Measuring Program Outcomes: Using Retrospective Pretest Methodology

The longitudinal data from 307 mothers was used in this study to evaluate the success of a child abuse prevention program. Results show that the use of retrospective pretest methodology was more effective in the assessment of program outcomes than traditional pre-test - post-test methodology

"Results showed that when response shift bias was present, traditional pretest-posttest comparisons resulted in an underestimation of program effects that could easily be avoided by the retrospective pretest methodology. With demands for documenting program outcomes increasing, retrospective pretest designs are shown to be a simple, convenient, and expeditious option for assessing program effects in responsive interventions. The limits of retrospective pretests, and options for strengthening their use, are discussed." (Pratt, McGuigan & Katzev, 2000)


  • Context for the Study
  • Participants
  • Procedures
  • Statistical Analysis
  • Results
  • Discussion


Pratt, C. C., McGuigan, W. M., & Katzev, A. R. (2000). Measuring program outcomes: Using retrospective pretest methodology. American Journal of Evaluation, 21(3), 341–349. Retrieved from html

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