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Search Result: 41 Records found
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The effect of linguistic comprehension training on language and reading comprehension
  • Authors Kristin Rogde, Åste M. Hagen, Monica Melby‐Lervåg, Arne Lervåg
  • Published date 2019-11-07
  • Coordinating group(s) Education
  • Type of document Review Plain language summary
  • Title The effect of linguistic comprehension training on language and reading comprehension
  • Library Image Library Image
  • See the full review https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/cl2.1059
  • English

    PLAIN LANGUAGE SUMMARY

    Linguistic comprehension instruction has a small effect on generalized language comprehension but a negligible effect on reading

    The linguistic comprehension programs included in this review display a small positive immediate effect on generalized outcomes of linguistic comprehension. The effect of the programs on generalized measures of reading comprehension is negligible. Few studies report follow-up assessment of their participants.

    What is this review about?

    Children who begin school with proficient language skills are more likely to develop adequate reading comprehension abilities and achieve academic success than children who struggle with poor language skills in their early years. Individual language difficulties, environmental factors related to socioeconomic status, and having the educational language as a second language are all considered risk factors for language and literacy failure.

    Intervention programs have been designed with the aim of supporting at-risk children’s language skills. In these programs, the instructional methods typically include a strong focus on vocabulary instruction within the context of storytelling or text reading. Elements that directly activate narrative and grammatical development are often included.

    This review considers whether language-supportive programs are effective. More specifically, the review aims to examine the immediate and long-run effects of such programs on generalized measures of linguistic comprehension and reading comprehension.

    What is the aim of this review?

    This Campbell systematic review examines the effects of linguistic comprehension instruction on generalized measures of language and reading comprehension skills. The review summarizes evidence from 43 studies, including samples of both pre-school and school-aged participants.

    What studies are included in this review?

    This review included studies that evaluate the effects of linguistic comprehension interventions on generalized language and reading outcomes. A total of 43 studies were identified and included in the final analysis. The studies span the period 1992 to 2017. Randomized controlled trials and quasi-experiments with a control group and a pre-post design were included in the review.

    What are the main findings of this review?

    The effect of linguistic comprehension instruction on generalized outcomes of linguistic comprehension skills is small in studies of both the overall immediate and follow-up effects. Analysis of differential language outcomes shows small effects on vocabulary and grammatical knowledge and moderate effects on narrative and listening comprehension.

    Linguistic comprehension instruction has no immediate effects of on generalized outcomes of reading comprehension. Only a few studies have reported follow-up effects on reading comprehension skills, with divergent findings.

    What do the findings of the review mean?

    Linguistic comprehension instruction has the potential to increase children’s general linguistic comprehension skills. However, there is variability in effects related to the type of outcome measure that is used to examine the effect of such instruction on linguistic comprehension skills.

    One of the overall aims of linguistic comprehension intervention programs is to accelerate children’s vocabulary development. Our results indicate that the type of intervention program included in this review might be insufficient to accelerate children’s vocabulary development and, thus, to close the vocabulary gap among children.

    Further, the absence of an immediate effect of intervention programs on reading comprehension outcomes indicates that linguistic comprehension instruction through the type of intervention program examined in this study does not transfer beyond what is learned to general types of text. Despite clear indications from longitudinal studies that linguistic comprehension plays a vital role in the development of reading comprehension, only a few intervention studies have produced immediate and follow-up effects on generalized outcomes of reading comprehension. This indicates that preventing and remediating reading comprehension difficulties likely requires long-term educational efforts.

    Finally, it is likely that other outcome measures that are more closely aligned with the targeted intervention (use of targeted instructed words in the texts) would yield a different pattern of results. However, such tests were not included in this review.

    How up-to-date is this review?

    The review authors searched for studies up to October 2018.

Single-track year-round education for improving academic achievement in US K-12 schools
  • Authors Dan Fitzpatrick, Jason Burns
  • Published date 2019-09-24
  • Coordinating group(s) Education
  • Type of document Review Plain language summary
  • Title Single-track year-round education for improving academic achievement in US K-12 schools
  • Library Image Library Image
  • See the full review https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cl2.1053
  • English

    PLAIN LANGUAGE SUMMARY

    Single-track year-round education modestly improves average math and reading achievement of K-12 students

    Single-track year-round education (YRE) is linked to higher average achievement in both math and reading, though not overall student proficiency rates. Achievement gains are similar in magnitude to the degree of summer learning loss documented in other studies.

