A DESCRIPTIVE STUDY OF INDICATORS OF EFFECTIVE INTERVENTIONS FOR SUPPORTING STUDENTS
As many students demonstrate academic or behavioral difficulties, there is a need for effective interventions to support students. The school psychology and education literatures provide effective interventions (e.g. Rathvon, 1999; Shinn, Walker, & Stoner, 2002; Thomas & Grimes, 2002); however, studies of interventions implemented in schools (e.g. Safran & Safran, 1996) often show few positive results or lack of implementation. As federal and state governments recommend or require use of interventions to support students, it is crucial to examine whether research-based practices are being meaningfully implemented in the schools. This study explored indicators of quality interventions identified in the literature and their use in schools. Fifteen indicators were examined: (a) behavioral definition, (b) baseline data, (c) problem validation, (d) problem analysis, (e) goal setting, (f) intervention-hypothesis match, (g) intervention plan, (h) measurement strategy, (i) decision-making plan, (j) progress monitoring, (k) formative evaluation, (l) treatment integrity, (m) summative evaluation, (n) intervention content, and (o) social validity. The purpose of the study was to inform both researchers and practitioners about the quality of intervention implementation to allow educators to improve performance and researchers to focus upon training needs. The research question was: Based upon case studies in actual practice, how well do interventions align with the indicators of quality interventions identified in the literature? Three different aspects were addressed: (a) How many indicators are typically present in intervention cases? (b) Which indicators are most often present or missing? And (c) Which indicators are implemented to a higher degree? Results indicated that the quality of interventions being implemented in the schools is improving. This study found more indicators implemented to a higher degree than previous research (Flugum & Reschly, 1994; Telzrow, McNamara, & Hollinger, 2000; Upah 1998). The intensive training component provided by the Southwest Ohio Special Education Regional Resource Center may be critical in explaining this improvement. However, there were still indicators (i.e., social validity) that were not implemented frequently or to a high level of quality. As such, practitioners and researchers need to continue to focus on whether all of these indicators are crucial to successful outcomes and how to ensure high quality implementation of indicators of quality interventions.
School:University of Cincinnati
School Location:USA - Ohio
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:intervention quality indicators
Date of Publication:01/01/2004