Evaluating Intervention Programs with a Pretest-posttest Design: A Structural Equation Modeling Approach

Alessandri, Guido and Zuffianò, Antonio and Perinelli, Enrico (2017) Evaluating Intervention Programs with a Pretest-posttest Design: A Structural Equation Modeling Approach. Frontiers in Psychology. ISSN ISSN 1664-1078

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Abstract

A common situation in the evaluation of intervention programs is the researcher’s possibility to rely on two waves of data only (i.e., pretest and posttest), which profoundly impacts on his/her choice about the possible statistical analyses to be conducted. Indeed, the evaluation of intervention programs based on a pretest-posttest design has been usually carried out by using classic statistical tests, such as family-wise ANOVA analyses, which are strongly limited by exclusively analyzing the intervention effects at the group level. In this article, we showed how second order multiple group latent change modeling (SO-MG-LCM) could represent a useful methodological tool to have a more realistic and informative assessment of intervention programs with two waves of data. We offered a practical step-by-step guide to properly implement this methodology, and we outlined the advantages of the LCM approach over classic ANOVA analyses. Furthermore, we also provided a real-data example by re-analyzing the implementation of the Young Prosocial Animation, a universal intervention program aimed at promoting prosociality among youth. In conclusion, albeit there are previous studies that pointed to the usefulness of MG-LCM to evaluate intervention programs (Curran & Muthén, 1999; Muthén & Curran, 1997), no previous study showed that it is possible to use this approach even in pretest-posttest (i.e., with only two time points) designs. Given the advantages of latent variable analyses in examining differences in interindividual and intraindividual changes (McArdle, 2009), the methodological and substantive implications of our proposed approach are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information and Comments: This Document is Protected by copyright and was first published by Frontiers. All rights reserved. it is reproduced with permission.
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Science > Psychology
Depositing User: Antonio Zuffiano
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2017 15:37
Last Modified: 20 Feb 2017 13:38
URI: http://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/1852

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