Date of Award

Summer 8-6-2010

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Public Health

First Advisor

Dr. Shannon Self-Brown

Second Advisor

Dr. Daniel Whitaker


Benchmarking offers community practitioners more systematic judgments about research effectiveness when control groups are not feasible, while also providing a standard for program transportability from clinical to community settings. The purpose of the current study was to outline the necessary decisions, calculations, and strengths and limitations of applying benchmarking methodologies to a behavioral parent training (BPT) program, a field in which benchmarking remains relatively underutilized. The implementation of in-home Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), an evidence-based practice shown to be successful in reducing child maltreatment and neglect, was evaluated as a case study of the application of benchmarking. Of those parents that completed in-home PCIT, a significant reduction was seen for pre-post ECBI scores. Six randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were established as benchmarks based on similarity in parent and child demographics as well as use of the ECBI as a primary measure. Effect sizes of each benchmark study were aggregated to create a single benchmark effect size for treatment and control groups, respectively. The effect size of the current study was found to be significantly superior to the control benchmark effect size but not significantly equivalent to the treatment benchmark effect size. Although the current study demonstrates the use of benchmarking in community research, the need for further guidelines is critical for researchers.


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Public Health Commons