed with adults and 5329 CATI interviews were completed with youths under 18 years old.

Telephone
In-person
Mail
Web
RDD
List
x
x
x
x

 


Population Studies

National Survey of Kuwaiti Citizens Exposed to Oil Fire Pollution, 2002-2007
Kuwait Public Authority for the Assessment of Compensation (PAAC), Harvard University School of Public Health (HSPH)
Harvard University, under contract to the Kuwait Public Authority for the Assessment of Compensation (PAAC), subcontracted with ISR to perform a national survey to determine the average exposure to oil fire pollutants of the Kuwaiti citizens during the 1990-1991 Iraqi invasion and oil fires. Working with the Kuwait government, ISR created the specifications for drawing a national probability sample for the survey, prepared training materials, and trained Kuwaiti interviewers who conducted in-person surveys of up to 2,000 Kuwaitis. ISR analyzed these results with HSPH and presented them to the Kuwait PAAC. ISR also designed a public health survey to document the health of a stratified random sample of Kuwaitis before and after the oil fires for epidemiologic analyses to determine whether disease rates increased after the oil fire period.

Telephone
In-person
Mail
Web
RDD
List
x
x
x
x

 

Hispanic Americans Baseline Alcohol Study (HABLAS)
National Institute of Health (NIH), University of Texas
This multi-site survey used computer-assisted in-person interviews (CAPI) with a probability sample of 4,000 respondents to collect data about drinking and alcohol-related problems among four Hispanic national groups: Puerto Rican Americans, Cuban Americans, Mexican Americans, and Central/South Americans. The research sites were New York City, Los Angeles, Houston, and Miami.

Telephone
In-person
Mail
Web
RDD
List
x
x
x
x

 


Hard-To-Reach Populations

Young Adult Survey (YAS)
National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Department of Sociology - Texas A&M University
From 2004 through 2008, ISR tracked and conducted computer-assisted in-person Interviews (CAPI) with approximately 2,500 adults in their early 20s, ten years after their previous interview. Respondents were the offspring of participants in a study that had begun in 1971 when the parents were adolescents. The overall scope of the research tested and refined the general theories of deviance established in previous waves. The sixth, seventh, and eighth waves focused on examining the intergenerational effects of parental behavior on their children.

Telephone
In-person
Mail
Web
RDD
List
x
x
x
x

 


At-Risk Youth and Delinquency

Project PRIDE
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Project PRIDE was a large, school-based drug abuse prevention program conducted throughout the Philadelphia school system. The curriculum was based on a risk/protective factor model and featured resistance skills and emotional awareness training as well as drug information. This long-term project included a sequence of studies that reflected a continuous process of program revision and improvement in response to formal and informal evaluation efforts that included formative and outcome evaluations. As part of the formative evaluation, the ISR's Study Director developed and applied the RITE technique: Review of the best and current practices, Integration of current and early material, Fine-Tuning adjustment and modification of the program, and Evaluating results. The outcome evaluation used self-administered questionnaires and a pre-post experimental design with random assignment of 200 6th- and 7th-grade students to treatment and control groups.

Telephone
In-person
Mail
Web
RDD
List
x
x
x
x

 

Youth Connect
Philadelphia Anti-Drug Anti-Violence Network and Temple University's Center for Intergenerational Learning
The Institute conducted an evaluation of Project: Youth Connect, a program run by a collaboration between Temple University's Center for Intergenerational Learning and the Philadelphia Anti-Drug Anti-Violence Network which targeted low-income, African-American middle school youth who had been bystanders to serious violence in their home, school or community or who had been directly affected by violence and may had been suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). These youth co-victims were at an increased risk for substance abuse as a mechanism for stress management. They were less able to function in school and were less able to maintain healthy relationships with adults and peers.

The project utilized an intergenerational mentor advocacy approach to address individual school and family risk factors and was based on the Across Ages model. Three waves of data collection with individual cohorts were completed as well as process and outcome evaluations.

Telephone
In-person
Mail
Web
RDD
List
x
x
x
x

 


Program Recruitment

Stress and Vascular Disease Evaluation in Twins (SAVE IT)
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Stress and Vascular Disease Evaluation in Twins (SAVE IT) was a study of post-traumatic stress disorder and cardiovascular disease. It sought to clarify the effects, if any, of PTSD on the heart and vessels that might predispose an individual to cardiovascular disease. The study also attempted to determine if the effects occured only in individuals predisposed genetically or because of exposure to stress. Over four years, ISR attempted to recruit 343 Vietnam Era Registry twin pairs to participate in an in-depth clinical evaluation of the subject's cardiovascular system. The evaluation involved a clinical interview and physical exam, laboratory testing, ambulatory electrocardiogram monitoring, PET imaging of the heart, and ultrasound examination of the vessels in the neck and arm. Travel expenses were covered and participants were compensated for the day and a half they were required to spend in Atlanta, GA.

