Developing Your First Meta-Analytic Study and Expanding it to a Line of Research: Practical Issues

This webinar is now available to NCFR members as a benefit of membership. Log in or become a member to access it.
October 11, 2017 11:00am - 12:30pm
$25 for NCFR student members / $45 for NCFR members / $85 for nonmembers
Presenters (left to right): Chelsea Spencer, Bryan Cafferky, and Sandra Stith

Presenters Chelsea Spencer, M.S., Bryan Cafferky, Ph.D., and Sandra Stith, Ph.D., will begin with a discussion of the importance of selecting an appropriate question to study. Each presenter will talk about how they determine the question they want to answer.

Next, they will provide guidance for choosing key words for your literature search and offer suggestions for careful documentation of articles you include or exclude. They will offer suggestions for developing a code-book to use to enter data and for selecting and training a research team to assist with searches and coding. They will then discuss which software they use to conduct their meta-analyses and how the software helps them in their work.

Finally, the presenters will suggest ways to ensure that a meta-analysis for which you work so hard to collect data can become the beginning of a trajectory for an ongoing research agenda.

Webinar Objectives

Participants will learn how to:

  1. choose an appropriate questions for meta-analytic analyses.
  2. conduct a literature review to ensure that their review is comprehensive.
  3. code and cross-code data.
  4. use meta-analytic software to enhance their work.
  5. develop an ongoing research agenda from the data set collected for their initial project.

This webinar builds on the prior NCFR webinar presented by Alan Hawkins, Ph.D.Conducting a Systematic Literature Review and Meta-Analysis — and focuses on practical issues for scholars who are beginning to develop a meta-analysis.

Intended audience: Graduate students and scholars who are beginning or considering beginning meta-analytic research

Prior knowledge needed: Participants are encouraged to review a few articles that used meta-analytic techniques so they will be prepared to ask questions. 

Approved for 1.5 CFLE contact hours of continuing education credit.

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Recommended Readings

Cheung, M. W. L., Ho, R C. M., Lim, Y., & Mak, A. (2012). Conducting a meta-analysis: Basics and good practices. International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases, 15, 129-135.

Moore, Z. (2012). Meta-analysis in context. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 21, 2798-2807.

Egger, M., Davey Smith, G., & Phillips, A. N. (1997). Meta-analysis: Principles and Procedures. British Medical Journal, 315, 1533-1537.

About the Presenters


Chelsea Spencer, M.S., is a Ph.D. candidate in the Couple and Family Therapy Program at Kansas State University. She has more than five years of experience working on meta-analyses with Dr. Sandra Stith. She has co-authored three publications on meta-analyses of risk markers for intimate partner violence, and she is currently working on four additional meta-analyses with her webinar co-presenters. In 2018, she will complete her dissertation, “Risk Factors for Intimate Partner Homicide: A Meta-Analysis.”


Bryan Cafferky, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Counseling and Family Sciences Program at Loma Linda University. He has co-authored several published meta-analyses (including his dissertation, “Substance Use and Intimate Partner Violence: A Meta-Analytic Review”) and is currently conducting a meta-analysis on risk markers associated with elder abuse and neglect.



Sandra Stith, Ph.D., is a university distinguished professor in the Couple and Family Therapy Program at Kansas State University. Her research focuses on partner violence. Dr. Stith has received the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy’s Outstanding Contribution to Marriage and Family Therapy Award, and in 2007 she received the American Family Therapy Association’s Distinguished Contribution to Family Systems Research Award. In 2013, she was named a Fellow of the National Council on Family Relations. She currently serves as associate editor for NCFR’s Journal of Family Theory & Review and is a member of the NCFR Board of Directors. Dr. Stith published her first meta-analysis in 2000, and since that time she has completed 10 additional meta-analyses related to partner violence, many of which she co-authored with her webinar co-presenters.   

On-Demand Webinar Recording

Even if you can't watch this webinar live, your registration will still grant you access to watch the recording at your convenience. The fee for this webinar is $25 for NCFR student members, $45 for NCFR members, $85 for nonmembers.

License for classroom use by one professor is available for $105 for NCFR members, $185 for nonmembers. License for departmental use (multiple professors) is available for $155 NCFR member / $305 nonmember. Departmental license for CFLE-approved programs is $125.

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