Journal of Experimental Criminology

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 249–264 | Cite as

A meta-analysis update on the effectiveness of early self-control improvement programs to improve self-control and reduce delinquency

  • Alex R. Piquero
  • Wesley G. Jennings
  • David P. Farrington
  • Brie Diamond
  • Jennifer M. Reingle Gonzalez



To update Piquero et al.’s (Justice Quarterly 27:803–834, 2010) meta-analysis on early self-control improvement programs.


Screening of eligible studies was carried out for the period between January 2010 and September 2015. An additional seven studies were identified, which were added to the original database of 34 studies, totaling an overall sample of 41 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.


Overall average, positive, and significant effect sizes were observed for improving self-control (0.32) and reducing delinquency (0.27). There was evidence of publication bias for the self-control improvement outcomes, as well as some evidence of moderation for both self-control improvement and delinquency outcomes.


Early self-control improvement programs are an effective evidence-based strategy for improving self-control and reducing delinquency.


Self-control Impulsivity Crime Delinquency Prevention Meta-analysis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alex R. Piquero
    • 1
  • Wesley G. Jennings
    • 2
  • David P. Farrington
    • 3
  • Brie Diamond
    • 4
  • Jennifer M. Reingle Gonzalez
    • 5
  1. 1.University of Texas at DallasRichardsonUSA
  2. 2.University of South FloridaTampaUSA
  3. 3.Cambridge UniversityCambridgeUK
  4. 4.Texas Christian UniversityFort WorthUSA
  5. 5.University of Texas School of Public HealthHoustonUSA

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