Social Interface Model: Theorizing Ecological Post-Delivery Processes for Intervention Effects

Jonathan Pettigrew, Jeremy Segrott, Colter D. Ray, Hannah Littlecott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Successful prevention programs depend on a complex interplay among aspects of the intervention, the participant, the specific intervention setting, and the broader set of contexts with which a participant interacts. There is a need to theorize what happens as participants bring intervention ideas and behaviors into other life-contexts, and theory has not yet specified how social interactions about interventions may influence outcomes. To address this gap, we use an ecological perspective to develop the social interface model. This paper presents the key components of the model and its potential to aid the design and implementation of prevention interventions. The model is predicated on the idea that intervention message effectiveness depends not only on message aspects but also on the participants’ adoption and adaptation of the message vis-à-vis their social ecology. The model depicts processes by which intervention messages are received and enacted by participants through social processes occurring within and between relevant microsystems. Mesosystem interfaces (negligible interface, transference, co-dependence, and interdependence) can facilitate or detract from intervention effects. The social interface model advances prevention science by theorizing that practitioners can create better quality interventions by planning for what occurs after interventions are delivered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)987-996
Number of pages10
JournalPrevention Science
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018


  • Ecological perspective
  • Implementation science
  • Intervention development
  • Logic models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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