Evidence for Program Improvement: Core Components of Effective Youth Programs
- ASPE wanted to identify core components of effective youth programs to inform practice.
- Abt conducted a comprehensive meta-analysis of hundreds of programs.
- Abt is using the findings to produce guidelines for practitioners.
Evidence for Program Improvement was established by The Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) to develop evidence-based practice guidelines for youth programs (e.g., community, mental health, public health, child welfare settings, schools) using a core components approach. The project’s goal is to better understand the core components of effective programs and share guidelines that can make programs more effective with those who design, support, and implement them.
In keeping with the core components approach, Abt conducted a comprehensive meta-analysis of hundreds of rigorous, controlled studies of youth programs. Our analyses are being used to identify profiles of program, participant, and implementation features that are empirically related to positive outcomes across the diverse program implementations represented in the research.
Once the features associated with positive outcomes are identified, we use the results to create practice guidelines that allow agencies and providers to assess how well their services stack up against what the evidence says are the most effective components. The guidelines also provide actionable suggestions on how to implement the core components.
- Improving Programs for Children and Youth that Address Behavioral Problems: Recommendations for Aligning Programs with Evidence on Core Components
- Improving Social Competence Programs for Children and Youth: Recommendations for Aligning Programs with Evidence on Core Components
- Developing Evidence-based Practice Guidelines for Youth Programs: Technical Report on the Core Components of Interventions that Address Social Competence
- Developing Evidence-Based Practice Guidelines for Youth Programs: Technical Report on the Core Components of Interventions that Address Externalizing Behavior Problems