Telephone
In-person
Mail
Web
RDD
List
x
x
x
x

 


Program Evaluations

The Sectoral Impact Study (SIS) Evaluation
Charles Mott Foundation and Public/Private Ventures
The Sectoral Impact Study (SIS) Evaluation investigated three employment programs in Boston, New York, and Milwaukee aimed at improving approximately 1,300 low-income workers' access to better jobs by providing skills training and placement services. The longitudinal, random assignment design used a CATI instrument to collect extensive employment histories. Baseline data collection began June 2003. A 24-month follow-up interview is being conducted through September 2008.

An additional training program evaluation, similar to SIS, the QUEST Employment Training Program, was conducted in San Antonio, Texas. This was also a randomized study of participants in a labor market training program conducted at a community college. Participants were randomly assigned to a treatment or control group after baseline data had been collected. Follow-up dual-mode interviews (CATI and CAPI) were implemented for 24 and 60 months post-baseline.

Telephone
In-person
Mail
Web
RDD
List
x
x
x

 

The School-Based Mentoring Survey and Evaluation Study
Big Brothers Big Sisters of America
The School-Based Mentoring Survey and Evaluation Study was a random assignment study commissioned by Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. The goal was to document the short-term effects of program participation on youth and to better understand the pathways through which these benefits may accrue. Instrumentation focused on the social and academic adjustment of the students in the study as well as certain process information about the mentor-mentee interactions. Surveys were completed by students, teachers, and mentors.

Data waves included a baseline and two follow ups with all three target populations. The Institute created databases for linking 1,182 students with their agencies and, eventually, with 325 schools, 1,389 teachers, and 736 mentors. Youths completed group-administered paper surveys; teachers and mentors had the options of completing a self-administered paper questionnaire or the parallel Web survey.

The Institute established and maintained working relationships with the schools and the agencies; hired, trained, and managed field interviewers in 10 cities; recorded all incoming data; solicited the constituents until satisfactory response rates were achieved; and reported regularly to the clients and agencies on progress throughout the study period. Despite the serious logistical challenges of tracing students and their teachers across academic years and at multiple sites, response rates for the three target populations at both follow-up waves exceeded 80% of baselines.

Telephone
In-person
Mail
Web
RDD
List
x
x
x

 

Center for Employment Training (CET) Program Evaluation
U.S Department of Labor and Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC)
CET was designed in to provide educational and occupational training as well as job placement for young people ages 18 to 24. This ISR evaluation study sought to determine the CET program's effectiveness by comparing a random selection of enrolled program participants with a randomly selected group of non-participants (youth who applied to a CET program but who never participated) and to determine if the model-training program conducted in San Jose, CA could be replicated in other parts of the country. ISR interviewed (in dual-mode CATI or CAPI) 1,308 (88%) of the 1,485 young adults who applied to the CET program at one of the 12 site locations across the country. Wave II cases were released approximately 54 months after the applicants applied to the program, and 75% of these cases were completed. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish.

Telephone
In-person
Mail
Web
RDD
List
x
x
x

 


Clinical Studies

Effectiveness of a Barber-Based Intervention for Controlling Hypertension in Black Men
National Institutes of Health (NIH), Donald W. Reynolds Cardiovascular Clinical Research Center at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW)
ISR conducted computer-assisted personal interviews (CAPI) with approximately 5,700 Black male adults in 16 Dallas area barbershops between January 2006 and December 2006. At the end of the interview, interviewers measured customers' blood pressure and pulse rates and provided cards with instructions for getting medical attention when needed. When eligible participants (hypertensive or medicated for hypertension) returned for a second interview, they received a voucher for a free haircut and a tip for their barber. Men who returned with their medications received an additional voucher.

Exit interviews were conducted in the barbershops, half of which are intervention shops. Between the entrance survey and the exit survey, barbers in intervention shops took their customers blood pressure and promoted the importance of having normal blood pressure. In the other half of the shops, the control shops, business was conducted as usual. All procedures that were employed for the entrance survey were repeated for the exit survey.

