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ERIC Number: EJ792311
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 12
ISSN: ISSN-1097-6736
Commentary on the Pitfalls and Pratfalls of Evaluation Research with Intervention and Prevention Programs
Bierman, Karen L.
New Directions for Evaluation, n110 p87-96 Sum 2006
Prevention science is moving from a narrow emphasis on cataloging success to a broader research agenda that takes aim at the difficult gap between research-based efficacy and community-based effectiveness. This article analyzes the preceding articles in this volume which demonstrate "lessons learned" from youth violence prevention programs that failed to produce significant results in community settings. These articles also illustrate the difficulty of the challenge and highlight the value of careful reflection on past efforts to improve future designs. Moving beyond the initial demonstration of effective programs, future research must identify characteristics of delivery systems that can provide broad access to locally and culturally relevant, high fidelity, empirically supported youth violence prevention programs over sustained periods of time. Further prevention research is needed, using trials in a multifaceted way: (1) to test elaborated theoretical models (examining mediation and moderation by individual and contextual characteristics); (2) to strengthen therapeutic technologies that elicit improved engagement and induce greater attitude and behavior change; and (3) to improve the quality of implementation fidelity and sustained portability in community service settings. At the end of the day, proven programs will be those that produce statistically and clinically significant findings in the context of rigorous, community-based, randomized-controlled designs. Along the way, however, designing preventive interventions to support more complete and effective post-mortem analyses may increase the value demonstrated in this volume of interventions that held promise, but lacked the level of impact desired. It is difficult, but critically important work, with the potential to dramatically reduce youth violence and improve youth well-being and societal success.
Jossey Bass. Available from John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774. Tel: 800-825-7550; Tel: 201-748-6645; Fax: 201-748-6021; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A