Study shows that mentoring programs can help reduce juvenile offending and antisocial behavior.
Farrington, D. P., Gaffney, H., & White, H. (2022). Effectiveness of 12 types of interventions in reducing juvenile offending and antisocial behaviour. Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice. https://doi.org/10.3138/cjccj.2022-0022
Summarized by Ariel Ervin
Notes of Interest:
- This paper reviews findings from systemic reviews to assess the efficiency of twelve intervention types in lowering anti-social and juvenile offending behavior.
- All the effect sizes are converted to percentage decreases so researchers, practitioners, policy-makers, and the public can interpret the results.
- Mentoring, child skills training, parent training, focused deterrence, family therapy, and cognitive-behavioral therapy were the most effective.
- Correlated to at least an 18-25% reduction of anti-social or offending behavior.
- Pre-court diversion, anti-bullying programs, and anti-cyberbullying programs are also efficient.
- Correlated to at least a 10-15% reduction of anti-social or offending behavior.
- After-school programs, boot camps, and school exclusion reduction are the least effective.
- Findings indicate that intervention programs are more efficient than it’s commonly presumed.
Introduction (Reprinted from the Abstract)
The main aim of this article is to summarize the best available evidence (from systematic reviews) of the effectiveness of 12 types of interventions in reducing juvenile offending and antisocial behaviour. In the interests of making the results widely understandable to researchers, practitioners, policy makers, and the general public, all effect sizes are converted into percentage decreases in antisocial behaviour or off-ending. Based on the most important systematic review in each category, the most effective interventions are parent training, focused deterrence, child skills training, cognitive-behavioural therapy, mentoring, and family therapy. Anti-bullying programs, anti-cyberbullying programs, and pre-court diversion programs are quite effective, while school exclusion reduction, after-school programs, and boot camps are least effective. The good news is that, based on estimated reductions in offending, intervention programs are usually found to be much more effective than is commonly believed (based on other measures).
Implications (Reprinted from the Discussion)
Based on the 12 most important reviews, the most effective interventions are parent training, focused deterrence, child skills training, cognitive–behavioural therapy, mentoring, and family therapy (all associated with a decrease in offending or antisocial behaviour of at least 18–25%). Anti-bullying programs, anti-cyberbullying programs, and pre-court diversion are quite effective (with a decrease of at least 10–15%), while school exclusion reduction, after-school programs, and boot camps are least effective in reducing offending or antisocial behaviour.
It should be pointed out, however, that sometimes the other reviews give a different impression. For example, regarding pre-court diversion, effect sizes were greater in the Wilson and Hoge (2013) review than in Wilson et al. (2018) or Petrosino et al. (2019). These differences may be attributable to differences in the included studies; the intervention was diversion with services for 60 of the 73 comparisons (82%) of Wilson and Hoge (2013), but for only 14 of the 31 comparisons (45%) of Wilson et al. (2018) and 15 of the 29 comparisons (52%) of Petrosino et al. (2019), who reported that diversion programs with services were significantly more effective than diversion alone. Also, whereas all the control juveniles in both Wilson and Hoge (2013) and Wilson et al. (2018) received traditional court processing, this was true in only 19 of the 29 studies (66%) reviewed by Petrosino et al. (2019). It is possible that the control condition in the other 10 cases (e.g., petitioned or appeared before a magistrate) was less different from the diversion condition than was traditional court processing.
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