Evaluating the Social Validity of the Early Start Denver Model: A Convergent Mixed Methods Study

Emily Ogilvie, Matthew T. McCrudden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


An intervention has social validity to the extent that it is socially acceptable to participants and stakeholders. This pilot convergent mixed methods study evaluated parents’ perceptions of the social validity of the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM), a naturalistic behavioral intervention for children with autism. It focused on whether the parents viewed (a) the ESDM goals as appropriate for their children, (b) the intervention procedures as acceptable and appropriate, and (c) whether changes in their children’s behavior was practically significant. Parents of four children who participated in the ESDM completed the TARF-R questionnaire and participated in a semi-structured interview. Both data sets indicated that parents rated their experiences with the ESDM positively and rated it as socially-valid. The findings indicated that what was implemented in the intervention is complemented by how it was implemented and by whom.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2899-2910
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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