Greater use of interrupted time-series experiments is advocated for community intervention research. Time-series designs enable the development of knowledge about the effects of community interventions and policies in circumstances in which randomized controlled trials are too expensive, premature, or simply impractical. The multiple baseline time-series design typically involves two or more communities that are repeatedly assessed, with the intervention introduced into one community at a time. It is particularly well suited to initial evaluations of community interventions and the refinement of those interventions. This paper describes the main features of multiple baseline designs and related repeated-measures time-series experiments, discusses the threats to internal validity in multiple baseline designs, and outlines techniques for statistical analyses of time-series data. Examples are given of the use of multiple baseline designs in evaluating community interventions and policy changes.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Allison, D. B., & Gorman, B. S. (1993). Calculating effect sizes for meta-analysis: The case of the single case. Behavioral Research Therapy, 31, 621–631.
Barlow, D. H., Hayes, S. C., & Nelson, R. O. (1984). The essentials of time-series methodology: Case studies&single-case experimentation; Within-series elements; Between-series elements; Combined-series elements. In A. P. Goldstein & L. Krasner (Eds.), The scientist practitioner–Research and accountability in clinical and educational settings. Pergamon general psychology series (pp. 157–272). New York: Pergamon Press.
Barlow, D. H., & Hersen, M. (1984). Single case experimental designs. Strategies for studying behavior change (2). NewYork: Pergamon Press.
Biglan, A. (1995a). Changing cultural practices: A contextualist framework for intervention research. Reno, NV: Context Press.
Biglan, A. (1995b). Choosing a paradigm to guide prevention research and practice. Drugs and Society, 8, 149–160.
Biglan, A., Ary, D., Koehn, V., & Levings, D. (1996d). Mobilizing positive reinforcement in communities to reduce youth access to tobacco. American Journal of Community Psychology, 24, 625–638.
Biglan, A., & Hayes, S. C. (1996d). Should the behavioral sciences become more pragmatic? The case for functional contextualism in research on human behavior. Applied and Preventive Psychology, 5, 47–57.
Biglan, A., Henderson, J., Humphreys, D., Yasui, M., Whisman, R., Black, C., & James, L. (1995). Mobilising positive reinforcement to reduce youth access to tobacco. Tobacco Control, 4, 42–48.
Biglan, A., Mrazek, P. J., Carnine, D., & Flay, B. R. (in press). The integration of research and practice in the prevention of youth problem behaviors. American Psychologist.
Box, G. E. P., & Jenkins, G. M. (1976). Times series analysis: Forecasting and control (Revised). Oakland, CA: Holden-Day, Inc.
Busk, P. L., & Serlin, R. C. (1992). Meta-analysis for single-case research. In T. R. Kratochwill & J. R. Levin (Eds.), Singlecase research designs and analysis (pp. 187–212). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Campbell, D. T. (1969). Reforms as experiments. American Psychologist, 24, 409–429.
Chaloupka, F. J., & Grossman, M. (1996). Price, tobacco control policies and youth smoking. (NBER Working Paper 5740). Chicago: National Bureau of Economic Research and University of Illinois at Chicago Department of Economics.
Chambless, D. L., & Hollon, S. D. (1998). Defining empirically supported therapies. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 66, 7–18.
COMMIT Research Group. (1995a). Community intervention trial for smoking cessation (COMMIT): I. Cohort results from a four-year community intervention. American Journal of Public Health, 85, 183–192.
COMMIT Research Group. (1995b). Community intervention trial for smoking cessation (COMMIT): II. Changes in adult cigarette smoking prevalence. American Journal of Public Health, 85, 193–200.
Cook, T. D., & Campbell, D. T. (1979). Quasi-experimentation: Design and Analysis Issues for Field Settings. Chicago: Rand McNally.
Cronbach, L. J. (1986). Social inquiry by and for earthlings. In D. W. Fiske & R. A. Schweder (Eds.), Metatheory in Social Science: Pluralism and Subjectivities (pp. 83–107). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Crosbie, J. (1993). Interrupted time-series analysis with brief single-subject data. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 61, 966–974.
