• By Dartington SRU
  • Posted on Friday 21st August, 2009

Randomized Controlled Trials

The randomized controlled trial is the 'gold standard' research design for assessing the impact of prevention programs. Drawing on articles from a special edition of the UK-based Journal of Children's Services, a series of stories explores the ins and outs of experimental evaluation.

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  • By Kevin Mount
  • Posted on Tuesday 14th October, 2008

Lifting the curse of the squabbling witch doctors

For 30 years, Judith Gueron and her colleagues at the US Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC) have been battling to show that evaluation by randomized controlled trial is “feasible, ethical, uniquely convincing and superior” as a means of determining whether services make a difference. They have conducted more than 30 major random assignment studies in several hundred locations,…

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  • By Kevin Mount
  • Posted on Thursday 16th October, 2008

Good intention, right design – “wrong” answer?

Tutoring programs for young children have been promoted widely in the US since the 1990s as promising strategies for improving academic performance, particularly in reading and maths. Bill Clinton’s America Reads Challenge, for example, urges higher education institutions to increase their commitment to volunteerism within the surrounding local communities.The benefits of tutoring provided by ac…

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  • By Kevin Mount
  • Posted on Thursday 16th October, 2008

Trialing fidelity among the Welsh faithful

Collaboration between researchers and practitioners in Wales is shedding light on how to implement replication randomized controlled trials of evidence-based programs in mainstream policy and practice.The work focuses on the Incredible Years (IY) program, which strengthens relationships between parents and children by emphasizing the importance of play and encouraging good behavior through limit-s…

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  • By Kevin Mount
  • Posted on Monday 29th September, 2008

Randomized controlled trials – time for more system?

With those responsible for public policy warming to the value of experimental methods in the social sciences after decades of scepticism, this week’s York University conference on randomized controlled trials will turn down the heat a little by showing that you need more than one RCT to make solid evidence.The focus if this year’s meeting is methods and synthesis and the virtues of meta-analys…

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  • By Kevin Mount
  • Posted on Thursday 04th June, 2009

Time for a new message on family violence?

There are variations on the theme, but most conflict resolution researchers recognize a model that links exposure to family violence in childhood with conduct disorders in adolescence, substance abuse in early adulthood, and violence in later relationships. Outlined by Miriam Ehrensaft at the Society for Prevention Research conference in Washington, last week, these and other links in the chain o…

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