    What is this review about?

    Over the long summer break, students forget some of what they learned during the school year. This “summer learning loss” is especially large for low-income students. One policy aimed at decreasing summer learning loss is year-round education (YRE): re-distributing the usual number of school days so that students have more short breaks during the school year, and a much shorter summer vacation.

    A specific design used to achieve this goal is single-track YRE, which involves placing all students at a given school on the same year-round calendar.

    This review considers evidence on the effect of single-track YRE on academic achievement – test scores and proficiency rates – of K-12 students in math and reading from studies published between 2001 and 2016.

    What is the aim of this review?

    This Campbell systematic review synthesizes the findings from 30 studies that compared the performance of students at schools using single-track year-round calendars to the performance of students at schools using a traditional calendar.

    What studies are included?

    This review includes studies that compare achievement in single-track YRE schools to achievement in traditional-calendar schools. Of a total of 39 studies on the topic, nine reported outcomes in a way that could not be combined with the 30 that this review focuses on. The studies were from 2001-2016 and were all of K-12 schooling in the USA, but varied in school characteristics (state, size, percent minority, percent low-income).

    None of the studies used an experimental design (random assignment); studies were about evenly split between (a) comparing one school to another that is very similar, (b) comparing one school to a nearby school, and (c) comparing students at a school before versus after a switch to a year-round calendar.

    What are the findings of this review?

    Is academic achievement higher at YRE schools?

    Average student achievement was higher in both reading and math at single-track YRE schools, but proficiency rates were no higher in either subject. Compared to a prior meta-analysis of summer learning loss, which found that students typically forget the equivalent of one month’s learning over the summer, this review found the gain from YRE to be slightly more than this in reading and slightly less in math.

    Do some students benefit more from YRE?

    For the most part, no. Low-income and minority students do not see greater benefit from YRE than average students in either reading or math. Elementary and middle school students show about the same gain in reading. However, we find that middle school students’ achievement in math increases more than elementary school students’ from the year-round calendar.

    Do some year-round calendars help students more than others?

    Tentatively, yes: the schools that shortened summers to the fewest weeks had the largest effect on student achievement in both math and reading.

    What do the findings of the review mean?

    Single-track YRE appears to have a benefit to student achievement that is similar in magnitude to the learning loss students experience over the traditional 10-week summer break.

    YRE does not appear to be more helpful for low-income or minority students than for the average student, but might have a larger effect for middle school students than elementary school students in math.

    Schools that shortened summer to the fewest weeks of vacation showed the greatest gain in student achievement. This seems to indicate that most schools can expect an improved student achievement gain from a year-round calendar, equivalent to one month of learning, with a larger improvement from shortening the summer break to 4-6 weeks than from shortening the summer break to 7-8 weeks.

    How up-to-date is this review?

    The review authors searched for studies up to 2016, with electronic searches conducted in July and August 2017.

21st century adaptive teaching and individualized learning operationalized as specific blends of student-centered instructional events: A systematic review and meta‐analysis
  • Authors Robert M. Bernard, Eugene Borokhovski, Richard F. Schmid, David I. Waddington, David Pickup
  • Published date 2019-07-19
  • Coordinating group(s) Education
  • Type of document Review Plain language summary
  • Title 21st century adaptive teaching and individualized learning operationalized as specific blends of student-centered instructional events: A systematic review and meta‐analysis
  • Library Image Library Image
  • See the full review https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cl2.1017
  • English

    PLAIN LANGUAGE SUMMARY

    Adaptive teaching and individualization for K‐12 students improve academic achievement

    Teaching methods that individualize and adapt instructional conditions to K‐12 learners’ needs, abilities, and interests help improve learning achievement. The most important variables are the teacher's role in the classroom as a guide and mentor and the adaptability of learning activities and materials.

    What is the aim of this review?

    This Campbell systematic review assesses the overall impact on student achievement of processes and methods that are more student‐centered versus less student‐centered. It also considers the strength of student‐centered practices in four teaching domains.

