Journal of Experimental Criminology

, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp 451–476

The positive effects of cognitive–behavioral programs for offenders: A meta-analysis of factors associated with effective treatment


DOI: 10.1007/s11292-005-3541-7

Cite this article as:
Landenberger, N.A. & Lipsey, M.W. J Exp Criminol (2005) 1: 451. doi:10.1007/s11292-005-3541-7


A meta-analysis of 58 experimental and quasi-experimental studies of the effects of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) on the recidivism of adult and juvenile offenders confirmed prior positive findings and explored a range of potential moderators to identify factors associated with variation in treatment effects. With method variables controlled, the factors independently associated with larger recidivism reductions were treatment of higher risk offenders, high quality treatment implementation, and a CBT program that included anger control and interpersonal problem solving but not victim impact or behavior modification components. With these factors accounted for, there was no difference in the effectiveness of different brand name CBT programs or generic forms of CBT.

Key words

CBTcognitive-behavioral therapycognitive-behavioral treatmentcriminal rehabilitationevaluationmeta-analysisoffendersrecidivismtreatment effectiveness

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Vanderbilt Institute for Public Policy StudiesNashvilleUSA