Designing an Intervention

  • Jose Szapocznik
  • Willo Pequegnat
  • Guillermo Prado


Traditionally, an intervention has been construed as a set of activities on the part of an “intervenor” to bring about changes in the behavior of target individuals or groups. There are three major paradigms for behavior change: mechanistic, organismic and contextual. With the recent advent of contextualism, theories of behavior change have been expanded to include cultural factors that influence behavior. For example, social learning theory, which has been widely used in HIV prevention research, has been subsumed under a contextual paradigm. This chapter provides guidance on the steps in designing an intervention research study. In addition to discussing the complexities involved at each step, important methodological issues, discussed in more detail in other chapters in this book, are also raised. This chapter raises some of the complex issues involved in conducting intervention research, such as recognition of the extent to which research is designed to reflect reality, it may lose some rigor and may compromise the validity of the findings. This is a field in which there is a delicate balance between rigor and public health significance.


Mental Health Intervention Parental Monitoring Formative Work Hispanic Youth Family System Theory 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jose Szapocznik
    • 1
  • Willo Pequegnat
  • Guillermo Prado
  1. 1.Department of Epidemiology and Public HealthUniversity of MiamiMiamiUSA

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