Methods: Mind the Gap

Webinar Series

Modern Meta-Analytic Methods for Prevention Science

April 25, 2023
Emily Tanner-Smith, Ph.D.
Emily Tanner-Smith, Ph.D.

College of Education, Counseling Psychology, Family and Human Services, Prevention Science at University of Oregon

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About the Webinar

Meta-analysis involves the statistical synthesis of findings from multiple research studies, which are often identified as part of a systematic review of the literature. By providing summaries of the current best available research evidence, meta-analyses can help support evidence-informed decision-making in prevention. Although traditional meta-analytic methods for synthesizing research evidence are now widely used, there are several under-utilized techniques that offer unique promise for addressing some of the most pressing issues in disease prevention.

The purpose of this webinar is to expand prevention scientists’ meta-analytic toolkit by providing an overview of three modern meta-analytic techniques. Dr. Emily Tanner-Smith  describes meta-analytic structural equation modeling approaches and their utility for the development and testing of theoretical models and causal pathways. She discusses network meta-analysis and component network meta-analysis techniques that can be used to address questions about the comparative effectiveness of different prevention programs and active program ingredients. Finally, she discusses robust variance estimation approaches that can be used to address multiplicity in effect size estimates, which commonly occur in syntheses of the prevention literature.

About Emily Tanner-Smith

Dr. Emily Tanner-Smith is a Thomson Professor in the College of Education, Counseling Psychology, Family and Human Services, Prevention Science at University of Oregon. She is also the Associate Director of University of Oregon’s Prevention Science Institute and Executive Director of the HEDCO Institute for Evidence-Based Educational Practice. Dr. Tanner-Smith’s research focuses on meta-analysis and research synthesis methods for evidence-informed decision-making, with specific emphasis on the prevention of academic, behavioral, and mental health challenges among the youth. Dr. Tanner-Smith currently serves on the editorial boards for Psychological Bulletin, Prevention Science, and Research Synthesis Methods. Her meta-analytic research has been funded by numerous sponsors, including the Institute of Education Sciences, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. In honor of her research synthesis contributions to prevention science and public policy, Dr. Tanner-Smith received the Nan Tobler Award from the Society for Prevention Research and the Robert Boruch Award from the Campbell Collaboration.

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