Journal of Quantitative Criminology

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 247–272 | Cite as

School-Based Prevention of Problem Behaviors: A Meta-Analysis

  • David B. Wilson
  • Denise C. Gottfredson
  • Stacy S. Najaka
Article

Abstract

This study examines the features of effective school-based prevention of crime, substance use, dropout/nonattendance, and other conduct problems. It summarizes, using meta-analytic techniques, results from 165 studies of school-based prevention activities that ranged from individual counseling or behavior modification programs through efforts to change the way schools are managed. The results highlight several inadequacies in the existing research for guiding policy and practice, the most notable of which is that many popular school-based prevention approaches have not been well studied to date. The study shows, however, that school-based prevention practices appear to be effective in reducing alcohol and drug use, dropout and nonattendance, and other conduct problems. The size of the average effect for each of the four outcomes was small and there was considerable heterogeneity across studies in the magnitude of effects, even within program type after adjusting for measured method and population differences. Non-cognitive-behavioral counseling, social work, and other therapeutic interventions show consistently negative effects, whereas self-control or social competency promotion instruction that makes use of cognitive-behavioral and behavioral instructional methods show consistently positive effects. Also effective are noninstructional cognitive-behavioral and behavioral methods programs. Environmentally focused interventions appear to be particularly effective for reducing delinquency and drug use.

prevention drug use problem behavior delinquency quantitative review 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

