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Search Result: 64 Records found
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Cognitive-behavioural therapy for men who physically abuse their female partner
  • Authors Geir Smedslund, Jocelyne Clench-Aas, Therese K. Dalsbø, Asbjørn Steiro, Aina Winsvold
  • Published date 2011-05-03
  • Coordinating group(s) Social Welfare
  • Type of document Review User abstract
  • Title Cognitive-behavioural therapy for men who physically abuse their female partner
  • See the full review https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.4073/csr.2011.1
  • English

    Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for men who physically abuse their female partner

    Cognitive behavioural therapy is frequently used as treatment for men who physically abuse their female partner. Findings from a Campbell systematic review, however, reveal that there is not enough evidence to draw conclusions on its effect.

    Partner violence – a widespread and serious problem

    Partner violence is a serious problem in societies worldwide, affecting women in particular. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), partner violence is the most common form of physical abuse perpetrated against women. It is, however, difficult to form an overall picture of the problem, and to do something about it, as this type of abuse generally takes place in the private family sphere and the violence is seldom reported by the victim.

    The abuse can take many different forms - psychological, sexual or physical – but, regardless of the type of abuse to which a woman is subjected, it has physical, psychological and social consequences. This review focuses only on physical abuse perpetrated by men against their female partner.

    Domestic violence also has consequences for the children who witness the abuse. Studies show that the majority of physically abusive men have witnessed or been subjected to abuse during their childhood.

    Widespread treatment – no documented effect

    Cognitive behavioural therapy is frequently used as treatment for physically abusive men. The goal of the treatment is to bring about changes in the way that physically abusive men think about violence and the circumstances which lead to violence, thereby interrupting the chain of events that leads to physical abuse.

    The objective of this review is to examine whether cognitive behavioural therapy helps men to stop physically abusing their partners. However, there are still too few randomised controlled trials to draw firm conclusions about the effectiveness of cognitive behaviour therapy for male perpetrators of domestic violence.

    About the systematic review

    This review included six randomized controlled trials from the USA involving a total of 2,343 participants.

    Four of the studies compare a group of men who receive cognitive behavioural therapy with a control group who receive no treatment but are released on parole, carrying out community service or under supervision. The other two studies compare cognitive behavioural therapy with other forms of treatment (process-psychodynamic group treatment and facilitation group). Following the course of treatment (a period of up to 26 weeks and a follow-up period of 1-2 years) the level of repeated violence is measured.

    The studies fail to provide a clear picture of the effect of cognitive behavioural therapy on physically abusive men, as they point in different directions. The individual circumstances surrounding each study can determine how the therapy is carried out and thereby the effect of the therapy. However, on the basis of the information available, it is not possible to determine which variations are decisive. As the studies point in different directions, the idea that certain variations of the therapy may have both a positive and negative outcome cannot be ruled out.

    Compulsory or voluntary participation?

    The review includes studies where enrolment in the CBT program is voluntarily as well as those where enrolment is compulsory. The findings of the review do not, however, show any clear correlation between voluntary participation and a positive outcome of the treatment or compulsory participation and a negative outcome of the treatment.

Individual and group-based parenting programmes for improving psychosocial outcomes for teenage parents and their children
  • Authors Jane Barlow, Nadja Smailagic, Cathy Bennett, Nick Huband, Hannah Jones, Esther Coren
  • Published date 2011-05-03
  • Coordinating group(s) Social Welfare
  • Type of document Review
  • Title Individual and group-based parenting programmes for improving psychosocial outcomes for teenage parents and their children
  • See the full review https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.4073/csr.2011.2
Parent-training interventions to support intellectually-disabled parents
  • Authors Esther Coren, Jemeela Hutchfield, Manuela Thomae, Carina Gustafsson
  • Published date 2010-12-07
  • Coordinating group(s) Social Welfare
  • Type of document Review
  • Title Parent-training interventions to support intellectually-disabled parents
  • See the full review https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.4073/csr.2010.3
Personal assistance for adults (19-64) with both physical and intellectual impairments
  • Authors Evan Mayo-Wilson, Catriona Shatford, Paul Montgomery
  • Published date 2008-12-31
  • Coordinating group(s) Social Welfare
  • Type of document Review User abstract
  • Title Personal assistance for adults (19-64) with both physical and intellectual impairments
  • See the full review https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.4073/csr.2008.2
  • English

    Personal assistance offers people with impairments choice of service and greater quality of life

    Six new Campbell systematic reviews examine research on the effect of personal assistance for people with impairments and elderly people. Several studies, including a large US randomised controlled trial, suggest that personal assistance increases the quality of life for elderly people as well as younger people with impairments. The state of evidence may change as new studies emerge.

