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Better evidence for a better world
Better evidence for a better world

Better evidence for a better world (173)

Additional Info

  • Authors Chad Nye, Jamie Schwartz, Herbert Turner
  • Published date 2006-06-21
  • Coordinating group(s) Education
  • Type of document Review
  • Title Approaches to parent involvement for improving the academic performance of Elementary School-aged children
  • See the full review https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.4073/csr.2006.4

Additional Info

  • Authors Charles Donkoh, Paul Montgomery, Kristen Underhill
  • Published date 2006-06-21
  • Coordinating group(s) Social Welfare
  • Type of document Review User abstract
  • Title Independent living programmes for improving outcomes for young people leaving the care system
  • See the full review https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.4073/csr.2006.8
  • English

    Independent living programmes for young people leaving the care system – training in adult life skills

    Independent Living Programmes (ILPs) are designed to aid young people, who have spent time in care, in their transition into independent adulthood. This intervention is used in Denmark with inspiration from the US and Britain. A new Campbell/Cochrane review concludes that there is little evidence to show the effectiveness of ILPs and therefore recommends that more research be carried out in this area. The existing studies, however, indicate that intervention is effective in a number of areas, but inferences cannot be drawn from these due to the use of relatively weak methods of evaluation.

    Difficult start to adult life for young people leaving the care system

    Young people, who have spent time in care, do not generally do as well as youth in the general population. They are less likely to have received a good education, experience higher levels of unemployment, are more dependent on public assistance, face higher rates of homelessness, have poorer mental and physical health, and are more likely to come into contact with the criminal justice system. In order to provide them with better opportunities when leaving the care system, in their transition into independent adulthood, local authorities offer them support and assistance, otherwise known as ILPs. But there is a great deal of uncertainty regarding the effectiveness of such intervention.

    The objective and methodology of this Campbell/Cochrane Review

    This Campbell/Cochrane Review has the objective of assessing the effectiveness of offering ILPs to young people leaving the care system, an organised programme upon when they leave the care system.

    The authors of the review have conducted an exhaustive and systematic search for studies on the effectiveness of ILPs. Eighteen studies were found; however, reliable inferences cannot be drawn from these studies due to their weak methodology. No randomised controlled trials were found to show the effectiveness of ILPs. This type of study is normally a safer method of carrying out reliable effect measurements.

    The authors cannot therefore reach any final conclusion on the effectiveness of ILPs.

    Among the eighteen studies there is, however, a smaller group of eight studies which have used control groups in their study methodology. In the absence of more solid studies, they represent the best information available at this present time. The studies were subsequently assessed by the authors of the review outside the framework of the review itself. Read more about this assessment in the section ’The best information available at this time’ below.

    No 100% reliable documentation of the effectiveness of ILPs

    The review concludes that there is not adequate documentation of the effectiveness of ILPs. The studies available have been conducted in such a way as to rule out the possibility of reaching reliable conclusions on whether ILPs work in the areas covered by the review: Educational attainment, employment, housing, health status and “other objectives for the knowledge and behaviour of young people’

    The best information available at this time

    As previously mentioned the authors of the review refer, in a separate article, to eight studies which were not included in the review itself. They were all, however, carried out as control group studies and, in the article, the authors write that in the absence of more solid studies, these studies can help to provide both researchers and practicians with information on the effectiveness of ILPs.

    In a review of the eight studies, the authors take a closer look at which areas of the lives of the young people are affected by ILP intervention:

    Educational qualifications: The majority of the eight studies show that the young people participating in the ILPs are more likely to successfully complete compulsory education and technical training.

    Employment: Several of the studies conclude that more young people participating in ILPs than in the control groups have employment (both full-time and part-time). One study also shows that young people participating in ILPs are quicker to find full-time employment than the control groups.

    Housing: All eight studies show better results for young people participating in ILPs where housing is concerned. They are more likely to live alone, they are more self-supporting, they have more stable housing and there are fewer homeless among those who have participated in ILPs.

    Health status: Here the prevalence of teenage parenthood, the extent of various types of abuse and the physical health of the young people have been looked at. The eight studies do not, however, provide any clear conclusions on whether ILPs have an effect on this measurement of success.

    Other objectives for the young people’s knowledge and behaviour: Here the young people's skills in money management have been measured, as has their knowledge about the opportunities and resources available in the public system. Their dependency on public assistance was assessed, as was any involvement with the criminal justice system. But here too, the eight studies fail to provide an indication of the effectiveness of ILPs.

