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Statistics for Human Service Evaluation

Statistics for Human Service Evaluation

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November 2016 | 272 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
This practical book shows how both Excel® and SPSS® can be used for analyzing data for human service evaluation. Assuming no prior instruction for statistics, the text utilizes a “learn by doing” approach: readers see the use of statistics demonstrated and then are encouraged to apply their own data to statistical analysis with step-by-step guidance. Decision trees, practice exercises, and quizzes ensure readers will be well prepared to practice data analysis in a wide variety of human services situations.

About the Author
Chapter 1 Why Do We Use Statistics?
Why We Use Statistics  
What You Will Find in the Rest of This Chapter  
Two Key Issues Addressed by Data Analysis—Practical Significance and Statistical Significance  
Using Statistics to Describe Clients, Evaluate Services, and Explain Client Behavior  
Descriptive and Inferential Statistics  
How Do We Analyze Data the User-Friendly Way?  
What You Will Learn From This Book  
Key Terms  
Chapter 2 Using the Computer for Statistical Analysis of Data
Using Excel for Statistical Analysis  
Using SPSS for Statistical Analysis  
The Structure of Excel and SPSS for Data Analysis  
Using Excel in a User-Friendly Approach to Data Analysis— An Illustration  
Reporting Your Findings  
Summary of How to Use Excel  
Chapter 3 Selecting a Statistic to Answer Your Research Question
Finding a Descriptive Statistic  
Finding a Statistic to Test Your Hypothesis in Evaluative Research  
The Study Hypothesis  
Things to Do Before You Seek a Statistic for an Evaluative Hypothesis  
Finding Your Statistic for Testing the Evaluative Research Hypothesis: One Example  
Practice Exercise  
Key Terms  
Chapter 4 Using Descriptive Statistics to Describe Your Study Sample
Deciding What Variables to Describe  
Deciding What Statistics to Report About Your Study Subjects  
Some Common Descriptive Statistics  
Variance and the Normal Distribution  
Using the Special Excel Files for Descriptive Statistics  
Using SPSS for Descriptive Statistics  
Key Terms  
Chapter 5 Analyzing Data With Pretest and Posttest Measurements of One Group
Using the t Test  
Examining Statistical Significance and Practical Significance With the t Test  
Testing Your Hypothesis With the Paired-Samples t Test When You Have Matching Pretest and Posttest Scores  
Testing Your Hypothesis With the One-Sample t Test When You Have Pretest and Posttest Scores That Cannot Be Matched  
Testing Your Hypothesis With the Binomial Test When You Have Pretest and Posttest Measurements of a Dichotomous Variable  
Using the Binomial Test for the Posttest-Only Design When You Have a Threshold Proportion for Comparison  
Practice Exercise  
Key Terms  
Chapter 6 Analyzing Data When You Are Comparing Two Groups
Using the Independent-Samples t Test When You Are Comparing the Gain Scores of Two Groups  
Using Chi Square to Compare Two Groups When You Have a Dichotomous Dependent Variable  
Practice Exercise  
Key Terms  
Chapter 7 Analyzing Data When You Are Evaluating a Single Client
Using the One-Sample t Test When You Have a Single Baseline Score and Several Treatment Scores  
Using the Standard Deviation Approach When You Have Several Baseline Scores and Several Treatment Scores  
Using Other Single-Subject Designs With Data Measured at the Interval Level  
Using the Binomial Test for the AB Design When Data Are Measured as a Dichotomy  
Practice Exercise  
Key Terms  
Chapter 8 Explaining Client Gain
Examining the Relationship Between Client Gain and a Variable Measured at the Nominal Level  
Examining the Relationship Between Client Gain and a Variable Measured at the Interval or Ordinal Level  
Using Multiple Regression Analysis to Examine the Relationship Between Client Gain Scores and More Than One Other Variable  
Practice Exercise: Youth Diversion Program  
Key Terms  
Chapter 9 A Synopsis of Selected Statistical Tests for Examining Nominal Data
Chi Square and the Binomial Test: A Review  
Examination of the Relationship Between Two Nominal Variables With Independent Data Using Chi Square, the Phi Coefficient, and the Contingency Coefficient  
Examination of the Relationship Between Two Nominal Variables With Related Data Using the McNemar Test  
Using the Binomial Test to Compare the Categories of a Dichotomous Variable  
Key Terms  
Chapter 10 A Synopsis of Selected Statistical Tests for Examining Ordinal Data
Using the Spearman Rank Correlation Coefficient When You Have Two Ordinal Variables  
Using the Mann–Whitney U Test When You Have Independent Data With One Ordinal Variable and a Dichotomous Nominal Variable  
Using the Wilcoxon Matched-Pairs Signed Ranks Test When You Have Related Data With a Dichotomous Variable and an Ordinal Variable  
Using the Kruskal–Wallis One-Way Analysis of Variance When You Have Independent Data With an Ordinal Variable and a Nominal Variable That Has More Than Two Categories  
Key Terms  
Chapter 11 Statistics for Evidence-Based Practice
What Is Evidence-Based Practice?  
Levels of Evidence  
Statistics for Review of Evidence  
Some Tips for Reviewing the Evidence  
Key Terms  
Key Terms
Answers to Quizzes and Review Questions


