Note:  Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Andreas Beelmann at Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Institute of Psychology, Department for Research Synthesis, Intervention, Evaluation, Humboldtstrasse 26, D-07743 Jena, Germany. E-mail: [email protected]
Abstract: Much research is now available on the effectiveness of prevention measures for antisocial behavior problems and crime in childhood and adolescence. This article systematically reviews the results of 26 reviews and meta-analyses summarizing over a thousand controlled studies on social skills training, parent training, early interventions, and violence prevention programs. Results showed that programs generally had low to moderate mean effect sizes. Social skills training for children, parent training programs, and early interventions were the most promising prevention strategy, whereas school-based anti-bullying or violence prevention programs had lower effect sizes. Prevention measures addressing high-risk groups produced higher effect sizes than universal strategies. Several reviews also reported better outcomes for well-implemented programs. Finally, although most interventions had significant positive effects on development, there were also several limitations: More research is needed on long-term effects, program implementation, prevention alternatives, and the dissemination of successful prevention programs within community care systems.
Keywords: antisocial behavior, juvenile delinquency, prevention, meta-analysis, children and adolescents, evaluation