    Which young people does the review focus on?

    The Campbell/Cochrane Review has opted to look at studies of young people leaving care systems at their country’s statutory age of discharge. The review has not included studies which assess ILPs aimed specifically at young people with special needs, such as young people with physical or learning disabilities, teenage parents, young offenders and those in psychiatric institutions. This is due to the fact that that there could be considerable variation in the outcome of ILPs across the various groups of young people.

    The Campbell/Cochrane review is based on American and British outcome studies. Despite exhaustive information retrieval, outcome studies from other countries were not found. The 18 studies deal with the so-called ’Independent Living Programmes’.

    Independent Living Programmes – training in adult life skills

    Independent Living Programmes is a collective designation for an organised process with a wide range of measures designed to strengthen the personal development and social skills of young people. This might involve training in communication, conflict resolution and anger management. The programmes can also help young people to decide which educational path they wish to follow, to apply for jobs, become aware of the resources available to them in the public system, manage their household finances and to learn to cook, clean etc.

Additional Info

  • Authors Gary Ritter, Ginger Albin, Joshua Barnett, Virginia Blankenship, George Denny
  • Published date 2006-06-21
  • Coordinating group(s) Education
  • Type of document Review
  • Title The effectiveness of volunteer tutoring programs
  • See the full review https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.4073/csr.2006.7

Additional Info

  • Authors Susan Goerlich Zief, Sheri Lauver, Rebecca A Maynard
  • Published date 2006-05-07
  • Coordinating group(s) Education
  • Type of document Review
  • Title Impacts of after-school programs on student outcomes
  • See the full review https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.4073/csr.2006.3

Additional Info

  • Authors Sandra Jo Wilson, Mark Lipsey
  • Published date 2006-05-07
  • Coordinating group(s) Education
  • Type of document Review User abstract
  • Title The effects of school-based social information processing interventions on aggressive behavior, part I: universal programs
  • See the full review https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.4073/csr.2006.5
  • English

    Education programmes may reduce bullying and conflicts among children

    School-based education programmes aimed at children’s ability to interpret social situations may reduce aggressive and disruptive behaviour among children. These are the findings of a systematic Campbell review of the best international research findings in the field.

    Trouble in the playground

    Fighting, arguments and bullying among school children is a widespread problem. Attempts are often made to counter these social problems by introducing school-based education programmes, which, in one way or another, aim to remedy violent and disruptive behaviour.

    This systematic review examines one such type of education programme: the type that seeks to strengthen cognitive skills and thought patterns among children to improve their ability to interpret and respond to cues from the world around them (so-called Social Information Processing Interventions).

    The researchers examine two groups of education programmes: those aimed at entire classes and those aimed at selected children who either have behavioural problems or are at risk of developing them.

    Positive effect

    The researchers’ conclusion is clear: children who participate in this type of education programme exhibit less aggressive and disruptive behaviour than children who do not participate. The positive effect is achieved in both groups in the study, albeit with some variation in the findings:

    As regards programmes for entire classes, the research indicates that short, intensive interventions – e.g. 8-16 weeks of 2-5 hours a week – are more effective than extended year-long programmes. Extended programmes may have a tendency to become routine and thus have less impact on the students.

    Where the education programmes target children in special education classes, the effect is lesser than in ordinary classes. Pupils in special classes may be prone to many other problems which could reduce the impact of this type of education.

    Conversely, the effect achieved appears to be especially large where the intervention is delivered outside of the regular classroom to children who are at risk for developing later behavioural problems. The researchers maintain that this may be due to the fact that children in the at-risk group have greater change potential.

    Focus on thought patterns rather than on behaviour

    The education programmes in the research review sort under the general concept of Social Information Processing Interventions. This concept embodies a number of different interventions, all of which seek to train children to encode and interpret information and cues in social interaction, and to identify an appropriate response.

    Through structured exercises and activities, the education is designed to build the children’s capacity in respect of one or more of the following six stages:

    1. Encoding of own and others’ cues
    2. Interpretation of cues
    3. Clarifying a goal
    4. Identifying possible responses for achieving the goal
    5. Choosing a response
    6. Behavioural response enactment

    The idea is that negative social behaviour, aggression for instance, may be construed as symptomatic of cognitive deficits at one or more of the above stages. The education programmes are designed to remedy these cognitive deficits.

