Based on evidence that early antisocial behavior is a key risk factor for continued delinquency and crime throughout the life course, early family/parent training, among its many functions, has been advanced as an important intervention/prevention effort. The prevention of behavior problems is one of the many objectives of early family/parent training, and it comprises the main focus of this review. Results of this review indicate that early family/parent training is an effective intervention for reducing behavior problems among young children and the weighted effect size was 0.35 approximately corresponding to 50% recidivism in the control group compared with 33% recidivism in the experimental group. The results from a series of analog to the ANOVA and weighted least squares regression models (with random effects) demonstrated that there were significant differences in the effect sizes of studies conducted in the US versus those conducted in other countries and that studies that were based on samples smaller than 100 children had larger effect sizes. Sample size was also the strongest predictor of the variation in the effect sizes. Additional descriptive evidence indicated that early family/parent training was also effective in reducing delinquency and crime in later adolescence and adulthood. Overall, the findings lend support for the continued use of early family/parent training to prevent behavior problems such as antisocial behavior and delinquency. Future research should be designed to test the main theories of the effects of early family/parent training, more explicitly including a better articulation of the causal mechanisms by which early family/parent training reduces delinquency and crime, and future early family/parent training program evaluations should employ high quality evaluation designs with longterm follow-ups, including repeated measures of antisocial behavior, delinquency, and crime over the life course.
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