    • Flexibility: Degree to which students can contribute to course design, selecting study materials, and stating learning objectives.
    • Pacing of instruction: Students can decide how fast to progress through course content and whether this progression is linear or iterative.
    • Teacher's role: Ranging from authority figure and sole source of information, to teacher as equal partner in the learning process.
    • Adaptability: Degrees of manipulating learning environments, materials, and activities to make them more student‐centered.

    What is this review about?

    Teaching in K‐12 classrooms involves many decisions about the appropriateness of methods and materials that both provide content and encourage learning.

    This review assesses the overall impact on student achievement of processes and methods that are more student‐centered versus less student‐centered (and thus more teacher‐centered, i.e., more under the direct control of a teacher). It also considers in which instructional dimensions the application of more of these student‐centered practices is most appropriate, and the strength of student‐centered practices in each of four teaching domains.

    What studies are included?

    This review presents evidence from 299 studies (covering 43,175 students in a formal school setting) yielding 365 estimates of the impact of teaching practices. The studies spanned the period 2000–2017 and were mostly carried out in the United States, Europe, and Australia.

    What is the overall average effect of more versus less student‐centered instruction on achievement outcomes? Which demographic variables moderate the overall results?

    More student‐centered instructional conditions have a moderate positive effect on student achievement compared to less student‐centered.

    Which dimensions of instruction are most important in promoting better achievement through the application of more versus less student‐centered instruction? Do these dimensions interact?

    The teacher's role has a significantly positive impact on student achievement; more student‐centered instruction produces better achievement. Pacing of instruction/learning—where learners have more choice over setting the pace and content navigation of learning activities—has a significant effect in the opposite direction; i.e., a significantly negative relationship. There is no relationship between adaptability and flexibility and student achievement.

    There are interactive effects. The teacher's role combined with adaptability produces stronger effects, whereas flexibility (greater involvement of students in course design and selection of learning materials and objectives) has the opposite effect; it reduces the effectiveness of teacher's role on learning outcomes.

    Special education students perform significantly better in achievement compared to the general population.

    Three other factors—grade level; Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) versus non‐STEM subjects; individual subjects—do not have any effect on the impact of the intervention.

    What do the findings of this review mean?

    This review confirms previous research on the effectiveness of student‐centered and active learning. It goes further in suggesting the teacher's role promotes effective student‐centered learning, and excessive student control over pacing appears to inhibit it.

    An important element of these findings relates to the significant combination of teacher's role and adaptability, in that it suggests the domain in which the teacher's role should focus.

    Since adaptability relates to increasing the involvement of students in more student‐centered activities, the evidence suggests that instruction that involves activity‐based learning, either individually or in groups, increases learning beyond the overall effect found for more student‐centered versus less student‐centered activities.

    Various student‐centered approaches, such as cooperative learning and peer‐tutoring, have been found to accomplish this goal.

    How up‐to‐date is this review?

    This meta‐analysis contains studies that date from 2000–2017.

Effects of trauma-informed approaches in schools
  • Authors Brandy R. Maynard, Anne Farina, Nathaniel A. Dell, Michael S. Kelly
  • Published date 2019-07-17
  • Coordinating group(s) Education
  • Type of document Review
  • Title Effects of trauma-informed approaches in schools
  • See the full review https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cl2.1018
  • English

    PLAIN LANGUAGE SUMMARY

    The review in brief

    Despite growing support and increased rate of which trauma‐informed approaches are being promoted and implemented in schools, evidence to support this approach is lacking.

    What is this review about?

    Exposure to different types of trauma have been associated with varying types and complexity of adverse outcomes, including adverse effects on cognitive functioning, attention, memory, academic performance, and school‐related behaviors. Given the growing research on trauma and increased knowledge about the prevalence, consequences and costs associated with trauma, there have been increased efforts at the local, state and federal levels to make systems “trauma‐informed” (Lang, Campbell, & Vanerploeg, 2015). While the intent of creating trauma‐informed approaches in schools is a noble one, relatively little is known about the benefits, costs, and how trauma‐informed approaches are being defined and evaluated (Berliner & Kolko, 2016). Adopting a trauma‐informed approach in a complex system such as a school building or district is a time consuming and potentially costly endeavor and thus it is important to assess the effects of this approach to inform policy and practice.