Companion Website

Student Study Site


Use the Student Study Site to get the most out of your course!
Our Student Study Site at is completely open access and offers a wide range of additional features!


The open-access Student Study Site includes the following:

  • Mobile-friendly eFlashcards reinforce understanding of key terms and concepts that have been outlined in the chapters.
  • Mobile-friendly web quizzes allow for independent assessment of progress made in learning course material.
Instructor's Manual

Instructor Teaching Site


Calling all instructors!
It’s easy to log on to SAGE’s password-protected Instructor Teaching Site at for complete and protected access to all text-specific Instructor Resources for Reginald O. York’s Statistics for Human Service Evaluation. Simply provide your institutional information for verification and within 72 hours you’ll be able to use your login information for any SAGE title!


Password-protected Instructor Resources include the following:

  • Microsoft® Word® test bank, is available containing multiple choice, true/false, short answer, and essay questions for each chapter. The test bank provides you with a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity for editing any question and/or inserting your own personalized questions to effectively assess students’ progress and understanding.
  • Chapter-specific discussion questions help launch classroom interaction by prompting students to engage with the material and by reinforcing important content.

“This is definitely the right book for students and human service workers who have anxiety around statistics. It is easy to follow and one does not need any pre-knowledge of statistics to be able to use this book.” 

Rashmi Gupta
San Francisco State University

“York’s text provides an easy-to-follow ‘how-to’ text for practitioners who want to evaluate client progress. It guides practitioners in the selection of appropriate statistical tests to compare groups, assess change from pre- to post-tests, and assess outcomes in single system design. York’s text is one that practitioners will want to keep on their bookcase and refer back to over the years.”

Carolyn L. Turturro
University of Arkansas at Little Rock

“This is the most comprehensive book on statistical analysis of data for human service evaluation. Social work educators, psychologists, clinicians, and sociologists would be well served in making use of this all-inclusive text.” 

Jitendra Kapoor
Alabama A&M University

“This textbook empowers students to understand not only how to run statistics, but why they will run their chosen statistics. It closes the gap between ‘scary statistics’ and practical alienation of statistics in the profession.” 

Marjorie C. Shavers
Heidelberg University

“The author sees data analysis and statistics through a student’s perspective. Use of a task-based approach to statistics makes it more relevant to students and easier to grasp.” 

Roseanna McCleary
California State University, Bakersfield
Key features

  • Nine Excel® files for the analysis of data give students practice in the types of situations they will likely encounter in the evaluation of their own practice.
  • Instructions for using both Excel® and SPSS® further the text’s thorough approach to evaluation.
  • Decision trees help students determine the particular statistic to use in a specific situation.
  • Exercises in every chapter give students practice in analyzing data.
  • Chapter-ending quizzes help student assess their level of understanding. 

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Chapter 3

Chapter 5

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