What is best practice when using Effect Sizes to convey information about prevention and intervention research to practitioners and policymakers? H. Stephen Leff, Human Services Research Institute

Published: March 5, 2007
The Application of Effect Sizes in Research on Children and Families: Understanding Impacts on Academic, Emotional Behavioral and Economic Outcomes | Learn more about this project

There are two types of research—basic and intervention. Basic research is primarily recognized in publications and is conducted primarily by academics. In intervention research, researchers try to address social policy and find answers to clinical problems of interest to stakeholders, such as policy makers or consumers of services. The following remarks are from a medical and primarily an adult mental health field perspective.

One interesting comment from the discussion regarded targeted outcomes and multiple outcomes. In medical literature, readers are taught to be very skeptical of multiple outcomes. In fact, the argument is made that the outcomes should be formulated in advance as the hypotheses and any additional testing is considered exploratory effects. To the extent that we talk about effect sizes and how one combines effect sizes and so on, we need to be very careful about synthesizing outcomes.