A Meta-Analysis of Program Characteristics for Youth with Disruptive Behavior Problems: The Moderating Role of Program Format and Youth Gender

Megan Granski, Shabnam Javdani, Valerie R. Anderson, Roxane Caires

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

There is high variability in efficacy for interventions for youth with disruptive behavior problems (DBP). Despite evidence of the unique correlates and critical consequences of girls’ DBP, there is a dearth of research examining treatment efficacy for girls. This meta-analysis of 167 unique effect sizes from 29 studies (28,483 youth, 50% female; median age: 14) suggests that existing treatments have a medium positive effect on DBP (g =.33). For both boys and girls, the most effective interventions included (a) multimodal or group format, (b) cognitive skills or family systems interventions, and (c) length-intensive programs for (d) younger children. Boys demonstrated significantly greater treatment gains from group format interventions compared to girls, which is particularly important given that the group program format was the most prevalent format for boys and girls, with 14 studies involving 10,433 youth encompassing this category. This is the first meta-analysis to examine the effect of program characteristics in a sample of programs selected to be specifically inclusive of girls. Given that girls are underrepresented in intervention research on DBP, findings are discussed in terms of gender-responsive considerations and elucidating how key aspects of program structure can support more effective intervention outcomes for youth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-222
Number of pages22
JournalAmerican journal of community psychology
Volume65
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020

Keywords

  • Delinquency
  • Disruptive behavior problems
  • Girls/gender
  • Intervention/treatment
  • Meta-analysis
  • Program characteristics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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