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Alex R. Piquero, PhD University of Texas at Dallas David P. Farrington, PhD Cambridge University Presentation to Campbell Colloqium Copenhagen, Denmark,

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Presentation on theme: "Alex R. Piquero, PhD University of Texas at Dallas David P. Farrington, PhD Cambridge University Presentation to Campbell Colloqium Copenhagen, Denmark,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Alex R. Piquero, PhD University of Texas at Dallas David P. Farrington, PhD Cambridge University Presentation to Campbell Colloqium Copenhagen, Denmark, May 31, 2012

2  Early family/parent training programs  Piquero, A. R., Farrington, D. P., Welsh, B. C., Tremblay, R. E. and Jennings, W. (2008) Effects of Early Family/Parent Training Programmes on Antisocial Behavior and Delinquency. Campbell Systematic Reviews 2008:11.  Self-control modification programs  Piquero, A. R., Jennings, W. G. and Farrington, D. P. (2010) Self-Control Interventions for Children Under age 10 for Improving Self-Control and Delinquency and Problem Behaviors. Campbell Systematic Reviews 2010:2.


4 I. Early Family/Parent Training Programs  Early antisocial behavior is a key risk factor for continued delinquency and crime throughout the life course.  Early family/parent training (EFPT) has been advanced as an important prevention effort.  Relevance of EFPT to the prevention of crime has been suggested in developmentally-based criminological and psychological literatures.

5 2 Types of EFPT  1. Home visitation, with/without additional services.  Work with at-risk mothers to improve their prenatal health status, reduce birth complications, and provide guidance and support in caring for the infant and improving the quality of their own lives.  2. Combine parent training, daycare, and preschool for parents with preschool children.  Advance cognitive and social development of the children, as well as the parenting skills of their caregivers, so that participants will be better prepared and more successful when they enter regular school.

6 Why EFPT May Reduce Behavior Problems & Have Non-Crime Benefits  Based on the notion that quality of parent-child relations will facilitate learning of control over impulsive, oppositional, and aggressive behavior, thus reducing disruptive behavior and its long- term negative impact on social integration.  Attempt to change the social contingencies in the family context and provide guidance to parents on raising their children or general parent education.

7 Policy Relevance  Growth in the use of EFPT in many Western nations as a method to prevent crime.  Canadian province of Quebec has taken on family prevention as a key social policy.  Expanding into Dublin and Paris.  Research by Nagin, Piquero et al. (2006) indicates that the public believes in prevention efforts (such as early-child/nurse-home intervention programs), and funding such efforts at an increase to taxes.

8 Piquero et al. (2010, JEC)  Focus on effectiveness of early family/parent training programs implemented in early childhood for reducing child behavior problems (antisocial behavior and delinquency).  Assess evidence on the effects of EFPT on child behavior problems.  Investigate the settings and conditions that make it most effective.  Focus on programs through age 5 (of the child) in preventing child behavior problems.

9  7 strategies were used to search the literature for eligible studies:  Keyword search performed on several abstract databases.  Reviewed the bibliographies of previous reviews of EFPT programs.  Performed forward searches for works that have cited seminal studies in this area.  Performed hand searches of leading journals.  Searched the publications of several research and professional agencies.  Contacted scholars in various disciplines who are knowledgeable in EFPT.  Consulted with an information specialist at the outset and along the way.  Published/unpublished reports were considered in searches.  Searches were international in scope.  Studies were only included if they had a randomized controlled evaluation design that provided before-and-after measures of child behavior problems among experimental and control subjects.  Parent training or support had to be a major component of the intervention, i.e., parent training was the central component of the intervention, although not necessarily the only one.

10  Many different EFPT programs. One example is Webster- Stratton’s Incredible Years Parenting Program.  There are a variety of abbreviated and age-appropriate versions of this program.  Main purpose is to provide parent training to strengthen the parent’s competencies in monitoring and appropriately disciplining their child’s behaviors and increasing the parent’s overall involvement in the child’s school experiences to promote the child’s social and emotional competence and reduce their conduct problems.  Typically provided by trained experts and/or through the use of parent training videotapes.  Intervention sessions are provided in the home, the school, or at the clinic and can be offered as individual or group parent training.

