Click to step through the methodology.

Literature review: How the work was done

The Project Advisory Committee helped the research team develop search words and criteria for evaluating the quality of the evidence. Only research studies that met the standards were included. The research team found and reviewed 407 peer-reviewed academic studies and 223 non-peer-reviewed studies from 2000-2013 that met the criteria. Standards of evidence were also applied to three major theoretical frameworks and 18 program Interventions.

Not all knowledge is included in the literature review; there are many organizations developing and delivering programs without the resources to conduct evaluations that meet academic publishing requirements or standards of evidence established for this review.

The findings of this review are limited largely to academic literature because of the partners' objective to build and evidence-based foundation for program development. The review discusses the limitations of the published literature and outlines the need for program research that focuses on specific populations. A shared future objective of the partners is that programmers and organizations will use this foundation to design program research that helps address the gaps that exist in the literature.