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A meta-analysis update on the effects of early family/parent training programs on antisocial behavior and delinquency

Abstract

Objective

To update Piquero et al.’s meta-analysis on early family/parent training programs.

Methods

Screening of eligible studies was carried out for the period between January 2008 and August 2015. An additional 23 studies were identified, which were added to the original database of 55 studies, totaling an overall sample of 78 eligible studies. A random-effects model was used to obtain an overall mean effect size estimate. Additional analyses were performed to assess publication bias and moderation.

Results

An overall average, positive, and significant effect size of 0.37 was calculated, which corresponds to 32 out of 100 in a treated group versus 50 out of 100 in a control group who offended. There was some evidence of publication bias and moderation.

Conclusions

Early family/parent training programs are an effective evidence-based strategy for preventing antisocial behavior and delinquency.

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Notes

  1. The descriptive results reported in these six studies indicated that significant and positive effects in terms of a reduction in problem behavior were detected for the treatment group relative to the control group in four of the six studies. These results are consistent with the significant effects noted for the 78 studies that are included in this review, where 67 out of 78 of the effects were positive and 38 of the 67 were significant at the p < .05 level.

  2. We also calculated the average effect size for the 23 studies identified during the search period January 2009–August 2015. These results indicated a positive and significant average effect size of 0.39 (95 % CI = 0.24–0.54; z = 5.148, p < .001).

  3. It is important to note that we did also estimate a meta-analytic regression model (with random effects and using a maximum likelihood function) with all four of the categorical moderators and the continuous moderator of year of publication included simultaneously. However, as none of these variables were determined to be a statistically significant effect size predictor, we opted to not present the results of this full regression model.

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Correspondence to Alex R. Piquero.

Appendix

Appendix

Table 2 Early family/parent training program evaluations included in meta-analysis

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Piquero, A.R., Jennings, W.G., Diamond, B. et al. A meta-analysis update on the effects of early family/parent training programs on antisocial behavior and delinquency. J Exp Criminol 12, 229–248 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11292-016-9256-0

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Keywords

  • Antisocial behavior
  • Crime
  • Delinquency
  • Family
  • Interventions
  • Meta-analysis
  • Parenting
  • Parent training