Table 5-1. Average effect sizes

Serious Juvenile Offenders *
Program CategoryEffect Size(d)§ Percentage Point Reduction in Recidivism
Institutionalized
Consistent Evidence of Positive Effects
  • Interpersonal skills
0.3919%
  • Teaching family home
0.3417%
Less Consistent Evidence of Positive Effects
  • Behavioral programs
0.3316%
  • Community residential
0.2814%
  • Multiple services
0.2010%
Mixed Effects
  • Individual counseling
0.157%
  • Guided group
0.095%
  • Group counseling
0.053%
Inconsistent Evidence of Weak or No Effects
  • Employment-related
0.157%
  • Drug abstinence
0.084%
  • Wilderness/challenge
0.074%
Consistent Evidence of Weak or No Effects
  • Milieu therapy
0.084%
Noninstitutionalized
Consistent Evidence of Positive Effects
  • Individual counseling
0.4622%
  • Interpersonal skills
0.4421%
  • Behavioral programs
0.4220%
Less Consistent Evidence of Positive Effects
  • Multiple services
0.2914%
  • Restitution
0.157%
Mixed Effects
  • Employment-related
0.2211%
  • Academic programs
0.2010%
  • Advocacy/casework
0.199%
  • Family counseling
0.199%
  • Group counseling
0.105%
Inconsistent Evidence of Weak or No Effects
  • Reduced caseload
- 0.04- 2%
Consistent Evidence of Weak or No Effects
  • Wilderness/challenge
0.126%
  • Early release
0.032%
  • Deterrence programs
- 0.06- 3%
  • Vocational programs
- 0.18- 9%
Juvenile Delinquents **
Program CategoryEffect Size(d)§ Percentage Point Reduction in Recidivism
Juvenile Justice
Employment0.3718%
Multimodal0.2512%
Behavioral0.2512%
Institutional, other0.2010%
Skill-oriented0.2010%
Community residential0.168%
Any other juvenile justice0.147%
Probation/parole, release0.115%
Probation/parole, reduce caseload0.084%
Probation/parole, restitution0.084%
Individual counseling0.084%
Group counseling0.073%
Probation/parole, other enhancement0.073%
Family counseling0.021%
Vocational- 0.18- 9%
Deterrence- 0.24- 12%
Non-Juvenile Justice
Skill-oriented0.3216%
Multimodal/broker0.2110%
Behavioral0.2010%
Group counseling0.189%
Casework0.168%
Family counseling0.105%
Advocacy0.105%
Other counseling0.063%
School class/tutor0.000%
Individual counseling- 0.010%
Any other non-juvenile justice- 0.010%
Employment/vocational- 0.02- 1%

* Source: Lipsey & Wilson, 1998.

** Source: Lipsey, 1992.

§ The effect is a standardized mean difference score (Lipsey & Wilson, 1998, p. 318).

§§ This calculation assumes a 50% recidivism rate in the absence of intervention.

From: Chapter 5 -- Prevention and Intervention

Cover of Youth Violence
Youth Violence: A Report of the Surgeon General.
Office of the Surgeon General (US); National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (US); National Institute of Mental Health (US); Center for Mental Health Services (US).
Rockville (MD): Office of the Surgeon General (US); 2001.

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