    A widely used intervention

    People who have muscular dystrophy, suffer from a brain injury or who have become frail with old age often have difficulties taking part in society on equal terms with others. An increasing number of people are born with physical or intellectual impairments or acquire them later in life. Furthermore, the elderly population is increasing. A great number of local-government authorities therefore offer personal assistance for people with impairments to help people take part in all parts of society. Personal assistance is customised support that may include help in all areas of life, including transportation, social activities, work, education, shopping, eating and hygiene. Personal assistance is offered in different forms in most western countries. This type of intervention is especially widespread in the Nordic countries, where personal assistance is often a statutory right.

    Six new Campbell systematic reviews have examined the effect of personal assistance on quality of life for people of all ages with physical and intellectual impairments.

    Can increase quality of life

    A very large US randomised controlled trial examined the effect of personal assistance on quality of life and user satisfaction in four out of the six target groups, namely children with intellectual impairments, adults with physical impairments, adults with both physical and intellectual impairments and older adults (65+). The study suggests that personal assistance has a positive effect on quality of life and user satisfaction for all four target groups. The positive outcomes for older adults (65+) in this trial are consistent with outcomes in three smaller studies using less rigorous designs. Furthermore, the positive outcomes for adults with physical and intellectual impairments are consistent with the outcomes in another small study.

    The US study randomised the participants to personal assistance or to other publicly-paid support (the control group). Participation in the trial was on a voluntary basis, that is, participants were themselves interested in having a personal assistant. Participants with a personal assistant became more satisfied with life. About half were very satisfied with the way they were spending their lives,

    whereas this was true for only just under one-third in the control group. Children with intellectual impairments experienced the greatest progress, as reported by their parents.

    These studies all aim to assess ’soft values’ (such as quality of life and user satisfaction) as well as hard outcomes, such as nursing home admission. They show that rigorous research designs, including randomised controlled trials, can measure impacts on all sorts of outcomes. Randomised controlled trials actually provide a very accurate picture of the effect on users’ quality of life and satisfaction.

    One among many interventions

    In the systematic reviews, personal assistance is defined as: support for at least 20 per week, in the user’s home, by a paid assistant other than a healthcare professional. The paid assistant is therefore typically trained and employed directly by the user. In many places, users form cooperatives to help train and pay assistants. These user groups may charge a fee to handle administrative duties like performing background checks and collecting taxes.

    All six systematic reviews emphasise that there might also be disadvantages from personal assistance. Frequent replacements, low salaries and lack of training and education of paid assistants may limit positive impacts. Furthermore, there is the risk that a personal assistant might reduce rather than enhance a user's self-sufficiency relative to alternative forms of support. To allow people to make best use of resources, policymakers might allow people to spend money on assistants, home modification, assistive devices, transportation, or whatever mix of services they feel would be most useful.

    More studies are needed

    Four of the systematic reviews, the outcomes of which are outlined above, examine the effects for four different groups: older adults (65+), adults with physical impairments, adults with physical and intellectual impairments, and children and adolescents with physical impairments. For these groups, the authors found studies with relevant, reliable and mutually consistent outcomes.

    However, for the two remaining systematic reviews, the authors did not find any relevant studies of a quality high enough to warrant inclusion in the reviews. These reviews hoped to examine the effect of personal assistance for children with physical impairments and children with both physical and intellectual impairments.

    All six systematic reviews observe that personal assistance schemes are increasingly popular. However, personal assistance can be organised in different ways, and other combinations of services might be ideal for certain groups of people. Further studies would help users and policymakers determine the best mix of service options.

