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Research Design in Clinical Psychology. Lecture 5 Control Groups (Chapter 7 in Kazdin). Control Groups 1. No treatment control groups Helps rule out confounds such as hx or maturation, and spontaneous remission

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Research Design in Clinical Psychology

Lecture 5

Control Groups

(Chapter 7 in Kazdin)


Control groups 1 l.jpg
Control Groups 1

  • No treatment control groups

    • Helps rule out confounds such as hx or maturation, and spontaneous remission

    • Can’t use drop-outs, as they are self-selected as opposed to randomly selected to this group

  • Wait-list control group

    • Tx given after tx period is over for group 1

      • Must only use participants who in advance agree to remain in if placed in this group, otherwise, could introduce serious confounds

    • Three key features

      • No tx between pretest and end of waiting period

      • Waiting period must = tx period of other group

      • Waitlist group completes 2 rounds of preassessment & one of post


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    Control Groups 2

    • No contact control

      • They don’t even realize they are in the study

  • Nonspecific-treatment or “Attention-Placebo” control

    • Nonspecific factors are controlled, so the specific mechanisms of change can be somewhat isolated and evaluated

      • Control for common factors

      • Credibility is key

      • Could produce problems as well

        • Reduce faith in therapy or leads individuals to never seek real tx

  • Routine/Standard Treatment

    • All receive an acceptable tx

    • Limited attrition

    • Controls for nonspecific factors etc across intervention and control

    • More likely to have therapist compliance


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    Control Groups 3

    • Yoked Control

      • Subjects are matched to each other

      • Issues of construct validity should drive this decision

  • Nonrandomly assigned or nonequivalent control group

    • Patched up control group

    • formation of addition group for comparison w/o random assignment

    • Has limitations

  • Larger issues

    • In what cases are control groups unnecessary?


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    Evaluating Psychotherapy Research 1

    • Treatment Package

      • Does tx produce therapeutic change

        • Evaluate treatment as normally used

        • Treatment vs. no treatment or wait-list control

    • Dismantling Strategy

      • What components of a known tx are central to mechanism of change and necessary

        • Groups that differ on components received

        • Can be used to isolate one of more component

    • Constructive-treatment Strategy

      • Opposite of dismantling (kind of)


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    Evaluating Psychotherapy Research 2

    • Parametric Study

      • What specific changes can be made to improve treatment

        • Focus on dimensions (e.g., duration)

    • Comaprative-treatment Strategy

      • Which tx is more effective for a given problem

        • Can vary along several dimensions


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    Evaluating Psychotherapy Research 2

    • Treatment-Moderator Strategy

      • What characteristics are necessary for effectiveness

        • Gender, ethnicity etc

        • WHAT HAS AN EFFECT

    • Treatment-Mediator Strategy

      • Used to identify mechanisms of change in tx

        • W/n treatment – no comparison group

        • WHY IT HAS AN EFFECT


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