Helping Children Adjust—A Tri-Ministry Study: I. Evaluation Methodology



This report describes the evaluation methodology of the Tri-Ministry Study—a school-based trial evaluating the effectiveness of three universal programs: (a) a classwide social skills program (SS), (b) a partner reading program (RE); and, (c) a combination of both (SS & RE), to reduce and prevent behavioural maladjustment among children in the primary division (up to grade 3) of Ontario schools. The trial was done between 1991 and 1995. Sixty schools in 11 boards of education took part and were assigned randomly to program(s) during the study. Contributing to the evaluation database are detailed follow-up assessments (observations, ratings, and standard tests) on 2439 children. Three-level growth trajectory models are used to evaluate program effects. The analysis presented for illustration in this report focuses on reading achievement measured by the Wide Range Achievement Test. A companion paper presents the results of the study and discusses important methodological and programmatic issues applicable to this and other prevention studies in the field.