Personal assistance for children and adolescents (0-18) with physical impairments
  • Authors Evan Mayo-Wilson, Catriona Shatford, Paul Montgomery
  • Published date 2008-11-04
  • Coordinating group(s) Social Welfare
  • Type of document Review User abstract
  • Title Personal assistance for children and adolescents (0-18) with physical impairments
  • See the full review https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.4073/csr.2008.6
  • English

    Personal assistance offers people with impairments choice of service and greater quality of life

    Six new Campbell systematic reviews examine research on the effect of personal assistance for people with impairments and elderly people. Several studies, including a large US randomised controlled trial, suggest that personal assistance increases the quality of life for elderly people as well as younger people with impairments. The state of evidence may change as new studies emerge.

    A widely used intervention

    People who have muscular dystrophy, suffer from a brain injury or who have become frail with old age often have difficulties taking part in society on equal terms with others. An increasing number of people are born with physical or intellectual impairments or acquire them later in life. Furthermore, the elderly population is increasing. A great number of local-government authorities therefore offer personal assistance for people with impairments to help people take part in all parts of society. Personal assistance is customised support that may include help in all areas of life, including transportation, social activities, work, education, shopping, eating and hygiene. Personal assistance is offered in different forms in most western countries. This type of intervention is especially widespread in the Nordic countries, where personal assistance is often a statutory right.

    Six new Campbell systematic reviews have examined the effect of personal assistance on quality of life for people of all ages with physical and intellectual impairments.

    Can increase quality of life

    A very large US randomised controlled trial examined the effect of personal assistance on quality of life and user satisfaction in four out of the six target groups, namely children with intellectual impairments, adults with physical impairments, adults with both physical and intellectual impairments and older adults (65+). The study suggests that personal assistance has a positive effect on quality of life and user satisfaction for all four target groups. The positive outcomes for older adults (65+) in this trial are consistent with outcomes in three smaller studies using less rigorous designs. Furthermore, the positive outcomes for adults with physical and intellectual impairments are consistent with the outcomes in another small study.

    The US study randomised the participants to personal assistance or to other publicly-paid support (the control group). Participation in the trial was on a voluntary basis, that is, participants were themselves interested in having a personal assistant. Participants with a personal assistant became more satisfied with life. About half were very satisfied with the way they were spending their lives,

    whereas this was true for only just under one-third in the control group. Children with intellectual impairments experienced the greatest progress, as reported by their parents.

    These studies all aim to assess ’soft values’ (such as quality of life and user satisfaction) as well as hard outcomes, such as nursing home admission. They show that rigorous research designs, including randomised controlled trials, can measure impacts on all sorts of outcomes. Randomised controlled trials actually provide a very accurate picture of the effect on users’ quality of life and satisfaction.

    One among many interventions

    In the systematic reviews, personal assistance is defined as: support for at least 20 per week, in the user’s home, by a paid assistant other than a healthcare professional. The paid assistant is therefore typically trained and employed directly by the user. In many places, users form cooperatives to help train and pay assistants. These user groups may charge a fee to handle administrative duties like performing background checks and collecting taxes.

    All six systematic reviews emphasise that there might also be disadvantages from personal assistance. Frequent replacements, low salaries and lack of training and education of paid assistants may limit positive impacts. Furthermore, there is the risk that a personal assistant might reduce rather than enhance a user's self-sufficiency relative to alternative forms of support. To allow people to make best use of resources, policymakers might allow people to spend money on assistants, home modification, assistive devices, transportation, or whatever mix of services they feel would be most useful.

    More studies are needed

    Four of the systematic reviews, the outcomes of which are outlined above, examine the effects for four different groups: older adults (65+), adults with physical impairments, adults with physical and intellectual impairments, and children and adolescents with physical impairments. For these groups, the authors found studies with relevant, reliable and mutually consistent outcomes.

    However, for the two remaining systematic reviews, the authors did not find any relevant studies of a quality high enough to warrant inclusion in the reviews. These reviews hoped to examine the effect of personal assistance for children with physical impairments and children with both physical and intellectual impairments.

    All six systematic reviews observe that personal assistance schemes are increasingly popular. However, personal assistance can be organised in different ways, and other combinations of services might be ideal for certain groups of people. Further studies would help users and policymakers determine the best mix of service options.