    This aim of this review was to assess trauma‐informed approaches in schools on trauma symptoms/mental health, academic performance, behavior, and socioemotional functioning. Trauma‐informed approaches include programs, organizations, or systems that realize the impact of trauma, recognize the symptoms of trauma, respond by integrating knowledge about trauma policies and practices, and seeks to reduce retraumatization. At least two of the three key elements of a trauma‐informed approach must have been present: Workforce development, trauma‐focused services, and organizational environment and practices, which differ from trauma‐specific interventions designed to treat or otherwise address the impact/symptoms of trauma and facilitate healing.

    What is the aim of this review?

    This Campbell systematic review sought to examine the effects trauma‐informed schools on trauma symptoms/mental health, academic performance, behavior, and socioemotional functioning. Although we conducted a comprehensive search to find studies testing trauma‐informed approaches in schools, no studies met the inclusion criteria.

    What are the main findings of this review?

    No studies met criteria for this review, indicating that there is a lack of evidence of trauma‐informed approaches in schools.

    What do the findings of this review mean?

    Despite widespread support and growing adoption of trauma‐informed approaches in schools across the globe, we found no studies to provide good evidence to suggest that this approach is effective in achieving the stated goals. Given the degree to which trauma‐informed approaches are being adopted in schools across the US and other countries, it is important that the effects of these programs be assessed.

    How up‐to‐date is this review?

    The review authors searched for studies June through September, 2017.

Small class sizes for improving student achievement in primary and secondary schools
  • Authors Trine Filges, Christoffer Scavenius Sonne-Schmidt, Bjørn Christian Viinholt Nielsen
  • Published date 2018-10-11
  • Coordinating group(s) Education
  • Type of document Review Plain language summary
  • Title Small class sizes for improving student achievement in primary and secondary schools
  • Library Image Library Image
  • See the full review https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.4073/csr.2018.10
  • Records available in English, Spanish
  • English

    PLAIN LANGUAGE SUMMARY

    Small class size has at best a small effect on academic achievement, and may harm some students

    Reducing class size is seen as a way of improving student performance. But larger class sizes help control education budgets. The evidence suggests at best a small effect on reading achievement. There is a negative, but statistically insignificant, effect on mathematics, so it cannot be ruled out that some children may be adversely affected.

    What is this review about?

    Increasing class size is one of the key variables that policy makers can use to control spending on education.

    But the consensus among many in education research is that smaller classes are effective in improving student achievement which has led to a policy of class size reductions in a number of U.S. states, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands. This policy is disputed by those who argue that the effects of class size reduction are only modest and that there are other more cost-effective strategies for improving educational standards.

    Despite the important policy and practice implications of the topic, the research literature on the educational effects of class-size differences has not been clear.

    This review systematically reports findings from relevant studies that measure the effects of class size on academic achievement.

    What is the aim of this review?

    This Campbell systematic review examines the impact of class size on academic achievement. The review summarises findings from 148 reports from 41 countries. Ten studies were included in the meta-analysis.

    What studies are included?

    Included studies concerned children in grades kindergarten to 12 (or the equivalent in European countries) in general education. The primary focus was on measures of academic achievement. All study designs that used a well-defined control group were eligible for inclusion.

    A total of 127 studies, consisting of 148 papers, met the inclusion criteria. These 127 studies analysed 55 different populations from 41 different countries. A large number of studies (45) analysed data from the Student Teacher Achievement Ratio (STAR) experiment which was for class size reduction in grade K-3 in the US in the eighties. However only ten studies, including four of the STAR programme, could be included in the meta-analysis.

    What are the main results in this review?

    Overall, the evidence suggests at best a small effect on reading achievement. There is a negative, but statistically insignificant, effect on mathematics.

    For the non-STAR studies the primary study effect sizes for reading were close to zero but the weighted average was positive and statistically significant. There was some inconsistency in the direction of the primary study effect sizes for mathematics and the weighted average effect was negative and statistically non-significant.

    The STAR results are more positive, but do not change the overall finding. All reported results from the studies analysing STAR data indicated a positive effect of smaller class sizes for both reading and maths, but the average effects are small.

