Fidelity in After-School Program Intervention Research: A Systematic Review

Brandy R. Maynard, Kristen E. Peters, Michael G. Vaughn, Christine M. Sarteschi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: This study examined whether and to what extent researchers addressed intervention fidelity in research of afterschool programs serving at-risk students. Method: Systematic review procedures were used to search, retrieve, select, and analyze studies for this review. Fifty-five intervention studies were assessed on the following components of intervention fidelity: strategies to enhance fidelity, measurement of fidelity, and use of fidelity data in data analysis and interpretation. Results: Of the 55 studies examined, only 55% reported well-defined intervention procedures, 42% used an intervention manual, 33% provided training on the intervention, 24% provided supervision for the implementers, 29% measured fidelity, only 4% used fidelity data in their analysis, and no studies reported the reliability of fidelity measures. Conclusion: Findings indicate an overall lack of attention to and reporting of intervention fidelity in after-school intervention studies. Implications for practice, policy, and research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)613-623
Number of pages11
JournalResearch on Social Work Practice
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Nov

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: The authors are grateful for support from the Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk, the Greater Texas Foundation, the Institute of Educational Sciences (Grants R324A100022 and R324B080008), the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (P50 HD052117).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Psychology(all)


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