Practice-Based Evidence for Children and Adolescents: Advancing the Research Agenda in Schools

WCER Working Paper No. 2011-6

Thomas R. Kratochwill, Kimberly Eaton-Hoagwood, Anne E. Kazak, John R. Weisz, Korey Hood, Luis A. Vargas, and Gerard A. Banez

December 2011, 14 pp.

ABSTRACT: The American Psychological Association (APA) Task Force on Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) for Children and Adolescents (2008) recommended a systems approach to enhancing care in order to improve outcomes for children and adolescents with mental health needs and redress persistent systemic problems with the structure of services. Recommendations for enhancing an ecological approach to the adoption and implementation of EBPs are offered through increased attention to practice-based research frameworks for adoption and dissemination. Five criteria are discussed for providing acceptable evidence including, (a) systematic evidence searching and adoption of evidence-based prevention and intervention practices, (b) implementation and adherence to intervention integrity, (c) invoking standards for drawing inferences from interventions, (d) using quality assessments to measure outcomes, and (e) adopting formal data analysis procedures to assess intervention outcomes. Each criterion is illustrated with an example. Future research and policy agendas are outlined.

Full Paper

keywords: Practice-Based Evidence, Evidence-Based Practice, Criteria for Research, Mental Health Outcomes