ERIC Number: EJ718303
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Apr
Reference Count: 26
Interpreting Outcomes: Using Focus Groups in Evaluation Research
Ansay, Sylvia J.; Perkins, Daniel F.; Nelson, John
Family Relations, v53 n3 p310-316 Apr 2004
Although focus groups continue to gain popularity in marketing and social science research, their use in program evaluation has been limited. Here we demonstrate how focus groups can benefit evaluators, program staff, policy makers and administrators by providing an in-depth understanding of program effectiveness from the perspective of participants as stakeholders in program outcomes. Using data from the Youth Action Program, a prevention program funded by the United States Air Force for military dependent adolescents at risk, our methodology included a narrative approach to data analysis, combining theme analysis with a systematic interpretive approach centering on how group members experienced the program within the contexts of their daily lives. We show that the parents benefited from the program beyond youth outcomes, and this was useful information for program improvement and expansion.
Descriptors: Program Evaluation, Program Effectiveness, Program Improvement, Youth Programs, Outcomes of Education, Evaluation Research, Data Analysis, Focus Groups, Research Methodology
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States