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NREPP Glossary

The following definitions have been drawn from numerous sources and are tailored specifically for content on the NREPP Web site. The terms defined here may have slightly different meanings in other settings.

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Effect size
In scientific studies, a number used to express the difference between two groups or the difference between the same group over time on a common scale. It refers to the magnitude of the result. Calculating an effect size is a way to determine the effectiveness of an intervention or to compare the effectiveness of different interventions.

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Effective Program
A few Effective Programs were re-reviewed for NREPP using updated criteria in 2006-2007 and can now be found by searching for the program on the Find an Intervention page.

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Evidence-based
Demonstrating effectiveness in empirical research that meets a standard of scientific rigor. NREPP's criteria for effectiveness and scientific rigor are embodied in its minimum review requirements, which include the stipulation that an intervention must have demonstrated one or more positive behavioral outcomes (p ≤ .05) in substance abuse and/or mental health in at least one study using an experimental or quasi-experimental design. The standard of rigor used by NREPP has changed over time; past minimum requirements are available in NREPP's Federal Register notices, and current minimum requirements are available on the Submissions page.

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Experimental
A study design in which (1) the intervention is compared with one or more control or comparison conditions, (2) subjects are randomly assigned to study conditions, and (3) data are collected at both pretest and posttest or at posttest only. The experimental study design is considered the most rigorous of the three types of designs (experimental, quasi-experimental, and preexperimental).

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Externalizing behaviors
Social behaviors and other external cues that reflect an individual's internal emotional or psychological conflicts. Examples include spontaneous weeping, "acting out," and uncharacteristic aggression. Reduction of externalizing behaviors is a frequently used measure of the success of treatment or intervention for mental or emotional disorders.

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