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Family-based Prevention of Offending: A Meta-Analysis. David P. Farrington & Brandon C. Welsh 2003 Jenna Ayers Radford University. Overview. Review of the effectiveness of family-based prevention programs in reducing offending and antisocial behavior by children and adolescents.

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family based prevention of offending a meta analysis

Family-based Prevention of Offending: A Meta-Analysis

David P. Farrington & Brandon C. Welsh

2003

Jenna Ayers

Radford University

overview
Overview
  • Review of the effectiveness of family-based prevention programs in reducing offending and antisocial behavior by children and adolescents.
  • Family-based programs typically target family risk factors.
  • Goal: aims to prepare and maintain systematic reviews and to make them available electronically.
previous research
Previous Research
  • Narrative reviews of effect of family-based interventions to prevent delinquency and later criminal offending
  • Serketich & Dumas (1996)
  • Cochrane review completed by Woolfenden, Williams, & Peat (2002)
systematic review
Systematic Review

Why?

  • Use rigorous methods for: locating, appraising, and synthesizing evidence from evaluation studies
  • Explicit objectives
  • Explicit criteria for inclusion and exclusion of studies
  • Wide-ranging methods for searching for studies that are designed to reduce bias
method
Method
  • Selection of Evaluations (Inclusion)
  • 1. The family and family factors
  • 2. Outcome measure of delinquency or antisocial child behavior
  • 3. High quality methodologically
  • 4. Original sample size
searching strategies
Searching Strategies
  • Original aim: to update the review of family-based crime prevention in the 1997 Maryland Report
  • Began searches in 1997
  • 1. Recent reviews
  • 2. Articles in major journals
  • 3. Youth Update
  • 4. Contacts
measuring effect size
Measuring Effect Size
  • Aimed to measure 4 different effects in each study:
  • 1. Short-term effect on delinquency
  • 2. Short-term effects on child antisocial behavior
  • 3. Long-term effects on offending
  • 4. Long-term effects on antisocial behavior
main measure of effect size
Main Measure of Effect Size

The standardized mean difference d, which summarizes the difference between the experimental and control groups in standard deviation units:

  • D= (Mc-Me)/s
  • Positive value of d indicates a desirable effect of the intervention
family based prevention programs
Family-based Prevention Programs
  • Home Visiting (4)
  • Day Care/Preschool programs (5)
  • Parent Training programs (10)
  • School-based programs (7)
  • Home/Community programs with Older Children (8)
  • Multi-systemic Therapy Programs (6)
results of meta analysis
Results of Meta Analysis
  • Suggest that prevalence of offending could be reduced by about 10-15% by implementing such programs.
  • More than half of all evaluations found a significant decrease in delinquency
  • Effects on delinquency persisted in long-term evaluation studies
results
Results
  • Most effective types of programs used behavioral parent training
  • Least effective were those based in schools
  • All other types of family-based programs were effective
conclusions
Conclusions
  • 40 of the highest quality family-based crime prevention programs were reviewed
  • Programs grouped into 6 categories
  • These family-based programs had desirable effects in reducing delinquency and antisocial child behavior
future research
Future Research
  • More large-scale evaluations are needed using randomized experiments
  • Ideally, programs focusing more clearly and more narrowly on family risk factors should be implemented and evaluated
  • More efforts should be made to determine links in the causal chain between family processes and offending
  • More long term follow ups should be carried out to establish the persistence of effects
future research16
Future Research
  • Important to investigate why effect sizes are greater in smaller scale studies than in larger scale ones.
  • Future experiments needed that attempt to disentangle the different elements of successful programs
  • Know more about the economic efficiency of family-based crime prevention programs
bottom line
Bottom Line
  • Existing evidence suggests that family-based prevention programs are effective in reducing offending.
  • More of these types of programs should be implemented and evaluated.