Understanding Leisure-related Program Effects by Using Process Data in the HealthWise South Africa Project

Caldwell, Linda L. et al. (2008). Understanding Leisure-related Program Effects by Using Process Data in the HealthWise South Africa Project. Journal of Park and Recreation Administration. 26(2): 146–162. doi:  10.1901/jaba.2008.26-146

Abstract: This study focuses on whether process measures that focus on program implementation and fidelity can shed light on associated outcomes. In particular, we linked the process evaluation of the HealthWise motivation lesson with outcomes across four waves of data collection. We hypothesized that HealthWise would increase learners’ intrinsic and identified forms of motivation, and decrease amotivation and extrinsic motivation.

Data came from youth in four intervention schools (n = 902, 41.1%) and five control schools (n = 1291, 58.9%) who were participating in a multi-cohort, longitudinal study. For each cohort, baseline data are collected on learners as they begin Grade 8. We currently have four waves of data collected on the first cohort, which is the focus of this paper.

Results suggested that there was evidence of an overall program effect of the curriculum on amotivation regardless of fidelity of implementation. Compared to the control schools, all treatment school learners reported lower levels of amotivation in Wave 4 compared to Wave 3, as hypothesized. Using process evaluation data to monitor implementation fidelity, however, we also conclude that the school with better trained teachers who also reported higher levels of program fidelity had better outcomes than the other schools. We discuss the implications of linking process data with outcome data and associated methodological challenges in linking these data.

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