11 Findings  Original search yielded over 4,000 hits.  Trimmed after duplicate sources, study did not meet eligibility criteria, etc., ended in total of 55 studies.  EFPT is an effective intervention for reducing antisocial problems and delinquency (d=.35).  EFPT is also effective in reducing delinquency and crime in later adolescence and adulthood.  EFPT effect is robust across various weighting procedures, and across context, time period, sample size, outcome source, and based on both published and unpublished data.


13 Conclusions  Advanced prior efforts by:  allowing for interventions through age 5.  separating various types of interventions (parent training vs. home visitation).  updating database regarding EFPT programs through 2008.  EFPT should continue to be used to prevent behavior problems in the first five years of life.  EFPT has few negative effects and clear benefits.

14 II. Self-Control Modification  Gottfredson & Hirschi’s general theory of crime is one of criminology’s most tested theories.  Little attention has been paid to the malleability of self-control.  Different views on whether self-control is malleable.  G&H believe self control is malleable for the first decade of life, but likely unresponsive to external intervention after this point.

15  Meta-analysis is used to answer the following research questions:  1. What are the effects of self control improvement programs up to age 10 for improving self-control among children/adolescents?  2. What are the effects of self-control improvement programs on delinquency? Piquero et al. (2010, JQ)

16 Methodology  Studies investigating the effects of self-control improvement programs on childhood behavior were included in the meta-analyses.  5 strategies were used to search the literature for eligible studies:  Keyword search across databases  Checking reference lists from previous articles  Hand searches on scholarly journals  Search publications of research/professional agencies  Contacting recognized experts in the field

17  Most were group- (67.6%) or school-based (79.4%) interventions.  Most could be broadly characterized as social skills development programs (32.4%), while others focused on cognitive coping strategies (26.5%), video tape training/role playing (20.6%), immediate/delayed rewards clinical interventions (11.8%), and relaxation training (8.8%).  Many different types of programs but all focus on improving self-control/self-regulation. As one example:  Reid and Borkowski’s (1987) versions of cognitive coping strategies focuses on using psychoeducational tasks where an instructor verbalizes correct self-control statements (“find out what I am supposed to do,” “consider all answers,” “stop and think,” “mark my answer,” and “check my answer”) while performing various tasks, and then has the child repeat these steps and verbalize these statements while performing similar tasks.

18 Findings  Exhaustive search procedure went from over 5,000 hits to 247 potentially relevant studies, to 34 studies used in the review.  Table 1-Descriptive statistics characterizing the 34 included studies (61.8% published).  Table 4- Mean Effect Sizes by outcome type and source.  Figure 1- Standardized Mean Difference Effect Sizes for Self Control.  Figure 2- Standardized Mean Difference Effect Sizes for Delinquency.





23 Conclusions  Analyses of 34 studies indicate:  1. Self-control improvement programs improve a child’s/adolescent’s self-control.  2. Interventions reduce delinquency.  3. Positive effects hold across numerous moderator variables.

24  Reviews indicate that early childhood family/parent training programs and self-control modification programs are effective at:  Improving parental socialization efforts and child’s self- control  Reducing antisocial behavior/delinquency  Improving outcomes across life domains  These programs are:  Cost-effective (benefits outweigh the cost~~$2:1 - $4:1)  Evidence-based (almost no ill effects and many more positive effects across wide range of data/studies)  Well-supported by wide range of public and political officials

25  Expansion of programs and analyses across wider range of samples—especially higher-risk samples.  Expansion of data analyses to look at long-term effects.  Expansion of outcome criteria to look at adult life domains, i.e., educational attainment, employment, inter-personal relationships.  Measure the costs/benefits of interventions across the life course.

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