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Practitioner Review: Psychological treatments for children and adolescents with conduct disorder problems – a systematic review and meta‐analysis

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This meta‐analysis evaluates the efficacy of nonpharmacological treatments for conduct disorder (CD) problems in children and adolescents, based on child, parent and teacher report. To date, nonpharmacological treatments have been studied in more broadly defined disruptive behaviour, but not on clinically diagnosed conduct disorder (CD) and/or related problem behaviour in the clinical range specifically. There is a growing interest to identify effective psychological treatments for this specific target group and examine which participant and treatment characteristics may contribute to the treatment efficacy. The Practitioner Review: ‘Psychological Treatments in Children and Adolescents with Conduct Disorder Problems: a Systematic Review and Meta‐analysis’ is an important contribution to advance this knowledge in the clinical field. In the light of current evidence, this study suggests that psychological treatments have small but significant effects (across different raters and situations) on reducing CD problems of youth with clinically elevated CD problems and/or CD diagnosis. There is not enough evidence to support definitely one psychological treatment type over the other. Furthermore, effects are not limited to CD symptoms, but extended to a range of CD problems, including frequency of the misconduct behaviour, academic problems and how youths acts at home and at school. Too few studies examined the moderating role of participant and study characteristics, such as comorbidity, age of CD onset and medication use, and thus, more research is needed in this area. A trend in the data of declining effect sizes with age provides tentative evidence that interventions may be more effective in younger children compared with adolescents.
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Keywords: Psychological; aggression; conduct disorder; meta‐analysis; treatment

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2017

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