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.
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The mean effect size for the ten effect sizes derived from the seven studies identified during the new search period of January 2010 to September 2015 was 0.23 (z = 4.665, p < 0.001).
The mean effect size for the eight effect sizes derived from the seven studies identified during the new search period of January 2010 to September 2015 was 0.51 (z = 2.502, p < 0.001).
Meta-analytic regression models (with random effects and using a maximum likelihood function) incorporating all of the statistically significant categorical and continuous moderator variables simultaneously were estimated for the self-control and delinquency effect sizes, separately. However, as none of the moderators emerged as statistically significant predictors of the mean effect size in either model, we opted to not present the results of these two full regression models.
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Piquero, A.R., Jennings, W.G., Farrington, D.P. et al. A meta-analysis update on the effectiveness of early self-control improvement programs to improve self-control and reduce delinquency. J Exp Criminol 12, 249–264 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11292-016-9257-z