Trauma-informed interventions for at-risk and justice-involved youth: A meta-analysis

Trauma-informed interventions for at-risk and justice-involved youth: A meta-analysis

Olaghere, A. Wilson, D. B. Kimbrell, C. S.
Criminal Justice and Behavior
The impact of trauma on children and youth has potentially serious and long-lasting negative consequences, including increased involvement in the juvenile and criminal justice systems. The objective of this study was to meta-analyze research on the effectiveness of trauma-informed treatment programs for justice-involved youth and youth at risk of justice system involvement who have experienced some form of trauma. Our systematic search identified 29 publications that met our eligibility criteria and represent 30 treatment-comparison contrasts. Six of these evaluated the effectiveness of trauma-informed programs for justice-involved youth, and the remaining 24 evaluated programs for at-risk children and youth. The findings suggest that cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), including trauma-focused CBT, is effective. In addition, there was weak evidence suggesting that programs that used a cognitive restructuring component or had the participant create a trauma narrative were slightly more effective than programs without these features. Additional high-quality randomized controlled trials are needed. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved)

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Type of intervention

Early Intervention

Treatment and Child Welfare Interventions


Mental Health Problems and Disorders

Behavior Problems

Antisocial Behaviors

Anxiety Problems

Trauma/ Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)


Psychological Treatments

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Behavioral Therapy and Cognitive Therapy

Psychosocial Treatments

Fosterhomes and Emergency Placement Foster Care

Age group

Adolescents (13-18 years)

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