The role of behavior observation in measurement systems for randomized prevention trials

James Snyder*, John Reid, Mike Stoolmiller, George Howe, Hendricks Brown, Getachew Dagne, Wendi Cross

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


The role of behavior observation in theory-driven prevention intervention trials is examined. A model is presented to guide choice of strategies for the measurement of five core elements in theoretically informed, randomized prevention trials: (1) training intervention agents, (2) delivery of key intervention conditions by intervention agents, (3) responses of clients to intervention conditions, (4) short-term risk reduction in targeted client behaviors, and (5) long-term change in client adjustment. It is argued that the social processes typically thought to mediate interventionist training (Element 1) and the efficacy of psychosocial interventions (Elements 2 and 3) may be powerfully captured by behavior observation. It is also argued that behavior observation has advantages in the measurement of short-term change (Element 4) engendered by intervention, including sensitivity to behavior change and blinding to intervention status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-56
Number of pages14
JournalPrevention Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2006


  • Behavior observation
  • Mediators
  • Prevention trials
  • Short-term outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'The role of behavior observation in measurement systems for randomized prevention trials'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this