REFERENCES

  1. Botvin, G. J. (1990). Substance abuse prevention: Theory, practice, and effectiveness. In Tonry, M., and Wilson, J. Q. (eds.), Crime and Justice: A Reû iew of the Research: Vol. 13. Drugs and Crime, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp. 461–519.Google Scholar
  2. Botvin, G. J., Schinke, S., and Orlandi, M. A. (1995). School-based health promotion: Substance abuse and sexual behavior. Appl. Preû . Psychol. 4: 167–184.Google Scholar
  3. Bry, B. H. (1982). Reducing the incidence of adolescent problems through preventive intervention: One-and five-year follow-up. Am. J. Commun. Psychol. 106(3): 265–276.Google Scholar
  4. Bry, B. H., and George, F. E. (1979). Evaluating and improving prevention programs: A strategy from drug abuse. Eû al. Prog. Planning 2: 127–136.Google Scholar
  5. Bry, B. H., and George, F. E. (1980). The preventive effects of early intervention on the attendance and grades of urban adolescents. Professional Psychology 11: 252–260.Google Scholar
  6. Catalano, R. F., Arthur, M. W., Hawkins, J. D., Berglund, L., and Olson, J. J. (1998). Comprehensive community-and school-based interventions to prevent antisocial behavior. In Loeber, R., and Farrington, D. P. (eds.), Serious and Violent Juû enile Offenders: Risk Factors and Successful Interû entions, Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA, pp. 248–283.Google Scholar
  7. Dryfoos, J. G. (1990). Adolescents at Risk: Preû alence and Preû ention, Oxford University Press, New York.Google Scholar
  8. Durlak, J. A. (1995). School-Based Preû ention Programs for Children and Adolescents, Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA.Google Scholar
  9. Ennett, S. T., Tobler, N. S., Ringwalt, C. L., and Flewelling, R. L. (1994). How effective is drug abuse resistance education? A meta-analysis of Project D.A.R.E. outcome evaluations, Am. J. Public Health 84: 1394–1401.Google Scholar
  10. Gerstein, D. R., and Green, L. W. (eds.). (1993). Preû enting Drug Abuse: What Do We Know? National Academy Press, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  11. Gleser, L. J., and Olkin, I. (1994). Stochastically dependent effect sizes. In Cooper, H., and Hedges, L. V. (eds.), The Handbook of Research Synthesis, Russell Sage Foundation, New York, pp. 339–355.Google Scholar
  12. Gottfredson, D. C. (1997). School-based crime prevention. In Sherman, L. W., Gottfredson, D. C., MacKenzie, D., Eck, J., Reuter, P., and Bushway, S. (eds.), Preû enting Crime: What Works, What Doesn't, What's Promising: A Report to the United States Congress. U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Washington, DC, pp. 5.1–5.71.Google Scholar
  13. Gottfredson, D. C. (2001). Schools and Delinquency, Cambridge University Press, New York.Google Scholar
  14. Gottfredson, G. D., Gottfredson, D. C., Czeh, E. R., Cantor, D., Crosse, S., and Hantman, I. (2000). A National Study of Delinquency Preû ention in Schools, Gottfredson Associates, Ellicott City, MD.Google Scholar
  15. Gottfredson, D. C., Wilson, D. B., and Najaka. School-based crime prevention. In Sherman, L. W., Farrington, D. P., Welsh, B., and Mackenzie, D. C., New York (eds.), Eû idence-Based Crime Preû ention, Harwood Academic (in press).Google Scholar
  16. Hansen, W. B. (1992). School-based substance abuse prevention: A review of the state of the art in curriculum: 1980- 1990. Health Educ. Res. 7: 403–430.Google Scholar
  17. Hansen, W. B., and O'Malley, P. M. (1996). Drug use. In DiClemente, R. J., Hansen, W. B., and Ponton, L. E. (eds.), Handbook of Adolescent Health Risk Behaû ior, Plenum Press, New York, pp. 161–192.Google Scholar
  18. Hawkins, J. D., Arthur, M. W., and Catalano, R. F. (1995). Preventing substance abuse. In Tonry, M., and Farrington, D. P. (eds.), Crime and Justice: A Reû iew of the Research: Vol. 19. Building a Safer Society: Strategic Approaches to Crime Preû ention, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp. 343–427.Google Scholar
  19. Hawkins, J. D., Farrington, D. P., and Catalano, R. F. (1998). Reducing violence through the schools. In Elliott, D. S., Hamburg, B. A., and Williams, K. R. (eds.), Violence in American Schools, Cambridge University Press, New York, pp. 188–216.Google Scholar
  20. Hedges, L. V. (1981). Distribution theory for Glass's estimator of effect size and related estimators. J. Educ. Stat. 6: 107–128.Google Scholar
  21. Hedges, L. V., and Olkin, I. (1985). Statistical Methods for Meta-Analysis, Academic Press, New York.Google Scholar
  22. Huizinga, D., and Jakob-Chien, C. (1998). The contemporaneous co-occurrence of serious and violent juvenile offending and other problem behaviors. In Loeber, R., and Farrington, D. P. (eds.), Serious and Violent Juû enile Offenders: Risk Factors and Successful Interû entions, Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA, pp. 47–67.Google Scholar
  23. Institute of Medicine (1994). Reducing Risks for Mental Disorders: Frontiers for Preû entiû e Interû ention Research, National Academy Press, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  24. Johnston, L. D., Bachman, J. G., and O'Malley, P. M. (1997). Monitoring the Future: Questionnaire Responses from the Nation's High School Seniors, 1995, Institute for Social Research, Ann Arbor, MI.Google Scholar