    Thus, the education focuses on building the children’s cognitive skills and thought patterns rather than on directly modifying their behaviour. In this way, these education programmes are distinct from the many different types of behaviour-focused interventions currently practised. By directing attention at thought patterns instead of at behaviour, the aim is to strengthen the children’s general social skills.

    Facts about the systematic review

    All education programmes in the review were conducted during normal school hours. The research review falls into two parts. One part, which examines ordinary classes, is based on 73 individual studies, while the other part, which looks at selected children with behavioural problems or at risk of developing them, is based on 47 studies.

    Programmes in the first part are delivered to essentially equal numbers of girls and boys aged 4-16. In the second part, the programme participants are primarily boys aged 6 to 16. This difference may be seen as an indication that boys generally make up the majority of pupils exhibiting at-risk or aggressive behaviour. The programmes in the second part also include more children from different ethnic backgrounds than the first part of the research review. Around half of the pupils are from lower socio-economic background families.

    For both parts, the majority of the studies were conducted in the USA, while studies from Australia, Canada, Italy, Finland, Israel and India were also included.

    Other research in the area

    Internationally, a number of social skills studies already exist. However, the majority of these studies address social skills in a more general sense and do not have the specific focus on education programmes adopted by the present research review.

Additional Info

  • Authors Sandra Jo Wilson, Mark Lipsey
  • Published date 2006-03-16
  • Coordinating group(s) Education
  • Type of document Review User abstract
  • Title The effects of school-based social information processing interventions on aggressive behavior, part II: selected/indicated pull-out programs
  • See the full review https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.4073/csr.2006.6
  • English

    Education programmes may reduce bullying and conflicts among children

    School-based education programmes aimed at children’s ability to interpret social situations may reduce aggressive and disruptive behaviour among children. These are the findings of a systematic Campbell review of the best international research findings in the field.

    Trouble in the playground

    Fighting, arguments and bullying among school children is a widespread problem. Attempts are often made to counter these social problems by introducing school-based education programmes, which, in one way or another, aim to remedy violent and disruptive behaviour.

    This systematic review examines one such type of education programme: the type that seeks to strengthen cognitive skills and thought patterns among children to improve their ability to interpret and respond to cues from the world around them (so-called Social Information Processing Interventions).

    The researchers examine two groups of education programmes: those aimed at entire classes and those aimed at selected children who either have behavioural problems or are at risk of developing them.

    Positive effect

    The researchers’ conclusion is clear: children who participate in this type of education programme exhibit less aggressive and disruptive behaviour than children who do not participate. The positive effect is achieved in both groups in the study, albeit with some variation in the findings:

    As regards programmes for entire classes, the research indicates that short, intensive interventions – e.g. 8-16 weeks of 2-5 hours a week – are more effective than extended year-long programmes. Extended programmes may have a tendency to become routine and thus have less impact on the students.

    Where the education programmes target children in special education classes, the effect is lesser than in ordinary classes. Pupils in special classes may be prone to many other problems which could reduce the impact of this type of education.

    Conversely, the effect achieved appears to be especially large where the intervention is delivered outside of the regular classroom to children who are at risk for developing later behavioural problems. The researchers maintain that this may be due to the fact that children in the at-risk group have greater change potential.

    Focus on thought patterns rather than on behaviour

    The education programmes in the research review sort under the general concept of Social Information Processing Interventions. This concept embodies a number of different interventions, all of which seek to train children to encode and interpret information and cues in social interaction, and to identify an appropriate response.

    Through structured exercises and activities, the education is designed to build the children’s capacity in respect of one or more of the following six stages:

    1. Encoding of own and others’ cues
    2. Interpretation of cues
    3. Clarifying a goal
    4. Identifying possible responses for achieving the goal
    5. Choosing a response
    6. Behavioural response enactment

    The idea is that negative social behaviour, aggression for instance, may be construed as symptomatic of cognitive deficits at one or more of the above stages. The education programmes are designed to remedy these cognitive deficits.

    Thus, the education focuses on building the children’s cognitive skills and thought patterns rather than on directly modifying their behaviour. In this way, these education programmes are distinct from the many different types of behaviour-focused interventions currently practised. By directing attention at thought patterns instead of at behaviour, the aim is to strengthen the children’s general social skills.

    Facts about the systematic review

    All education programmes in the review were conducted during normal school hours. The research review falls into two parts. One part, which examines ordinary classes, is based on 73 individual studies, while the other part, which looks at selected children with behavioural problems or at risk of developing them, is based on 47 studies.