Crosbie, J. (1995). Interrupted time-series analysis with short series: Why it is problematic; how it can be improved. In J. M. Gottman (Ed.), The Analysis of Change (pp. 361–395). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Enders, W. (1995). Applied econometric time series. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
Fawcett, S. B., Paine, A. L., Francisco, V. T., & Vliet, M. (1995). Promoting health through community development. In D. Glenwick & L. A. Jason (Eds.), Promoting health and mental health: Behavioral approaches to prevention. New York, NY: Haworth Press.
Fawcett, S. B., Suarez, d. B., Whang-Ramos, P. L., Seekins, T., Bradford, B., & Mathews, R. M. (1988). The Concerns Report. Involving consumers in planning for rehabilitation and independent living services. American Rehabilitation, 17–19.
Forster, J. L., Murray, D. M., Wolfson, M., Blaine, T. M., Wagenaar, A. C., & Hennrikus, D. J. (1998). The effects of community policies to reduce youth access to tobacco. American Journal of Public Health, 88, 1193–1198.
Glass, G. V., Willson, V. L., & Gottman, J. M. (1975). Design and analysis of time-series experiments. Boulder: University of Colorado Press.
Gottman, J. M. (1981). Time-series analysis.Acomprehensive introduction for social scientists. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Harrop, J. W., & Velicer, W. F. (1985). A comparison of alternative approaches to the analysis of interrupted time-series. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 20, 27–44.
Hayes, S. C. (1993). Goals and the varieties of scientific contextualism. In S. C. Hayes, L. J. Hayes, T. R. Sarbin, & H. W. Reese (Eds.), The varieties of scientific contextualism (pp. 11–27). Reno, NV: Context Press.
Hingson, R., Heeren, T., Kovenock, D., Mangione, T., Meyers, A., Morelock, S., Lederman, R., & Scotch, N. A. (1987). Effects of Maine's 1981 and Massachusetts' 1982 drivingunder-the-influence legislation. American Journal of Public Health, 77, 593–597.
Hollis, J. F., Lichtenstein, E., Vogt, T. M., Stevens, V. J., & Biglan, A. (1993). Nurse-assisted counseling for smokers in primary care. Annals of Internal Medicine, 118, 521–525.
Kellam, S.G. (1999). Integrating prevention science strategies. Presidential address at the 7th Annual Society for Prevention Research Conference, June 24–26, 1999, New Orleans.
Kratochwill, T. R. (1978). Single subject research. Strategies for evaluation change. New York: Academic Press.
Liu, L. M., & Hudak, G. B. (1994). Forecasting and time series analysis using the SCA Statistical System. Oak Brook, IL: Scientific Computing Associates Corp.
Matyas, T. A., & Greenwood, K. M. (1990). Visual analysis of single-case time series: Effects of variability, serial dependence, and magnitude of intervention effects. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 23, 341–351.
McArdle, J. J. (1988). Dynamic but structural equation modeling of repeated measures data. In J. R. Nesselroade & R. B. Cattell (Eds.), Handbook of mulivariate experimental psychology (2nd ed.) (pp. 561–613). New York: Plenum Press.
McCleary, R., & Hay Jr., R. A. (1980). Applied time series analysis for the social sciences. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.
Meredith, W., & Tisak, J. (1990). Latent curve analysis. Psychometrika, 55, 107–122.
Metzler, C. W., Biglan, A., Ary, D. V., & Li, F. (1998). The stability and validity of early adolescents' reports of parenting practices constructs. Journal of Family Psychology, 12, 600–619.
O'Malley, P. M., & Wagenaar, A. C. (1991). Effects of minimum drinking age laws on alcohol use, related behaviors and traffic crash involvement among American youth: 1976–1987. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 52, 478–491.
Ockene, J. K. (1987). Physician-delivered interventions for smoking cessation: Strategies for increasing effectiveness. Preventive Medicine, 16, 723–737.