    What do the findings in this review mean?

    There is some evidence to suggest that there is an effect of reducing class size on reading achievement, although the effect is very small. There is no significant effect on mathematics achievement, though the average is negative meaning a possible adverse impact on some students cannot be ruled out.

    The overall reading effect corresponds to a 53 per cent chance that a randomly selected score of a student from the treated population of small classes is greater than the score of a randomly selected student from the comparison population of larger classes. This is a very small effect.

    Class size reduction is costly. The available evidence points to no or only very small effect sizes of small classes in comparison to larger classes. Moreover, we cannot rule out the possibility that small classes may be counterproductive for some students. It is therefore crucial to know more about the relationship between class size and achievement in order to determine where money is best allocated.

    How up-to-date is this review?

    The review authors searched for studies published up to February 2017.

  • Spanish

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

Recovery schools for improving behavioral and academic outcomes among students in recovery from substance use disorders
  • Authors Emily A. Hennessy, Emily E. Tanner-Smith, Andrew J. Finch, Nila Sathe, Shannon Kugley
  • Published date 2018-10-04
  • Coordinating group(s) Education, Social Welfare
  • Type of document Review Plain language summary
  • Title Recovery schools for improving behavioral and academic outcomes among students in recovery from substance use disorders
  • Library Image Library Image
  • See the full review https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.4073/csr.2018.9
  • Records available in English, Spanish
  • English

    PLAIN LANGUAGE SUMMARY

    There is insufficient evidence to know whether recovery high schools and collegiate recovery communities are effective

    Very limited evidence addresses the effectiveness of recovery high schools (RHSs). There is no rigorous evidence on the effectiveness of collegiate recovery communities (CRCs).

    What is this review about?

    Based on the results of one study, RHSs may reduce high school students’ school absenteeism, marijuana use, and other drug use, and increase abstinence from drugs; but RHSs may be no better or worse than other high schools in improving grades, reducing truancy, or reducing alcohol use.

    It is unclear whether CRCs are effective in promoting academic success and reducing substance use among college students.

    What is the aim of this review?

    This Campbell systematic review examines the effects of recovery schools on student behavioral and academic outcomes, compared to the effects of non-recovery schools. The review summarizes evidence from one quasi-experimental study (with a total of 194 participants) that had potential serious risk of bias due to confounding.

    What are the main findings of this review?

    Sizable portions of youth are in recovery from substance use disorders, and many youth will return to use after receiving substance use treatment. Youth spend most of their waking hours at school, and thus schools are important social environments for youth in recovery from substance use disorders. Recovery schools have been identified as educational programs that may help support youth in recovery from substance use disorders.

    This review focused on two types of recovery schools: RHSs, which are schools that award secondary school diplomas and offer a range of therapeutic services in addition to standard educational curricula; and CRCs, which offer therapeutic and sober support services on college campuses.

    This review looked at whether recovery schools (RHSs or CRCs) affect academic success and substance use outcomes among students, compared to similar students who are not enrolled in recovery schools.

    What studies are included?

    The included study of recovery high schools used a controlled quasi-experimental pretest-posttest design and reported on the following outcomes: grade point average, truancy, school absenteeism, alcohol use, marijuana use, other drug use, and abstinence from alcohol/drugs. The included study focused on a sample of U.S. high school students. There were no eligible studies of CRCs.

    What do the findings of this review tell us?

    Findings from this review indicate insufficient evidence on the effects of recovery schools on student well-being. Although there is some indication RHSs may improve academic and substance use outcomes, this is based on the findings from a single study. There is no available evidence on the effects of CRCs.

    No strong conclusions can be drawn at this time, given the lack of available evidence on RHSs and CRCs, and the serious risk of bias in the one RHS study included in the review. The evidence from this review suggests there is a clear need for additional rigorous evaluations of recovery school effects prior to widespread implementation.

    How up-to-date is this review?

    The review authors searched for studies until September 2018.