    Programmes in the first part are delivered to essentially equal numbers of girls and boys aged 4-16. In the second part, the programme participants are primarily boys aged 6 to 16. This difference may be seen as an indication that boys generally make up the majority of pupils exhibiting at-risk or aggressive behaviour. The programmes in the second part also include more children from different ethnic backgrounds than the first part of the research review. Around half of the pupils are from lower socio-economic background families.

    For both parts, the majority of the studies were conducted in the USA, while studies from Australia, Canada, Italy, Finland, Israel and India were also included.

    Other research in the area

    Internationally, a number of social skills studies already exist. However, the majority of these studies address social skills in a more general sense and do not have the specific focus on education programmes adopted by the present research review.

Additional Info

  • Authors Cynthia Lum, Leslie W. Kennedy, Alison J. Sherley
  • Published date 2006-01-16
  • Coordinating group(s) Crime and Justice
  • Type of document Review
  • Title The effectiveness of counter-terrorism strategies
  • See the full review https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.4073/csr.2006.2

Additional Info

  • Authors James Law, Zoe Garrett, Chad Nye
  • Published date 2005-11-13
  • Coordinating group(s) Social Welfare
  • Type of document Review User abstract
  • Title Speech and language therapy interventions for children with primary speech and language delay or disorder
  • See the full review https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.4073/csr.2005.5
  • English

    This article is based on the Campbell Review: Law J, Garett Z, Nye C: Speech and language therapy interventions for children with primary speech and language delay or disorder. The Campbell Collaboration 2003. This article is written by the Nordic Campbell Centre. The article has been approved by the authors of the review. Published October 2006

    Speech and language therapy can help children with expressive phonological and expressive vocabulary difficulties

    It is important to offer help to children with expressive phonological and expressive vocabulary difficulties. If these problems are not addressed, this can have serious implications for their general well-being, development and learning. Speech and language therapy can help these children.

    Research has shown that it can be beneficial to involve normal language peers in the therapy process. They can serve as positive role models. This is the finding of a Campbell Review which also shows that it has no bearing on the effectiveness of language and speech therapy whether the children participate in groups or individually.

    Language and life quality

    International research has shown that approx. six per cent of all children have general speech and language difficulties. This may involve receptive and expressive vocabulary difficulties, difficulty in constructing sentences (syntax) and expressive phonological difficulties. For a number of these children, these problems will have no lasting effect on their future development. But for 30-60 per cent, these difficulties will continue into their adolescence and on into adult life. For these children, receptive and expressive vocabulary difficulties and expressive and receptive phonological difficulties may have a negative effect on their quality of life in the form of poor school achievement, a lack of social skills and emotional and behavioural problems.

    Speech and language therapy works

    This Campbell Review concludes, on the basis of the available international studies in this field, that speech and language therapy generally has a positive effect on children with expressive phonological difficulties. The therapy also helps children who have a problem with their active vocabulary, i.e. children who have difficulty in using words they understand. Children, who have difficulty with active vocabulary alone, but no problem understanding and acquiring language, also benefit from speech and language therapy.

    Speech and language therapy for children who have difficulty in applying grammar and constructing sentences is, however, only thought to have a positive effect if the child does not have other significant receptive speech and language difficulties.

    It has no bearing on the effectiveness of speech and language therapy whether the children participate in groups or individually. The effectiveness of speech and language therapy focussing on sounds is the same whether carried out by a professional or a parent who has been trained to administer speech and language therapy. But it has been shown to have a positive effect if normal language peers are allowed to participate in the speech and language therapy.

    Finally there is some indication that the effectiveness of speech and language therapy is greater if it takes place over a period of more than eight weeks.

    Which children participated in the study?

    This Campbell Review is based on studies of children and adolescents with a diagnosis of primary speech and language delay/disorder, i.e. their difficulties cannot be accounted for by a condition such as autism, hearing impairment or social problems. The oldest child who participated in one of the studies was fifteen. Children with stutters or learned misarticulations were excluded from this review.

    1,500 children in 36 different studies

    The conclusions of the review are based on the results of a large number of studies, all written in English. Thirty-six studies were found, based on a total of 1,500 children involved in thirty-three randomised controlled trials.

    The thirty-six studies were chosen because they fulfilled the Campbell Review’s inclusion criteria with regards to who, what and why, and because the studies also complied with the minimum quality requirements of the review.