Telephone
In-person
Mail
Web
RDD
List
x
x
x
x

 

Mechanisms Linking Depression to Cardiovascular Risk
National Institutes of Health and Emory University School of Medicine
The study's purpose was to increase understanding of cardiovascular changes that may occur as a result of depression. Conducted with 484 members of the Vietnam Era Twins Registry, a telephone interview was followed by an in-depth clinical evaluation including a clinical interview and physical exam, laboratory testing, ambulatory electrocardiogram (Holter) monitoring, PET imaging of the heart, and ultrasound examination of the vessels in the neck and arm. The study required that both twins participate in the clinical evaluation in Atlanta, GA. ISR was responsible for all communications and recruitment of the participants.

Telephone
In-person
Mail
Web
RDD
List
x
x
x
x

Satisfaction Surveys

2011 AAPOR Membership Survey
Institute for Survey Research On Behalf Of the American Association of Public Opinion Research (AAPOR)
ISR conducted the 2011 AAPOR Membership Survey via web, mail, and telephone follow-up calls and interviews. The data collection period began with personalized cover emails to current members, former members, and non-member attendees with valid email addresses from the AAPOR database. Each email contained a personalized link to the survey. Two reminder emails were sent befor mailing papar forms. Paper survey forms along with postage-paid return envelopes were mailed to all non-responders. Final reminder emails were sent to all sample members before Temple began contacting non-responders by phone to prompt completion of the form and offer completion via Computer-Assisted Telephone Interview (CATI).

Throughout the field period, various prompts were addressed to members via Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Final AAPOR Response Rate 1 were 61% for members, 55% for former members, and 31% for non-member attendees. Among respondents, 87% completed by web, 13% by mail, and less than 1% by phone. Telephone reminders increased completions.

Telephone
In-person
Mail
Web
RDD
List
x
x

 

Multistate Nursing Care and Patient Safety Survey
National Institutes for Health (NIH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
This mail survey was conducted for both the School of Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania and for the Rutgers College of Nursing. Approximately 225,000 randomly chosen licensed nurses in California, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey received surveys and several follow up communications. The purpose of the study was to gather data on the quality of the nurse work environment and how it affects nursing care and patient safety outcomes. The scannable instrument (and parallel Web survey) inquired about nursing education, experience, work hours, and working conditions in hospitals and in home healthcare and nursing home settings. Other information goals included data regarding the frequency of certain job duties, job satisfaction, and employment intentions of the respondents.

Telephone
In-person
Mail
Web
RDD
List
x
x
x

 


Methodological Consulting

Breast Cancer Core Questionnaire Project
National Cancer Institute for the Office of Women's Health of the US Public Health Service
This project's purpose was to develop, validate, and disseminate a core questionnaire and modules to be used in retrospective studies on breast cancer etiology. The project also provided high quality data to determine breast cancer risk factors and causal mechanisms. ISR provided professional services by collaborating with leading breast cancer researchers, government scientists, and breast cancer advocates to draft six subject-matter specific modules and identify the minimal data set within each. The combined minimal data sets for all modules comprised the Core Questionnaire.

Federal Railroad Administration Operator Fatigue Management (OFM) Program Evaluation Tools and Methods Project
United States Department of Transportation Office of Research and Special Projects Administration (RSPA)
In this project, ISR organized disparate information concerning Operator Fatigue Management (OFM) programs across four major modes of transportation: (1) air; (2) rail; (3) motor carrier; and (4) marine. The Institute developed a conceptual model to categorize information on the Operator Fatigue Management (OFM) programs, including key policy issues, types of programs, program elements, and types of outcome data. The U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) overarching goal for this project was to contribute to developing tools and methods for evaluating the overall effectiveness of the OFM program. Specific DOT objectives included: (1) guiding DOT program managers in the development of OFM programs; (2) coordinating OFM projects now operating across modes; and (3) supporting data-driven decision making by key stakeholders (labor, management, and government), such as needs assessments and prioritization of activities. The methods used to achieve these goals included using an expert panel of stakeholders from each of the four modes - labor, management, government, and researchers - and to conduct case studies of selected OFM programs to develop lessons learned from the program and evaluation experiences of existing programs and projects.

New Jersey Legal Needs Study
Legal Services of New Jersey
ISR consulted on survey design, sampling methodology, questionnaire design, and pretest design in addition to reviewing the final report for this statewide RDD survey of 1,000 low income New Jersey residents.