Personal assistance for children and adolescents (0-18) with both physical and intellectual impairments
  • Authors Paul Montgomery, Evan Mayo-Wilson, Catriona Shatford
  • Published date 2008-11-04
  • Coordinating group(s) Social Welfare
  • Type of document Review User abstract
  • Title Personal assistance for children and adolescents (0-18) with both physical and intellectual impairments
  • See the full review https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.4073/csr.2008.5
  • English

    Personal assistance offers people with impairments choice of service and greater quality of life

    Six new Campbell systematic reviews examine research on the effect of personal assistance for people with impairments and elderly people. Several studies, including a large US randomised controlled trial, suggest that personal assistance increases the quality of life for elderly people as well as younger people with impairments. The state of evidence may change as new studies emerge.

    A widely used intervention

    People who have muscular dystrophy, suffer from a brain injury or who have become frail with old age often have difficulties taking part in society on equal terms with others. An increasing number of people are born with physical or intellectual impairments or acquire them later in life. Furthermore, the elderly population is increasing. A great number of local-government authorities therefore offer personal assistance for people with impairments to help people take part in all parts of society. Personal assistance is customised support that may include help in all areas of life, including transportation, social activities, work, education, shopping, eating and hygiene. Personal assistance is offered in different forms in most western countries. This type of intervention is especially widespread in the Nordic countries, where personal assistance is often a statutory right.

    Six new Campbell systematic reviews have examined the effect of personal assistance on quality of life for people of all ages with physical and intellectual impairments.

    Can increase quality of life

    A very large US randomised controlled trial examined the effect of personal assistance on quality of life and user satisfaction in four out of the six target groups, namely children with intellectual impairments, adults with physical impairments, adults with both physical and intellectual impairments and older adults (65+). The study suggests that personal assistance has a positive effect on quality of life and user satisfaction for all four target groups. The positive outcomes for older adults (65+) in this trial are consistent with outcomes in three smaller studies using less rigorous designs. Furthermore, the positive outcomes for adults with physical and intellectual impairments are consistent with the outcomes in another small study.

    The US study randomised the participants to personal assistance or to other publicly-paid support (the control group). Participation in the trial was on a voluntary basis, that is, participants were themselves interested in having a personal assistant. Participants with a personal assistant became more satisfied with life. About half were very satisfied with the way they were spending their lives,

    whereas this was true for only just under one-third in the control group. Children with intellectual impairments experienced the greatest progress, as reported by their parents.

    These studies all aim to assess ’soft values’ (such as quality of life and user satisfaction) as well as hard outcomes, such as nursing home admission. They show that rigorous research designs, including randomised controlled trials, can measure impacts on all sorts of outcomes. Randomised controlled trials actually provide a very accurate picture of the effect on users’ quality of life and satisfaction.

    One among many interventions

    In the systematic reviews, personal assistance is defined as: support for at least 20 per week, in the user’s home, by a paid assistant other than a healthcare professional. The paid assistant is therefore typically trained and employed directly by the user. In many places, users form cooperatives to help train and pay assistants. These user groups may charge a fee to handle administrative duties like performing background checks and collecting taxes.

    All six systematic reviews emphasise that there might also be disadvantages from personal assistance. Frequent replacements, low salaries and lack of training and education of paid assistants may limit positive impacts. Furthermore, there is the risk that a personal assistant might reduce rather than enhance a user's self-sufficiency relative to alternative forms of support. To allow people to make best use of resources, policymakers might allow people to spend money on assistants, home modification, assistive devices, transportation, or whatever mix of services they feel would be most useful.

    More studies are needed

    Four of the systematic reviews, the outcomes of which are outlined above, examine the effects for four different groups: older adults (65+), adults with physical impairments, adults with physical and intellectual impairments, and children and adolescents with physical impairments. For these groups, the authors found studies with relevant, reliable and mutually consistent outcomes.

    However, for the two remaining systematic reviews, the authors did not find any relevant studies of a quality high enough to warrant inclusion in the reviews. These reviews hoped to examine the effect of personal assistance for children with physical impairments and children with both physical and intellectual impairments.

    All six systematic reviews observe that personal assistance schemes are increasingly popular. However, personal assistance can be organised in different ways, and other combinations of services might be ideal for certain groups of people. Further studies would help users and policymakers determine the best mix of service options.