    Speech and language therapy in one

    The review does not differentiate between different types of speech and language therapy. The most important criterion is that the therapy should have the objective of improving the child’s understanding and pronunciation of sounds. Therapy that focuses on the treatment of receptive speech and language skills may be more resistant to improvement

    What success criteria does the review there focus on?

    The review assesses the effectiveness of speech and language therapy on the basis of the following measurements of success:

    1. Improved use and understanding of speech.
    2. Improved use and understanding of words (vocabulary).
    3. Improved grammar and sentence construction, where differentiation is made between what the child knows and understands and what he/she is able to use.

    Consequences for research

    Even though speech and language therapy can help children with expressive phonological difficulties and expressive vocabulary difficulties, there is a general need for more research in this area. The Campbell Review emphasizes, for example, the need to clearly define the interventions in advance. This would make it easier to explain and understand any variations in the results.

    It has also been suggested that more research should be carried out into how the results of the intervention of therapy in the case of learning difficulties can be optimised. There is also a need for greater knowledge about when it is the best time to initiate the treatment; as early as possible, or when the child is mature enough for change?

Additional Info

  • Authors Jane Barlow, Jacci Parsons
  • Published date 2005-11-13
  • Coordinating group(s) Social Welfare
  • Type of document Review
  • Title Group-based parent-training programmes for improving emotional and behavioural adjustment in 0- to 3-year-old children
  • See the full review https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.4073/csr.2005.2

Additional Info

  • Authors Eilin Ekeland, Frode Heian, Kåre Birger Hagen, Joanne Abbott, Lena Victoria Nordheim
  • Published date 2005-10-26
  • Coordinating group(s) Social Welfare
  • Type of document Review Plain language summary
  • Title Exercise to improve self-esteem in children and young people
  • Library Image Library Image
  • See the full review https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.4073/csr.2005.4
  • Records available in English, Spanish
  • English

    PLAIN LANGUAGE SUMMARY

    Exercise interventions improves self-esteem in children and young people in the short-term but better research needed

    Exercising has positive physical health outcomes in children and adolescents. Exercise also has positive effects on self-esteem in children and young people, at least in the short-term. But the strength of the evidence is weak, and there is a lack of studies about long-term effects, so further research is needed.

    What did the review study?

    Psychological and behavioural problems are prevalent among children and adolescents. An improvement in self-esteem is one way of preventing the development of these problems.

    This review examines the impact of exercise interventions on the self-esteem of children and young people.

    What is the aim of this review?

    This Campbell systematic review examines the impact of exercise interventions on the self-esteem of children and young people. The review summarise findings from 23 studies conducted in the USA, Canada, Australia and Nigeria. Participants were children and adolescents between the ages of 3-20 A total of 1,821 participants were included in the studies.

    What studies are included?

    Included studies assess various exercise interventions including gross motor, energetic activity, for example, running, swimming, ball games and outdoor play of moderate to high intensity, and report on all measurements of children’s self-esteem using both randomized controlled trials and quasi- randomized trials. Studies that included children and young people with psychotic or borderline conditions, physical handicap, autism, eating disorders and chronic somatic/physical diseases were not included.

    A total of 23 studies consisting of 1,821 children were included in the final evaluation. Eighteen of the included studies were carried out in the USA, two in Canada, one in Australia and one in Nigeria. The duration of the interventions varied between four to 14 weeks

    What are the main results in this review?

    Exercise interventions have positive effects on self-esteem, at least in the short-term.

    The finding is the same for interventions which comprise exercise alone, and those including exercise as part of a more comprehensive intervention. There was no significant difference in effects according to the type of exercise intervention or intervention duration.

    No follow-up results were given so long-run effects are not known.

    What do the findings in this review mean?

    The main results presented in this review provide evidence of positive short-term effects of exercise on self-esteem in children and young people thus, supporting exercise interventions as a way of improving self-esteem.

    However, there are several methodological weaknesses including risk of moderate to high bias in the studies and insufficient data, which reduces the strength of the current evidence. As such, further research that provides stronger evidence of the effectiveness of exercise programmes on self-esteem is needed. Furthermore, there is a need for follow-up data to demonstrate the extent to which the effects of programmes are maintained over time.

    How up-to-date is this review?

    The review authors searched for studies published until May 2003. This Campbell Systematic Review was published in October 2005.

  • Spanish

    Click on 'Download PDF' on the right to view the plain language summary in Spanish.

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