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How can we best evaluate interventions that target? Why our use of the hypothesis of Moderation is inadequate and an introduction to a more appropriate alternative

How can we best evaluate interventions that target? Why our use of the hypothesis of Moderation is inadequate and an introduction to a more appropriate alternative
How can we best evaluate interventions that target? Why our use of the hypothesis of Moderation is inadequate and an introduction to a more appropriate alternative
Purpose: first, to outline how our evaluation of targeting interventions is undermined by the lack of an appropriate descriptive hypothesis. Second, to describe and demonstrate how a newly developed hypothesis is appropriate for evaluating targeting interventions.

Background: interventions that target are common in educational psychology. Examples include Nurture Groups and the various targeted interventions that are implemented for students with SEN. We also know how important it is for these interventions to be evidence-based and great emphasis is put on the evidence from formal evaluations. However, our current evaluation methods lack an adequate framework that describes the targeting that takes place in a targeted intervention.

Methods: this paper first outlines why our current evaluation methods lack this adequate framework. This problem is an unintended side effect of evaluation methods frequently employing hypotheses of Moderation. Therefore, a replacement for Moderation is presented, termed ‘Airbag Moderation’, which allows evaluations to capture both parts of a targeting intervention. A demonstration follows that uses data from a national evaluation of 117 Sure Start Children’s Centres and 2608 families with preschoolers. First, the more socially disadvantaged a family, the greater their use of a Children’s Centre (effective targeting). Second, the greater the use of a Children's Centre, the less that social disadvantage was associated with internalising behaviours shown by preschoolers (effective intervention).

Conclusions: moderation hypotheses are inadequate for evaluating interventions that target as they fail to describe targeting. Airbag Moderation is an alternative that does. Therefore, the uptake of Airbag Moderation is encouraged by educational psychologists, evaluators, and policy makers.
evaluation methodology, Research Methods, moderation, moderated mediation, Structural Equation Modelling, children's centres
Hall, James
29e17a2b-dca0-4b91-be02-2ace4abaa6c4
Malmberg, Lars
dcca86e9-5e03-4288-9a81-f29a50e04936
Lindorff, Ariel
c1b05285-fa02-46ea-9f61-1a04f65ae1c3
Baumann, Nicole
f7d8da6a-97e0-4178-8b0c-74764dba64e5
Sammons, Pamela
6e0fda4f-4780-4368-a64e-637cb182428e
Hall, James
29e17a2b-dca0-4b91-be02-2ace4abaa6c4
Malmberg, Lars
dcca86e9-5e03-4288-9a81-f29a50e04936
Lindorff, Ariel
c1b05285-fa02-46ea-9f61-1a04f65ae1c3
Baumann, Nicole
f7d8da6a-97e0-4178-8b0c-74764dba64e5
Sammons, Pamela
6e0fda4f-4780-4368-a64e-637cb182428e

Hall, James, Malmberg, Lars, Lindorff, Ariel, Baumann, Nicole and Sammons, Pamela (2018) How can we best evaluate interventions that target? Why our use of the hypothesis of Moderation is inadequate and an introduction to a more appropriate alternative. The British Psychological Society Psychology of Education Section Annual Conference 2018, Oxford, United Kingdom. 14 - 15 Sep 2018.

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Abstract

Purpose: first, to outline how our evaluation of targeting interventions is undermined by the lack of an appropriate descriptive hypothesis. Second, to describe and demonstrate how a newly developed hypothesis is appropriate for evaluating targeting interventions.

Background: interventions that target are common in educational psychology. Examples include Nurture Groups and the various targeted interventions that are implemented for students with SEN. We also know how important it is for these interventions to be evidence-based and great emphasis is put on the evidence from formal evaluations. However, our current evaluation methods lack an adequate framework that describes the targeting that takes place in a targeted intervention.

Methods: this paper first outlines why our current evaluation methods lack this adequate framework. This problem is an unintended side effect of evaluation methods frequently employing hypotheses of Moderation. Therefore, a replacement for Moderation is presented, termed ‘Airbag Moderation’, which allows evaluations to capture both parts of a targeting intervention. A demonstration follows that uses data from a national evaluation of 117 Sure Start Children’s Centres and 2608 families with preschoolers. First, the more socially disadvantaged a family, the greater their use of a Children’s Centre (effective targeting). Second, the greater the use of a Children's Centre, the less that social disadvantage was associated with internalising behaviours shown by preschoolers (effective intervention).

Conclusions: moderation hypotheses are inadequate for evaluating interventions that target as they fail to describe targeting. Airbag Moderation is an alternative that does. Therefore, the uptake of Airbag Moderation is encouraged by educational psychologists, evaluators, and policy makers.

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More information

Published date: 14 September 2018
Venue - Dates: The British Psychological Society Psychology of Education Section Annual Conference 2018, Oxford, United Kingdom, 2018-09-14 - 2018-09-15
Keywords: evaluation methodology, Research Methods, moderation, moderated mediation, Structural Equation Modelling, children's centres

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 424185
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/424185
PURE UUID: 671979ea-ab1c-4d38-9c0c-c135ff162057
ORCID for James Hall: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-8002-0922

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 05 Oct 2018 11:33
Last modified: 23 Jul 2019 00:25

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