Personal assistance for adults (19-64) with physical impairments
  • Authors Evan Mayo-Wilson, Catriona Shatford, Paul Montgomery
  • Published date 2008-09-28
  • Coordinating group(s) Social Welfare
  • Type of document Review User abstract
  • Title Personal assistance for adults (19-64) with physical impairments
  • See the full review https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.4073/csr.2008.3
  • English

    Personal assistance offers people with impairments choice of service and greater quality of life

    Six new Campbell systematic reviews examine research on the effect of personal assistance for people with impairments and elderly people. Several studies, including a large US randomised controlled trial, suggest that personal assistance increases the quality of life for elderly people as well as younger people with impairments. The state of evidence may change as new studies emerge.

    A widely used intervention

    People who have muscular dystrophy, suffer from a brain injury or who have become frail with old age often have difficulties taking part in society on equal terms with others. An increasing number of people are born with physical or intellectual impairments or acquire them later in life. Furthermore, the elderly population is increasing. A great number of local-government authorities therefore offer personal assistance for people with impairments to help people take part in all parts of society. Personal assistance is customised support that may include help in all areas of life, including transportation, social activities, work, education, shopping, eating and hygiene. Personal assistance is offered in different forms in most western countries. This type of intervention is especially widespread in the Nordic countries, where personal assistance is often a statutory right.

    Six new Campbell systematic reviews have examined the effect of personal assistance on quality of life for people of all ages with physical and intellectual impairments.

    Can increase quality of life

    A very large US randomised controlled trial examined the effect of personal assistance on quality of life and user satisfaction in four out of the six target groups, namely children with intellectual impairments, adults with physical impairments, adults with both physical and intellectual impairments and older adults (65+). The study suggests that personal assistance has a positive effect on quality of life and user satisfaction for all four target groups. The positive outcomes for older adults (65+) in this trial are consistent with outcomes in three smaller studies using less rigorous designs. Furthermore, the positive outcomes for adults with physical and intellectual impairments are consistent with the outcomes in another small study.

    The US study randomised the participants to personal assistance or to other publicly-paid support (the control group). Participation in the trial was on a voluntary basis, that is, participants were themselves interested in having a personal assistant. Participants with a personal assistant became more satisfied with life. About half were very satisfied with the way they were spending their lives,

    whereas this was true for only just under one-third in the control group. Children with intellectual impairments experienced the greatest progress, as reported by their parents.

    These studies all aim to assess ’soft values’ (such as quality of life and user satisfaction) as well as hard outcomes, such as nursing home admission. They show that rigorous research designs, including randomised controlled trials, can measure impacts on all sorts of outcomes. Randomised controlled trials actually provide a very accurate picture of the effect on users’ quality of life and satisfaction.

    One among many interventions

    In the systematic reviews, personal assistance is defined as: support for at least 20 per week, in the user’s home, by a paid assistant other than a healthcare professional. The paid assistant is therefore typically trained and employed directly by the user. In many places, users form cooperatives to help train and pay assistants. These user groups may charge a fee to handle administrative duties like performing background checks and collecting taxes.

    All six systematic reviews emphasise that there might also be disadvantages from personal assistance. Frequent replacements, low salaries and lack of training and education of paid assistants may limit positive impacts. Furthermore, there is the risk that a personal assistant might reduce rather than enhance a user's self-sufficiency relative to alternative forms of support. To allow people to make best use of resources, policymakers might allow people to spend money on assistants, home modification, assistive devices, transportation, or whatever mix of services they feel would be most useful.

    More studies are needed

    Four of the systematic reviews, the outcomes of which are outlined above, examine the effects for four different groups: older adults (65+), adults with physical impairments, adults with physical and intellectual impairments, and children and adolescents with physical impairments. For these groups, the authors found studies with relevant, reliable and mutually consistent outcomes.

    However, for the two remaining systematic reviews, the authors did not find any relevant studies of a quality high enough to warrant inclusion in the reviews. These reviews hoped to examine the effect of personal assistance for children with physical impairments and children with both physical and intellectual impairments.

    All six systematic reviews observe that personal assistance schemes are increasingly popular. However, personal assistance can be organised in different ways, and other combinations of services might be ideal for certain groups of people. Further studies would help users and policymakers determine the best mix of service options.

