Inside the Black Box of Interactions Between Programs and Participants: Re-conceptualizing Subgroups for Fatherhood Program Evaluation. B. Literature Review


The literature review proceeded in two stages. The first stage entailed identifying psychosocial factors at the individual, interpersonal, and contextual levels that theories suggest are predictive of behavior change in general. The second stage involved searching the fatherhood literature for research that examined these psychosocial factors as predictors of key fatherhood outcomes.

In Stage 1, we consulted a variety of sources to identify psychosocial factors. For key constructs articulated by health behavior change theories, we relied on a recent review by Glanz and colleagues (2008), which identified the most-often-cited health behavior change theories in the last decade. We also reviewed selected articles describing the key tenets of behavioral economics (for example, Bertrand et al. 2004; Jabbar 2011) and included these concepts in our development of search terms. To get a sense of both the broad domains and specific constructs that we would need to consider in the review of the fatherhood literature, we identified major psychological and developmental theories on determinants of fathering, and we consulted review articles examining predictors of fatherhood-related outcomes. (We describe these theories in Appendix B.) Finally, we revisited findings from the environmental scan of subgroup approaches to make sure we captured psychosocial factors used in audience segmentation research. We then integrated all these concepts pertaining to psychosocial determinants of behavior change and/or predictors of fathering outcomes into a unified framework, which we used to develop search terms and search the fatherhood literature in Stage 2.

In Stage 2, we developed search terms pertaining to the theoretically relevant psychosocial predictors of behavior change identified in Stage 1, as well as search terms pertaining to the following outcomes targeted by fatherhood programs: (1) parenting and co-parenting, (2) marital/couple relationship, (3) employment and economic stability, (4) child support, and (5) father well-being. We then searched academic databases in the behavioral sciences to identify research examining any of these psychosocial factors and one or more of these fatherhood outcomes. After applying exclusion criteria and screening for relevance, we ended up with 64 studies eligible for inclusion in this review. (For greater detail on our approach to searching, screening, selecting, and reviewing research, and for our list of search terms used, see Appendix C.)

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