Needs Assessments and Survey Research

The Social Science Research Center (SSRC) has provided comprehensive, community human services needs assessments and surveys statewide. In addition to statewide community-based research, the SSRC has worked extensively in the following Indiana counties (including telephone, face-to-face, and mail-out survey methodologies):

  • Blackford County,
  • Delaware County,
  • Grant County,
  • Henry County,
  • Huntington County,
  • Jay County,
  • Madison County,
  • Randolph County, and
  • Wayne County.

Here are some recent examples of needs assessment and survey research work conducted by the SSRC.

Administration, Analysis, and Summary of the Indiana Adult Tobacco Survey (2014 – 2015; 2015 – 2017) 

This research was conducted under contract for the Indiana State Department of Health’s Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Commission as part of a pass-through grant with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This statewide research identifies trends, opinions, and behaviors related to adult smoking in Indiana. As part of a nationwide initiative from the CDC, the SSRC served as a training and call center for research assistants, supervised all data collection, data cleaning and preparation for the state’s data inclusion into the national database, analysis, summary, and presentation of findings/recommendations for tobacco control efforts to state officials. 

Needs Assessment Survey for LifeStream Services, Inc. (2011)

The SSRC fulfilled a contract with LifeStream Services, Inc., a local Area Agency on Aging (Area 6) to conduct a comprehensive, multi-county needs assessment survey. We provided technical assistance for the development of the appropriate methodology, creation of the instrument, survey administration, data analysis, and reporting for the assessment. The findings from the study were found to be a valuable planning tool for LifeStream as it considered its current and future service offerings, marketing initiatives, and general perceptions regarding human services within the organization's service delivery area.

Wayne County Health Department (2010) 

The Wayne County Health Department funded a community interest survey regarding the inclusion of dental services at the Wayne County Health Department health clinic. Using a telephone survey methodology, this study utilized a random sample of active Health Department client households that had used some other service at its health clinic. 

Delaware County Community Survey-Deliberative Democracy and Attitudes Towards American Health Care (2008)

Working with faculty from the Department of Political Science at Ball State University, as well as Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, we assisted in the conduct of this multi-phase, community-based research project. More specifically, this project used a three-phase data collection design, where a community-wide baseline [telephone] survey was completed related to the perceptions of the American health care system. Participants were then randomly invited to attend a deliberative event that would provide non-partisan information regarding current issues surrounding healthcare. Later, participants were then called back (after the deliberative event), and surveyed to determine the limits of increased information on the deliberative process.

Delaware County Community Survey-The Role of Work and De-stigmatization of the Chronically Mentally Ill (2007) 

This community-based research project utilized a telephone-based survey methodology to examine community attitudes of individuals regarding the stigma associated with the chronically mentally ill. Working with Dr. David Perkins from the Department of Psychological Science at Ball State University, this funded research was conducted with support from the Center for Middletown Studies at Ball State. Responding to a short vignette describing a chronically mentally ill individual who either worked or did not work, community respondents were then asked a series of questions related to measures of social distance and stigmatization.

SSRC Assistance to WIPB/PBS "By the People" Health Care Forum/Dialogue (2005)

The SSRC assisted local public broadcasting affiliate WIPB with recruitment and confirmation for a community forum on health care issues. WIPB’s community dialogue on health care was one of several similar forums held throughout the country by PBS. The SSRC assisted by consulting on the telephone recruitment outline (script), drafting the Questions and Answers sheet for calling, arranging for the random sample, contacting and following-up with attendees, tracking all calls, regular reporting call progress/outcomes to WIPB for them to prepare and mail packets to participants, and data entry of pre-test/post-test conducted on the day of the forum. 

Middletown Area Survey (MAS) (1982 - 2002) 

Building on the work of Robert and Helen Lynd in their historic 1929 study of Muncie, Indiana (known as Middletown), we worked with several departments in the College of Sciences and Humanities to conduct regular (annual) investigations into the populace of Delaware County, Indiana. Most notably, the Department of Sociology at Ball State regularly worked with the SSRC who trained interviewers and administered these survey investigations into various social issues that existed through the years.