  • Spanish

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

What are the effects of 'Teach For America' on Math, English Language Arts, and Science outcomes of K–12 students in the USA?
  • Authors Herbert Turner, Mackson Ncube, Annette Turner, Robert Boruch, Nneka Ibekwe
  • Published date 2018-06-25
  • Coordinating group(s) Education
  • Type of document Review Plain language summary
  • Title What are the effects of 'Teach For America' on Math, English Language Arts, and Science outcomes of K–12 students in the USA?
  • Library Image Library Image
  • See the full review https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.4073/csr.2018.7
  • Records available in English, Spanish
  • English

    PLAIN LANGUAGE SUMMARY

    There are too few well-designed studies to know the effects of Teach for America on Math, English Language Arts, and Science outcomes of K–12 students in the USA

    Teach for America (TFA) is an alternate route teacher preparation program that aims to address the decades-long shortage of effective teachers in many rural and urban public schools for kindergarten through 12th grade (K–12), that serve the highest proportions of high-poverty students across the USA. This review finds that are very few studies – just four – which reliably measure the effects of TFA on learning outcomes, so that no firm conclusions may be drawn.

    What did the review study?

    This systematic review evaluated the impact of TFA prepared teachers (corps members) relative to novice teachers and alumni relative to veteran teachers on K-12 student outcomes in Math, English Language Arts (ELA), and Science.

    What is the aim of this review?

    This Campbell systematic review examines the impact of Teach for America on learning outcomes. Four studies were included in the review.

    What studies are included?

    Studies had to be a quantitative evaluation of the effects of TFA on K-12 student academic outcomes. Studies also had to use a research design which: 1. allowed valid causal inferences about TFA’s effects, 2. targeted participants K–12 students taught by TFA corps members or TFA alumni in the USA, 3. compared TFA corps members to novice teachers, or compared TFA alumni with veteran teachers, and 4. reported at least one academic student outcome in Math, ELA, or Science domains.

    A total of 919 citations were retrieved on TFA, of which 24 studies were eligible for review. However, when the research design and study quality along with types of TFA corps members and non-TFA teachers compared were reviewed, the evidence base for estimating the effects of TFA on student academic outcomes was reduced to just four studies.

    What are the main results of this review?

    There is no significant effect on reading from teaching by TFA corps members in their first or second year of teaching elementary-grade students (PreK to grade 5) compared to non-TFA teachers who are also in their first or second year of teaching elementary-grade students. There is a small positive for early elementary-grade students (PreK to grade 2) in reading but not in Math.

    However, given the small evidence base these findings should be treated with caution.

    What do the findings in this review mean?

    TFA is the most evaluated program of its kind. Multiple quasi-experimental and experimental studies have been conducted on its effectiveness in improving student outcomes. However, this systematic review found that only a small number of these studies that (1) met the evidence review standards and (2) compared the same type of TFA corps members and non-TFA teachers. So it is not possible to draw firm policy conclusions.

    Future research can contribute to this evidence base by designing, implementing, and reporting experiments and quasi-experiments to meet objective extant evidence standards and by comparing the same types of TFA and non-TFA teachers so that effect sizes can be included in a future systematic review and meta-analysis.

    How up-to-date is this review?

    The review authors searched for studies published up to January 2015.

  • Spanish

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

Deployment of personnel to military operations: impact on mental health and social functioning
  • Authors Martin Bøg, Trine Filges, Anne Marie Klint Jørgensen
  • Published date 2018-06-01
  • Coordinating group(s) Education, Social Welfare
  • Type of document Review Plain language summary
  • Title Deployment of personnel to military operations: impact on mental health and social functioning
  • Library Image Library Image
  • See the full review https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.4073/csr.2018.6
  • Records available in English, Spanish
  • English

    PLAIN LANGUAGE SUMMARY

    Deployment to military operations negatively affects the mental health functioning of deployed military personnel

    While additional research is needed, the current evidence strongly supports the notion that deployment negatively affects mental health functioning of deployed military personnel.

    What is this review about?

    When military personnel are deployed to military operations abroad they face an increased risk of physical harm, and an increased risk of adverse shocks to their mental health.

    The primary condition under consideration is deployment to an international military operation. Deployment to a military operation is not a uniform condition; rather, it covers a range of scenarios. Military deployment is defined as performing military service in an operation at a location outside the home country for a limited time period, pursuant to orders.