Cognitive-behavioural interventions for preventing youth gang involvement for children and young people (7-16)
  • Authors Herrick Fisher, Frances Gardner, Paul Montgomery
  • Published date 2008-08-21
  • Coordinating group(s) Social Welfare
  • Type of document Review User abstract
  • Title Cognitive-behavioural interventions for preventing youth gang involvement for children and young people (7-16)
  • See the full review https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.4073/csr.2008.7
  • English

    Lack of research in preventing youth gang involvement

    Gang-related crime is a major problem in cities worldwide. Nonetheless, research is lacking on how best to prevent young people from becoming involved in gang-related activities. Two systematic reviews supported by SFI Campbell have reviewed the research concerning two specific preventive interventions for children and young people. However, the researchers found no studies of sufficient solidity to draw any conclusions as to the effect of these interventions.

    Gangs are a serious problem

    It is well-documented that young people recruited to gangs are responsible for more crime than their non-gang-member peers. Moreover, gang members do not only commit more crimes than their peers, they are also responsible for more serious offences such as assault and selling drugs.

    The majority of gang members are recruited among children and adolescents. One way of taking action on gang-related crime is thus to prevent children and young people from joining gangs in the first place. There are several types of such preventive interventions, but there is no general overview of their success rate. Accordingly, a group of researchers tasked itself with gathering and quality-assessing the available knowledge of the effects of two specific preventive interventions in two Campbell systematic reviews. The object was to investigate whether, based on the best knowledge available, it is possible to draw any conclusions concerning the effect of the interventions.

    Cognitive behavioural therapy or educational opportunities

    One of the two systematic reviews examined research concerning cognitive behavioural therapy to prevent gang membership among children and adolescents. In a number of other contexts, cognitive behavioural therapy has proved an effective means of reducing criminal behaviour among groups such as anti-social youth.

    The other systematic review looked for research into initiatives for opportunities provision, such as youth counselling, education or job training. The idea behind the initiatives is that education and work are held to deter young people from becoming members of gangs.

    The need for qualified outcomes research

    Unfortunately, none of the systematic reviews found any studies of sufficiently high quality to permit any conclusion concerning the effect of the two interventions. The researchers are therefore calling for well-managed randomised controlled trials or other trials involving comparison of an intervention group with a control group. Only via such studies will it be possible to make a qualified assessment of the effect of interventions against gang formation.

Financial benefits for child health and well-being in low-income or socially-disadvantaged families in developed world countries
  • Authors Patricia Lucas, Karen McIntosh, Mark Petticrew, Helen M. Roberts, Alan Shiell
  • Published date 2008-08-21
  • Coordinating group(s) Social Welfare
  • Type of document Review User abstract
  • Title Financial benefits for child health and well-being in low-income or socially-disadvantaged families in developed world countries
  • See the full review https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.4073/csr.2008.9
  • English

    Modest financial support does not seem to help poor children

    A modest increase in monies provided to poor and socially disadvantaged families tied to work requirements does not seem to improve children’s health or well-being. This is the conclusion of a new review supported by SFI Campbell, which has examined nine randomised trials with over 25,000 participants.

    Disadvantage in childhood has serious consequences

    In the US, every fifth child grows up in relative poverty. In European countries such as Italy, Portugal, Ireland and the UK, the figure is approximately every seventh child. In all countries, there is a strong link between low household income and a long list of health-related, behavioural and educational problems in children.

    No one knows the precise causes behind this. But children who grow up in relatively poor families are less likely to do well in the education system and are more likely to become unemployed or to take unskilled, low-paid jobs as adults. They also have a higher risk of health problems, which will often persist throughout their adult lives.

    On the basis of this, a new Campbell review has looked more closely at interventions that attempt to reduce poverty for families through various forms of direct financial support. The question is whether financial benefits delivered as an intervention are effective at improving child health and well-being.

    Modest financial benefits do not help

    The types of support included in the review either involve a form of tax deduction or the direct payment of a small sum of money usually on condition of taking up full time work. In many cases, the extra money was temporary. Health Insurance and/or childcare support are often included as part of the package as well as job seeking support or similar.

    The conclusion is that there was no evidence of a positive effect from this type of financial support to families on the children’s well-being – neither in relation to their physical health, their mental health nor their emotional state.

