Understanding Process in Group-Based Intervention Delivery: Social Network Analysis and Intra-entity Variability Methods as Windows into the "Black Box"

Prev Sci. 2016 Nov;17(8):925-936. doi: 10.1007/s11121-016-0699-3.


Although the majority of evidence-based programs are designed for group delivery, group process and its role in participant outcomes have received little empirical attention. Data were collected from 20 groups of participants (94 early adolescents, 120 parents) enrolled in an efficacy trial of a mindfulness-based adaptation of the Strengthening Families Program (MSFP). Following each weekly session, participants reported on their relations to group members. Social network analysis and methods sensitive to intraindividual variability were integrated to examine weekly covariation between group process and participant progress, and to predict post-intervention outcomes from levels and changes in group process. Results demonstrate hypothesized links between network indices of group process and intervention outcomes and highlight the value of this unique analytic approach to studying intervention group process.

Keywords: Group process; Group-based intervention; Intra-entity variability; Social network analysis.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Family
  • Female
  • Group Processes*
  • Health Promotion / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parents
  • Preventive Health Services*
  • Social Networking
  • Social Support*