Institute for Research on Social Issues
Claremont Graduate University's Institute for Research on Social Issues conducts research on civic participation, volunteerism, interpersonal relationships, physical and mental health, and the relationships between these constructs.
In particular, our interest has been in sustained helping in which people actively seek out opportunities to assist others in need, make considerable and continuing commitments to provide assistance, and sustain these commitments without any bonds of prior obligation to the recipients of their services. Currently, we are engaged in a program of basic and applied investigations, conducted in the field and in the laboratory, to examine personal and social motivations that dispose people to volunteer and participate in civic services and that sustain their involvement in such ongoing helping relationships.
Of particular concern to us in these investigations are individuals involved in volunteer service programs that have emerged in the United States in response to the epidemic of HIV and AIDS. Accordingly, to understand the social and psychological aspects of volunteerism, we have conducted coordinated cross-sectional, longitudinal, and intervention studies with AIDS volunteers, persons living with AIDS, and members of volunteers' social networks.
This research has been funded by the American Foundation for AIDS Research, the Fetzer Institute, and by the National Institute of Mental Health. IRSI collaborates with the University of Minnesota Volunteerism Project. The Principal Investigators are Allen M. Omoto at Claremont Graduate University and Mark Snyder at the University of Minnesota.
We encourage groups and individuals interested in our research to contact us for more information, or for capacity building, collaborative research projects, or for consultation on grantwriting, design and implementation of longitudinal research projects, or program evaluation.
Claremont Graduate University Psychology Department Home Page
University of Minnesota Volunteerism Project Home Page
Center for the Study of the Individual and Society
National Institute of Mental Health
The Fetzer Institute