PURPOSE This study investigated Iowa dental hygienists' perceptions about education, practice, and licensure regarding issues related to self-regulation. Furthermore, it was the purpose of the study to determine if these perceptions were statistically related to membership in the American Dental Hygienists' Association (ADHA). METHODS In October 1992, 150 Iowa dental hygienists were randomly selected to participate in a mail survey. The questionnaire included items on self-regulation, licensure, practice, supervision, delivery systems, and independent practice. Responses were analyzed by frequency distributions and the chi-square statistic. RESULTS Ninety responses were received, representing 80% of the 112 subjects with valid Iowa addresses, but only 60% of the selected sample. Of the 36 variables analyzed, only two were statistically significantly different by ADHA membership. Thus, data were combined and reported for all respondents. The majority of Iowa dental hygienists (71.6%) believed dental hygiene was pursuing self-regulation to improve quality of care. They wanted more dental hygiene representation on licensure boards and almost 50% wanted separate boards. The majority of respondents favored control of dental hygiene practice and 70% wanted alternatives to the current dental hygiene care delivery system. Most respondents stated general supervision and independent practice would increase access to oral healthcare without increasing patients' risk of health problems. CONCLUSIONS The majority of Iowa dental hygienists support the dental hygiene profession's goal of self-regulation. ADHA members and nonmembers have similar attitudes and opinions about dental hygiene self-regulation, licensure, delivery systems, and practice.