Evaluating process in child and family interventions: Aggression prevention as an example

Patrick H. Tolan, Laura Hanish, Mary M. McKay, Mitchell H. Dickey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


This article reports on 2 studies designed to develop and validate a set of measures for use in evaluating processes of child and family interventions. In Study 1 responses from 187 families attending an outpatient clinic for child behavior problems were factor analyzed to identify scales, consistent across sources: Alliance (Satisfactory Relationship with Interventionist and Program Satisfaction), Parenting Skill Attainment, Child Cooperation During Session, Child Prosocial Behavior, and Child Aggressive Behavior. Study 2 focused on patterns of scale scores among 78 families taking part in a 22-week preventive intervention designed to affect family relationships, parenting, and child antisocial and prosocial behaviors. The factor structure identified in Study 1 was replicated. Scale construct validity was demonstrated through across-source convergence, sensitivity to intervention change, and ability to discriminate individual differences. Path analysis validated the scales' utility in explaining key aspects of the intervention process. Implications for evaluating processes in family interventions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)220-236
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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