Perry, C. L., Finnegan, J. R., Forster, J. L., Wagenaar, A. C., & Wolfson, M. (1996). Project Northland: Outcomes of a communitywide alcohol use prevention program during early adolescence. American Journal of Public Health, 86, 956–965.
Ross, H. L. (1973). Law, science, and accidents: The British Road Safety Act of 1967. The Journal of Legal Studies, 11, 1–78.
Sarbin, T. R. (1977). Contextualism: A world view for modern psychology. Nebraska symposium on motivation, Vol. 24 (pp. 3–40). Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.
Sidman, M. (1960). Tactics of scientific research. New York: Basic Books.
Simonton, D. K. (1977a). Cross-sectional time-series experiments: Some suggested statistical analyses. Psychological Bulletin, 84, 489–502.
Simonton, D. K. (1977b). Erratum to Simonton. Psychological Bulletin, 84, 1097.
Trickett, E. J. (1991). Living an idea. Empowerment and the evolution of an alternative high school. Cambridge, MA: Brookline Books.
Tryon, W. W. (1982). Reinforcement history as possible basis for the relationship between self-percepts of efficacy and responses to treatment. Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Psychiatry, 13, 201–202.
US Department of Health and Human Services. (1994). Preventing tobacco use among young people: A report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health.
Velicer, W. F., & Harrop, J. (1983). The reliability and accuracy of time series model identification. Evaluation Review, 7, 551–560.
Velicer, W. F., & McDonald, R. P. (1984). Time series analysis without model identification. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 19, 33–47.
Velicer, W. F., & McDonald, R. P. (1991). Cross-sectional time series designs: A general transformation approach. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 26, 247–254.
Wagenaar, A. C. (1983). Alcohol, young drivers, and traffic accidents: Effects of minimum age laws. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books.
Wagenaar, A. C. (1986). Preventing highway crashes by raising the legal minimum age for drinking: TheMichigan experience six years later. Journal of Safety Research, 17, 101–109.
Wagenaar, A. C. (1993). Minimum drinking age and alcohol availability to youth: Issues and research needs. Alcohol and health monograph: Economics and the prevention of alcohol-related problems (pp. 175–200). Rockville, MD: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
Wagenaar, A. C., Gehan, J. P., Jones-Webb, R., Wolfson, M., Toomey, T. L., Forster, J. L., & Murray, D. M. (1999). Communities mobilizing for change on alcohol: Lessons and results from a 15-community randomized trial. Journal of Community Psychology, 27, 315–326.
Wagenaar, A. C., & Maybee, R. G. (1986). The legal minimum drinking age in Texas: Effects of an increase from 18 to 19. Journal of Safety Research, 17, 165–178.
Wagenaar, A. C., Murray, D. M., Gehan, J. P., Wolfson, M., Forster, J. L., Toomey, T. L., Perry, C. L., & Jones-Webb, R. Interrupted Time-Series Experiments 49 (in press). Communities mobilizing for change on alcohol: Outcomes from a randomized community trial. Journal of Studies on Alcohol.
Wagenaar, A. C., Murray, D. M., Wolfson, M., & Forster, J. L. (1994). Communities mobilizing for change on alcohol: Design of a randomized community trial. Journal of Community Psychology, 1994–101.
Wagenaar, A. C., & Webster, D. W. (1986). Preventing injuries to children through compulsory automobile safety seat use. Pediatrics, 78, 662–672.
Warner, K. E. (1977). The effects of the anti-smoking campaign on cigarette consumption. American Journal of Public Health, 67, 645–650.
Windsor, R. A. (1986). The utility of time series designs and analysis in evaluating health promotion and education programs. Advances in Health Education and Promotion, 1, 435–465.
About this article
Cite this article
Biglan, A., Ary, D. & Wagenaar, A.C. The Value of Interrupted Time-Series Experiments for Community Intervention Research. Prev Sci 1, 31–49 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1010024016308
- interrupted time-series experiments
- time-series analysis
- multiple baseline designs
- community interventions