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									                                                                             School Psychology Review,
                                                                   2009, Volume 38, No. 4, pp. 547–553


         Treatment Integrity: Revisiting Some Big Ideas

                               Charles R. Greenwood
                Juniper Gardens Children’s Project, University of Kansas

       From Peterson, Homer, and Wonderlich          tion. In hopes of adding something to this
(1982) to the present, the editors and authors       comprehensive effort, I decided to provide a
of this issue traced the historical precedence of    personal reflection on the topic based on my
treatment integrity in psychology (see Yeaton        (and my colleagues’) own efforts to develop
& Sechrest, 1981) and its emergence in edu-          and scale up use of evidence-based practices
cation. They reviewed existing treatment in-         in inner-city, urban community schools. As we
tegrity frameworks and reported common and           face the complexity in the topic just discussed,
unique differences in an effort to focus on          I do so with the intent that that we do not lose
common and unique features. The special is-          sight of some big ideas underpinning the role
sue addressed themes of (a) assessment, (b)          of treatment integrity in our work.
relationship to treatment outcomes, and (c)                 A common characteristic of the highly
promotion of treatment integrity in practice.        effective disciplines like aviation, engineering,
They discussed relevance ranging from the            and medicine is that their practices are based
control of the internal validity of experiments      on the results of empirical experimental sci-
to response to intervention and problem-solv-        ence, the set of lessons learned from their long
ing practices in school-wide prevention. They        histories of experimentation. One hundred
provided two examples of its use in research.        years ago, we did not fly, buildings nearly
They concluded that although inclusion and           always collapsed in earthquakes, and physi-
use of treatment integrity data to make infer-       cians offered treatments with no assurance that
ences and decisions is emerging in the disci-        they would cure (Greenwood & Abbott,
pline, it still happens too infrequently in both     2001). Today we fly, live, and work in safer,
research and practice.                               more energy-efficient buildings, and experi-
       As one concerned with these issues for a      ence treatments that cure and prevent most of
long time now, I thank the lead editors and          the common diseases that killed 100 years
authors for making this important contribu-          earlier. Research findings from basic and ap-

The author acknowledges his many colleagues over the years who helped develop the treatment integrity
conceptual framework through their efforts learning how to develop and validate effective interventions.
Correspondence regarding this article should be addressed to Charles R. Greenwood, Juniper Gardens
Children’s Project, University of Kansas, 650 Minnesota Avenue, Kansas City, KS 66101; E-mail:
Copyright 2009 by the National Association of School Psychologists, ISSN 0279-6015

School Psychology Review, 2009, Volume 38, No. 4

plied experiments, accumulated and proven in       ago in the late 1960s (e.g., Hall, Schiefel-
practice, ground these professions’ high de-       busch, Greenwood, & Hoyt, 2006). Seeking
gree of effectiveness, and the trust and respect   the ability to produce socially desirable out-
given them by the general public.                  comes using effective behavioral practices,
      The policies of professional organiza-       Baer, Wolf, and Risley (1968) described crit-
tions related to aviation, engineering, and        ical dimensions that researchers would need to
medicine assert that today’s standard practices    address if they were to achieve this goal
are subject to immediate change when findings       through an experimental, applied science 
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