    The review included studies that reported outcomes for individuals who had been deployed. This review looked at the effect of deployment on mental health outcomes. The mental health outcomes are: post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), major depressive disorder (MDD), common mental disorders (depression, anxiety and somatisation disorders) and substance-related disorders.

    By identifying the major effects of deployment on mental health and quantifying these effects, the review can inform policy development on deployment and military activity as well as post-deployment support for veterans. In this way the review enables decision-makers to prioritise key areas.

    What is the aim of this review?

    This Campbell systematic review examines the effects of deployment on mental health. The review summarizes evidence from 185 studies. All studies used observational data to quantify the effect of deployment.

    What studies are included?

    This review includes studies that evaluate the effects of deployment on mental health. A total of 185 studies were identified. However, only 40 of these were assessed to be of sufficient methodological quality to be included in the final analysis. The studies spanned the period from 1993 to 2017 and were mostly carried out in the USA, UK and Australia. The studies all had some important methodological weaknesses. None of the included studies used experimental designs (random assignment).

    What are the main findings of this review?

    Does deployment have an effect on mental health?

    Deployment to military operations negatively affects the mental health functioning of deployed military personnel. For assessments taken more than 24 months since exposure, we consistently found adverse effects of deployment on all mental health domains (PTSD, depression, substance abuse/dependence, and common mental disorders), particularly on PTSD. For assessments taken less than 24 months (or a variable number of months since exposure) the evidence was less consistent and in many instances inconclusive.

    What do the findings of this review mean?

    The odds of screening positive for PTSD and depression were consistently high in the longer term. This suggests that efforts should be increased to detect and treat mental disorders, as effects may be long-lasting.

    Overall the risk of bias in the majority of included studies was high. While it is difficult to imagine a randomised study design to understand how deployment affects mental health, other matters such as changes to personnel policy, or unanticipated shocks to the demand for military personnel, could potentially be a rich source of quasi-experimental variation.

    How up-to-date is this review?

    The review authors searched for studies up to April 2017.

  • Spanish

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

School-based interventions for reducing disciplinary school exclusion
  • Authors Sara Valdebenito, Manuel Eisner, David P. Farrington, Maria M. Ttofi, Alex Sutherland
  • Published date 2018-01-09
  • Coordinating group(s) Crime and Justice, Education
  • Type of document Review Plain language summary
  • Title School-based interventions for reducing disciplinary school exclusion
  • Library Image Library Image
  • See the full review https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.4073/csr.2018.1
  • Records available in English, Spanish
  • English

    PLAIN LANGUAGE SUMMARY

    Interventions can reduce school exclusion but the effect is temporary

    Interventions to reduce school exclusion are intended to mitigate the adverse effects of this school sanction.
Some approaches, namely those involving enhancement of academic skills, counselling, mentoring/monitoring and those targeting skills training for teachers, have a temporary effect in reducing exclusion. More evaluations are needed to identify the most effective types of intervention; and whether similar effects are also found in different countries.

    What did the review study?

    School exclusion is associated with undesirable effects on developmental outcomes. It increases the likelihood
of poor academic performance, antisocial behavior, and poor employment prospects. This school sanction disproportionally affects males, ethnic minorities, those who come from disadvantaged economic backgrounds, and those with special educational needs.

    This review assesses the effectiveness of programmes to reduce the prevalence of exclusion.

    What is the aim of this review?

    This Campbell systematic review examines the impact of interventions to reduce exclusion from school. School exclusion, also known as suspension in some countries, is a disciplinary sanction imposed by a responsible school authority, in reaction to students’ misbehaviour. Exclusion entails the removal of pupils from regular teaching for a period during which they are not allowed to be present in the classroom (in-school) or on school premises (out-of-school). In some extreme cases the student is not allowed to come back to the same school (expulsion). The review summarises findings from 37 reports covering nine different types of intervention. Most studies were from the USA, and the remainder from the UK.

    What studies are included?

    Included studies evaluated school-based interventions or school-supported interventions to reduce the rates of exclusion. Interventions were implemented in mainstream schools and targeted school-aged children from four to 18, irrespective of nationality or social background. Only randomised controlled trials are included.

    The evidence base covers 37 studies. Thirty-three studies were from the USA, three from the UK, and for one study the country was not clear.

    What are the main results in this review?

