Conducting Quasi-Experimental Research in an Urban School District: A Closer Look at the Challenges and Implications
Keywords:quasi-experimental research, health and wellness, evaluation
In the fall of 2014, a large, urban public school district partnered with a foundation to pilot a health and wellness program in ten elementary schools. Through this partnership, health and wellness instructors were trained, hired, and deployed to each of the ten schools to lead students through a health and wellness curriculum, desiged to promote student physical and mental health and wellness. This article presents a summary of the challenges and lessons learned during the first year of the quasi-experimental research study of the health and wellness program. These included issues with the reseach design and participation in the study, logistics of collecting data in schools, and reliability and validity concerns with some of the study's data and measures. The article also describes the changes and improvements that were made for the evaluation study for the second year, and highlights the implications for future school-based research.
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