As telephone interviews—which were seen as more economical and efficient—began to replace face-to-face interviews as the most common survey research methodology, SRC created its first centralized telephone interviewing facility on the first floor of the Thompson building. The original facility, consisting of 18 carrels, expanded and moved within the building and then off site; became part of the Survey Research Operations; and eventually relocated to the Perry Building.

James Jackson launched this program to address the need for high quality national data on African Americans, and to provide research and training opportunities for social scientists and students of color. Its first major initiative, the National Survey of Black Americans, started in 1979, assessed rates of psychological distress and serious mental problems among black Americans, along with a range of social, political and economic factors. Many participants were re-interviewed eight, nine, and 12 years after the initial study, providing longitudinal information that has helped guide policymakers and practitioners.

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Juster, an economist, did research in areas including the analysis of what U.S. households accumulated in savings and wealth, determinants of retirement, and interrelations among health, job status, and economic status. Juster grew increasingly interested in issues affecting the country’s aging population, and he later was founding principal investigator of the influential Health and Retirement Study.

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