    School-based interventions cause a small and significant drop in exclusion rates during the first six months after intervention (on average), but this effect is not sustained. Interventions seemed to be more effective at reducing some types of exclusion such as expulsion and in-school exclusion.

    Four intervention types - enhancement of academic skills, counselling, mentoring/ monitoring, and skills training for teachers – had significant desirable effects on exclusion. However, the number of studies in each case is low, so this result needs to be treated with caution.

    There is no impact of the interventions on antisocial behaviour.

    Variations in effect sizes are not explained by participants’ characteristics, the theoretical basis of the interventions, or the quality of the intervention. Independent evaluator teams reported lower effect sizes than research teams who were also involved in the design and/or delivery of the intervention.

    What do the findings in this review mean?

    School-based interventions are effective at reducing school exclusion immediately after,
and for a few months after, the intervention (6 months on average). Four interventions presented promising and significant results in reducing exclusion, that is, enhancement of academic skills, counselling, mentoring/monitoring, skills training for teachers. However, since the number of studies for each sub-type of intervention was low, we suggest these results should be treated with caution.

    Most of the studies come from the USA. Evaluations are needed from other countries in which exclusion is common. Further research should take advantage of the possibility of conducting cluster-randomised controlled trials, whilst ensuring that the sample size is sufficiently large.

    How up-to-date is this review?

    The review authors searched for studies published up to December 2015.

  • Spanish

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

Later school start times for supporting the education, health and well-being of high school students
  • Authors Robert Marx, Emily E Tanner-Smith, Colleen M Davison, Lee-Anne Ufholz, John Freeman, Ravi Shankar, Lisa Newton, Robert S Brown, Alyssa S Parpia, Ioana Cozma, Shawn Hendrikx
  • Published date 2017-12-19
  • Coordinating group(s) Education
  • Type of document Review Plain language summary
  • Title Later school start times for supporting the education, health and well-being of high school students
  • Library Image Library Image
  • See the full review https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.4073/csr.2017.15
  • Records available in English, Spanish
  • English

    PLAIN LANGUAGE SUMMARY

    Later school start times may produce benefits for students but more evidence is needed

    Later school start times may have beneficial effects for student mental health and academic performance. There appear to be some positive effects from later start times, but the evidence base is too weak to have confidence in the findings. Additional research is needed.

    What did the review study?

    Later school start times have been implemented around the world as a means of avoiding the potentially negative impacts that early morning schedules can have on adolescent students. Even mild sleep deprivation has been associated with significant health and educational concerns: increased risk for accidents and injuries, impaired learning, aggression, memory loss, poor self-esteem, and changes in metabolism. This review examines the effects of later start times on these outcomes.

    What is the aim of this review?

    This Campbell systematic review examines the impact of later school start times on student academic performance, mental health and family and community outcomes. The review summarises findings from 17 reports of 11 interventions in six countries.

    What studies are included?

    Included studies were randomized controlled trials, controlled before-and-after studies, and interrupted time series studies with data for students aged 13 to 19 years and that compared different school start times. Studies had to report either primary outcomes of interest (academic outcomes, amount or quality of sleep, mental health indicators, attendance, or alertness) or secondary outcomes (health behaviors, health and safety indicators, social outcomes, family outcomes, school outcomes, or community outcomes) were eligible.

    The evidence base covers 17 studies reporting on 11 unique interventions with 297,994 participants. Six studies took place in the USA, and one study each was in Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Israel, and New Zealand.

    What are the main results in this review?

    Later school start times appear to increase sleeping time. Some of the studies suggest there may be a positive association between later school start times and academic and psychosocial outcomes. The evidence on absenteeism and student alertness is mixed. However, the quality of the evidence and comparability of studies is low.

    Adverse effects may be reduced interaction with parents, and staffing and scheduling difficulties. There is insufficient evidence to draw firm conclusions concerning these possible adverse effects.

    What do the findings in this review mean?

    This systematic review on later school start times suggests several potential benefits for this intervention and points to the need for higher quality primary studies. However, because of the limited evidence base, we could not determine the effects of later school start times with any confidence.

    How up-to-date is this review?

    The review authors searched for studies published up to February 2016.

  • Spanish

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

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