Research news

SPIT lab continues to expand research on puberty, hair analysisWhile puberty is something that everyone experiences, there is little explanation for how those changes affect one's physical and mental health. The Stress Physiology Investigative Team (SPIT) Laboratory at Iowa State is working to understand...


Suzanne Bartholomae receives funding for rural healthcare research
Suzanne Bartholomae, assistant professor in human development and family studies and state extension specialist in family finance, received $3,385 from the University of Wisconsin Madison. The funding will be used to conduct focus groups with nurses in rural healthcare. The project explores the integration of financial capability services in rural healthcare delivery to help support patients’ abilities to cover ongoing medical expenses, thereby improving financial and health outcomes. The project goal is to enhance the capacity of rural communities and extension educators across the region by integrating healthcare professionals’ perspectives into the development of tools, resources, and programs that support the integration of financial capability support services, by identifying effective partnership strategies, and by leveraging new opportunities for cost recovery.

Kere Hughes-Belding receives second-year funding to support high quality home visitation in Iowa
Kere Hughes-Belding, associate professor in human development and family, is leading a team of researchers to provide ongoing professional development to home visitors through the Partnering to Enhance Effective Reflection (PEER) communities of practice project. The Iowa Department of Public Health continues to fund this state led evaluation and quality improvement effort. This one year contract of $241,718 will help advance the family support home visiting agenda in Iowa.
Singing may reduce stress, improve motor function for people with Parkinson's diseaseThe results from a recent pilot study done by Iowa State researchers shows that singing may lead to improvements in mood and motor function for people with Parkinson's disease. While the data is only preliminary, assistant professor of kinesiology Elizabeth Stegemöller says that the improvements...


Janet N. Melby receives matching funds from two CPPC Allied Agencies
Janet Melby, adjunct professor in human development and family studies and director of the Child Welfare Research and Training Project, received matching funds for the AmeriCorps Partnering to Protect Children (APPC) from two separate Community Partnerships for Protecting Children (CPPC) Allied Affiliate sites, Art Force Iowa ($3,000) and Community Youth Concepts ($1,500). Funds will supplement support for the program obtained through Volunteer Iowa and the Iowa Department of Human Services. The overarching aim is to strengthen families and protect children by building capacity of local communities to implement evidence-informed and evidence-based prevention strategies to prevent child mental, physical, and sexual abuse and neglect.

Janet N. Melby receives funding from Rush University Medical Center
Janet Melby, adjunct professor in human development and family studies, received a $79,768 subcontract from Rush University Medical Center, funded by the National Institutes of Health, for Steps to Effective Problem Solving. Funds for the third year of this four year project support observational services and consultation performed through Iowa State's Center for Survey Statistics and Methodology.

Raise the visibility of your research by establishing a CHS individual faculty research webpage
As the College of Human Sciences aims to increase communication about scholarly research, faculty now have the opportunity to establish a website that focuses on their research work. Sites may focus on an individual researcher's work or a research team's work. Review some of the new sites or request yours now.


Tricia Neppl receives award for relationship development research
Tricia Neppl, associate professor in human development and family studies, received a year five subcontract of $180,011 from the University of Georgia as part of a five-year $1,956,680 grant. This award, funded by the National Institute on Aging, is to study continuity and change in the marital relationships of retirement-age couples and to link relationship development to changes in physical and emotional health.

Elizabeth Shirtcliff awarded funding for puberty research project
Elizabeth, "Birdie" Shirtcliff, an associate professor in human development and family studies, was awarded a $103,482 subcontract from the Pennsylvania State University on a National Institutes of Health research grant. This is the first of five years of an award estimated at $525,276 in direct costs. Shirtcliff will investigate the influence of pubertal maturation on biobehavioral development and mental health and risk for drug use in adolescents. The project examines the Early Growth and Development Study (EGDS) which is a longitudinal study designed to understand the relationship between heredity and the family environment by examining children adopted at birth. The current funding aims to clarify how heritable risks and prenatal or postnatal environments work together with hormonal changes to influence adolescent development. Shirtcliff and her team wil serve as the project’s biocore for novel hair hormone assessments and study design.

Greder and Woods receive $140,000 installment toward $648,750 grant over five years to promote college access and affordability
HDFS associate professor Kimberly Greder and HSEO program specialist Barbara Woods received a grant for a project called Juntos
Together for a Better Education and Success for At-Risk Youth in Iowa Communities. The project provides family-based learning to help youth successfully transition to and complete high school and explore opportunities to participate in higher education. Juntos brings Latino families who have youth in middle school together to participate in a series of five two-hour workshops focused on working together as a family to set educational goals, communicate within the family and with school staff, understand expectations and requirements for high school graduation and entrance to college, and learn about strategies for financing higher education. Following the workshop series, families meet monthly to gain more information and to support each other, youth receive information and mentoring via success coaching, families visit colleges, and are linked to additional learning opportunities via 4-H and human sciences extension and outreach. The grant is from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, and this is the fifth year of the project.