Approaches to Program Fidelity in Family Literacy Research

Authored by: Douglas R. Powell , Amy J. Carey

Handbook of Family Literacy

Print publication date:  April  2012
Online publication date:  August  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415884570
eBook ISBN: 9780203841495
Adobe ISBN: 9781136899126


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The extent to which interventions are implemented as intended—the traditional definition of program fidelity—is a topic of growing interest among family literacy program researchers, practitioners, and policy makers. The evidence-based practice movement has increased the use of experimental research designs (Shadish & Cook, 2009) and the concomitant need to describe the “what” in studies designed to identify “what works” in family-oriented approaches to improving children’s outcomes (Powell, 2005). Too, results of studies showing small or no effects of family literacy programs have led to questions about whether the programs examined in outcome studies represented the original program model. Few answers are available. Most family literacy program outcome studies provide no information about program fidelity (Sénéchal & Young, 2008; van Steensel, McElvany, Kurvers, & Herppich, 2011, this volume).

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