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A social scientist was hired by a local police department to evaluate the effectiveness of a program aimed at reducing juvenile delinquency in the community. When the psychologist arrived, the program had already begun. It included a three-pronged educational campaign directed at parents, community residents, and adolescents attending local schools. Public service messages appeared on television and radio; police officers and social workers made personal appearances in school classrooms; and police officers went door to door in the highest crime areas to help educate residents about community resources for troubled teens. The program lasted six weeks.

What type of program evaluation has the social scientist been asked to conduct?

Describe how a quasi-experimental design, specifically a simple time-series design, might be used by the scientist as part of the program evaluation.  Be sure to provide details regarding relevant procedures and measures for this type of design.

  1. Discuss the major threats to internal validity associated with the design that you have outlined.
  2. The internal validity of a simple time-series design can be strengthened by including a nonequivalent control group.
  3. Suggest a possible control group that the social scientist might consider in this situation.
  4. Identify what measures must be obtained from the control group.

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