Individual Differences in Participation in a Parent-Child Support Program

  • Douglas R. Powell


Most descriptions and evaluations of programs designed to enhance parent-child functioning have given scant attention—or none—to the determinants and nature of individual differences in participants’ program experiences. The tendency has been to conceptualize the treament as a unidimensional construct rather than a set of variables. Typically the treatment is viewed as either present or absent. Yet informal knowledge suggests there is considerable variation in program experience at the individual level. Cursory examination of a human service program indicates that workers do not carry out identical tasks in a uniform manner and that participants do not “receive” a program with similar intensity. The essence of a program may be characterized best by exploring these individual differences. Information about the range of experiences within intervention programs might help evaluators explain program effects with greater power and precision and, moreover, might assist program designers in improving the effectiveness of services.


Program Experience Life Condition Economic Hardship Program Participation Staff Service 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Douglas R. Powell
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Liberal Arts, Department of Family and Consumer ResourcesWayne State UniversityDetroitUSA

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