The literature review is an opportunity for you to accomplish two main objectives: establish a theoretical framework for your program evaluation and survey current literature to determine the best methodology and approach for your program evaluation. Prior to implementing a program evaluation, it is essential to review current scholarly literature to ensure that your approach to addressing your problem statement is sound and supported by research. You may need to alter your methodology or approach following the literature review.
Your literature review creates a theoretical foundation for your evaluation and guides the development of the research question. As you research, be sure to consider multiple perspectives and theories, rather than simply viewing your program evaluation through one lens. This ensures that you find the most reliable and accurate methodologies and theories to support your program evaluation.
Prior to beginning your literature review, you will conduct a review of scholarly and peer-reviewed research from a variety of sources. You may use the Capella library and government websites as locations to begin research for your literature review.
Utilize at least five empirical articles published within the last 10 years in peer-reviewed journals. These articles should be program evaluations dealing with interventions for teen parents. (See the Teen Parenting Case Study given in the resources.) Organize the information into subheadings. The order of your literature review follows:
Introduction: Orient the reader to the case study topic—teen parenting programs—and tell the reader what to expect in this section by identifying the major subsections that follow in your thesis statement.
Nature of the problem: Address the prevalence of teen parenting, changes over time, and consequences of teen parenting.
Causes of the problem: Apply theoretical and social work knowledge to this issue and explain some of the risks associated with teen parenting (for example, mental health outcomes for the parent and abusive parenting practices). The causes you describe here should be directly related to the proposed interventions.
Interventions: This section should be the most substantive part of this literature review. Review interventions that have been utilized to serve teen parents. Note that this is a literature review, not an annotated bibliography, so you should be integrating your discussion of various studies. Include a paragraph about what is not known about solving the problem and current gaps in knowledge. Assess the guiding practice theory connected to the problem. Also, describe the program evaluation theory connected to the proposed methodology.
Summary: This section should point out the major areas of knowledge that have yet to be developed regarding this topic and identify the unique contributions your study makes to this need; point out the importance of learning the new information your study will offer.
Problem Statement and Guiding Research Questions
What is the problem this program evaluation is trying to address?
Include your research questions. Since this is a program evaluation, you should have an independent variable and dependent variable clearly stated in your questions.