  25. Johnston, L. D., O'Malley, P. M., and Bachman, J. G. (1999). Drug Trends in 1999 Are Mixed, University of Michigan News and Information Services, Ann Arbor, Dec. [on-line]. Available at www.monitoringthefuture.org; accessed 3/3/00.Google Scholar
  26. Kalaian, H. A., and Raudenbush, S. W. (1996). A multivariate mixed linear model for metaanalysis. Psychol. Methods 1: 227–235.Google Scholar
  27. Kraemer, H. C., Gardner, C., Brooks, J. O., III, and Yesavage, J. A. (1998). Advantages of excluding underpowered studies in meta-analysis: Inclusionist versus exclusionist viewpoints. Psychol. Methods 3: 23–31.Google Scholar
  28. Light, R. J., and Pillemer, D. B. (1984). Summing Up: The Science of Reû iewing Research, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  29. Lipsey, M. W. (1992). Juvenile delinquency treatment: A meta-analytic inquiry into the variability of effects. In Cook, T. D., Cooper, H., Cordray, D. S., Hartmann, H., Hedges, L. V., Light, R. J., Louis, T. A., and Mosteller, F. (eds.), Meta-Analysis for Explanation, Russell Sage Foundation, New York, pp. 83–127.Google Scholar
  30. Lipsey, M. W., and Derzon, J. H. (1998). Predictors of violent or serious delinquency in adolescence and early adulthood: A synthesis of longitudinal research. In Loeber, R., and Farrington, D. P. (eds.), Serious and Violent Juû enile Offenders: Risk Factors and Successful Interû entions, Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA, pp. 86–105.Google Scholar
  31. Lipsey, M. W., and Wilson, D. B. (1993). The efficacy of psychological, educational, and behavioral treatment: Confirmation from meta-analysis. Am. Psychol. 48: 1181–1209.Google Scholar
  32. Lipsey, M. W., and Wilson, D. B. (2001). Practical Meta-Analysis, Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA.Google Scholar
  33. Lochman, J. E. (1985). Effects of different treatment lengths in cognitive behavioral interventions with aggressive boys. Child Psychiatry Hum. Deû . 16: 45–56.Google Scholar
  34. Lochman, J. E. (1992). Cognitive-behavioral intervention with aggressive boys: Three-year follow-up and preventive effects. J. Consult. Clin. Psychol. 60: 426–432.Google Scholar
  35. Lochman, J. E., and Curry, J. F. (1986). Effects of social problem-solving training and selfinstruction training with aggressive boys. J. Clin. Child Psychol. 15: 159–164.Google Scholar
  36. Lochman, J. E., Burch, P. R., Curry, J. F., and Lampron, L. B. (1984). Treatment and generalization effects of cognitive-behavioral and goal-setting interventions with aggressive boys. J. Consult. Clin. Psychol. 52: 915–916.Google Scholar
  37. Lochman, J. E., Lampron, L. B., Gemmer, T. C., Harris, S. R., and Wyckoff, G. M. (1989). Teacher consultation and cognitive-behavioral interventions with aggressive boys. Psychol. Schools 26: 179–188.Google Scholar
  38. Norman, E., and Turner, S. (1993). Adolescent substance abuse prevention programs: Theories, models, and research in the encouraging 80's. J. Primary Preû . 14: 320.Google Scholar
  39. Raudenbush, S. W. (1994). Random effects models. In Cooper, H., and Hedges, L. V. (eds.), The Handbook of Research Synthesis, Russell Sage Foundation, New York, pp. 301–321.Google Scholar
  40. Rosenthal, R. (1994). Parametric measures of effect size. In Cooper, H., and Hedges, L. V. (eds.), The Handbook of Research Synthesis, Russell Sage Foundation, New York, pp. 231–244.Google Scholar
  41. Samples, F. and Aber, L. (1998). Evaluations of school-based violence prevention programs. In Elliott, D. S., Hamburg, B. A., and Williams, K. R. (eds.), Violence in American Schools, Cambridge University Press, New York, pp. 217–252.Google Scholar
  42. Sherman, L. W., Gottfredson, D. C., MacKenzie, D., Eck, J., Reuter, P., and Bushway, S. (1997). Preû enting Crime: What Works, What Doesn't, What's Promising: A Report to the United States Congress, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  43. Stage, S. A., and Quiroz, D. R. (1997). A meta-analysis of interventions to decrease disruptive classroom behavior in public education settings. School Psychol. Reû . 26: 333–368.Google Scholar
  44. Tobler, N. S. (1986). Meta-analysis of 143 adolescent drug prevention programs: Quantitative outcome results of program participants compared to a control or comparison group. J. Drug Issues 16: 537–567.Google Scholar
  45. Tobler, N. S. (1992). Drug prevention programs can work: Research findings. J. Addict. Dis. 11: 128.Google Scholar
  46. Tobler, N. S., and Stratton, H. H. (1997). Effectiveness of school-based drug prevention programs: A meta-analysis of the research. J. Primary Preû . 18: 71–128.Google Scholar
  47. Tremblay, R. E., and Craig, W. M. (1995). Developmental crime prevention. In Tonry, M., and Farrington, D. P. (eds.), Crime and Justice: A Reû iew of the Research: Vol. 19. Building a Safer Society; Strategic Approaches to Crime Preû ention, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp. 151–236.Google Scholar
  48. Wilson, D. B. (1995). The Role of Method in Treatment Effect Estimates: Eû idence from Psychological, Behaû ioral, and Educational Treatment Interû ention Meta-Analyses, Doctoral dissertation, Claremont Graduate School, Claremont, CA.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • David B. Wilson
    • 1
  • Denise C. Gottfredson
    • 1
  • Stacy S. Najaka
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Criminology and Criminal JusticeUniversity of MarylandCollege Park

Personalised recommendations