Prevention Science

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 193–198 | Cite as

Commentary on Subgroup Analysis in Intervention Research: Opportunities for the Public Health Approach to Violence Prevention

  • Tamara M. Haegerich
  • Greta M. MassettiEmail author


The public health approach to prevention places a unique emphasis on understanding which populations are at greatest risk for poor health; the factors that place different populations at risk for experiencing injury, death, disability, and related health outcomes; the preventive interventions that are most effective for universal, selected, and indicated populations; and the best methods for encouraging the translation, dissemination, and adoption of preventive interventions for various populations. This information can be valuable in maximizing the efficiency and effectiveness of public health prevention approaches. The present article provides a commentary on the contributions of rigorous subgroup analysis to intervention research and, in particular, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) public health approach to violence prevention.


Subgroup analysis Preventive intervention research Violence prevention 


  1. Almirall, D., McCaffrey, D. F., Ramchand, R., & Murphy, S. A. (2012). Subgroups analysis when treatment and moderators are time-varying. Prevention Science.Google Scholar
  2. Bloom, H.S., & Michalopoulos, C. (2012). When is the story in the subgroups? Prevention Science.Google Scholar
  3. Borenstein, M., & Higgins, J.P.T. (2012). Meta-analysis and subgroups. Prevention Science. Google Scholar
  4. Brown, C.H., Sloboda, Z., Faggiano, F., Teasdale, B., Keller, F., Burkhart, G., Vigna-Taglianti, F., Howe, G., Masyn, K., Wang, W., Muthen, B., Stephens, M., Grey, S., Perrino, T., & the Prevention Science and Methodology Group. (2012). Methods for synthesizing findings on moderation effects across multiple randomized trials. Prevention Science. Google Scholar
  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2004). Therapeutic foster care for the prevention of violence: A report on recommendations of the Task Force on Community Preventive Services. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 53, 1–8.Google Scholar
  6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2007). The effectiveness of universal school-based programs for the prevention of violent and aggressive behavior: A report on recommendations of the Task Force on Community Preventive Services. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 56, 1–16.Google Scholar
  7. Farrell, A.D., Henry, D.B., & Bettencourt, A. (2012). Methodological challenges examining subgroup differences: Examples from universal school-based youth violence prevention trials. Prevention Science. Google Scholar
  8. Green, J., Howes, F., Waters, E., Maher, E., & Oberklaid, F. (2005). Promoting the social and emotional health of primary school-aged children: Reviewing the evidence base for school-based interventions. International Journal of Mental Health Promotion, 7, 30–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Lanza, S.T., & Rhoades, B.L. (2012). Latent class analysis: An alternative perspective on subgroup analysis in prevention and treatment. Prevention Science. Google Scholar
  10. Metropolitan Area Child Study Research Group. (2002). A cognitive-ecological approach to preventing aggression in urban settings: Initial outcomes for high-risk children. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 70, 179–194.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Multisite Violence Prevention Project. (2008). The Multisite Violence Prevention Project: Impact of a universal school-based violence prevention program on social-cognitive outcomes. Prevention Science, 9, 231–244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. (2009). CDC Injury Research Agenda, 2009–2018. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available at
  13. Wang, R., & Ware, J. H. (2012). Detecting moderator effects using subgroup analyses. Prevention Science. Google Scholar
  14. Wilson, S. J., & Lipsey, M. W. (2007). School-based interventions for aggressive and disruptive behavior: Update of a meta-analysis. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 33, S130–S143.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Society for Prevention Research (outside the USA) 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centers for Disease Control and PreventionAtlantaUSA

Personalised recommendations