    According to the authors, there may be several reasons for this. For most of the families, the overall increase in household income amounted to less than $50 a month. In only three out of the nine studies was the support more than $150 a month. Possibly, studies did not show any effect as the financial benefits were simply too low to make a difference to the families’ living conditions. Often, the benefits were for a set period of time only. The authors point out that a change in income that is

    perceived as temporary will not usually encourage people to change their spending habits. This may help to explain the outcome.

    Uncertainty regarding the effect of conditions

    It has not been possible to examine the isolated effects of the individual elements in the support programmes. What, for example, is the effect of there being special conditions that have to be met in order for the family to be eligible for financial support? According to the authors, an employment requirement may have the opposite effect than the one intended. As well as increasing income, a requirement for full time employment may increase family stress particularly among single parent families. Such a requirement may thus negate any positive effects of the financial support.

    Although the review does not find positive effects in relation to the children’s well-being, the authors do not wish to rule out the idea behind this type of intervention. The possibility that additional monies may make a difference to children in poor families still exists, according to the authors. But there is no evidence of effect of small and temporary financial benefits such as those in the cases examined.

    Facts about the review

    Nine different randomised controlled trials, with a total of more than 25,000 participants, are included in the review. The oldest study was reported in 1997, the most recent study in 2006. All studies took place in North America, eight of these in the US and one in Canada. All except one study covered several areas and included a mix of rural, suburban and urban samples. The participants were disadvantaged families and a high percentage was single mothers. The majority received or had applied for social benefits such as social security when they were selected to participate. At the start of the trial, the majority of children were between 3 and 10 years of age.

    Recommendations for future research

    The review shows that interventions in the form of conditional payments of small sums have been thoroughly tested and evaluated. Thus, according to the review authors, further studies of this nature are not necessary. On the other hand, there is a major need to examine the effects of the payment of larger sums without conditions for receipt. In such future studies, it is important that high quality data is collected about the children, e.g. regarding their health and development, their behaviour, emotions and educational attainment.

Opportunities provision for preventing youth gang involvement for children and young people (7-16)
  • Authors Herrick Fisher, Frances Gardner, Paul Montgomery
  • Published date 2008-08-21
  • Coordinating group(s) Social Welfare
  • Type of document Review User abstract
  • Title Opportunities provision for preventing youth gang involvement for children and young people (7-16)
  • See the full review https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.4073/csr.2008.8
  • English

    Lack of research in preventing youth gang involvement

    Gang-related crime is a major problem in cities worldwide. Nonetheless, research is lacking on how best to prevent young people from becoming involved in gang-related activities. Two systematic reviews supported by SFI Campbell have reviewed the research concerning two specific preventive interventions for children and young people. However, the researchers found no studies of sufficient solidity to draw any conclusions as to the effect of these interventions.

    Gangs are a serious problem

    It is well-documented that young people recruited to gangs are responsible for more crime than their non-gang-member peers. Moreover, gang members do not only commit more crimes than their peers, they are also responsible for more serious offences such as assault and selling drugs.

    The majority of gang members are recruited among children and adolescents. One way of taking action on gang-related crime is thus to prevent children and young people from joining gangs in the first place. There are several types of such preventive interventions, but there is no general overview of their success rate. Accordingly, a group of researchers tasked itself with gathering and quality-assessing the available knowledge of the effects of two specific preventive interventions in two Campbell systematic reviews. The object was to investigate whether, based on the best knowledge available, it is possible to draw any conclusions concerning the effect of the interventions.

    Cognitive behavioural therapy or educational opportunities

    One of the two systematic reviews examined research concerning cognitive behavioural therapy to prevent gang membership among children and adolescents. In a number of other contexts, cognitive behavioural therapy has proved an effective means of reducing criminal behaviour among groups such as anti-social youth.

    The other systematic review looked for research into initiatives for opportunities provision, such as youth counselling, education or job training. The idea behind the initiatives is that education and work are held to deter young people from becoming members of gangs.

    The need for qualified outcomes research

    Unfortunately, none of the systematic reviews found any studies of sufficiently high quality to permit any conclusion concerning the effect of the two interventions. The researchers are therefore calling for well-managed randomised controlled trials or other trials involving comparison of an intervention group with a control group. Only via such studies will it be possible to make a qualified assessment of the effect of interventions against gang formation.

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