Summary of the Systematic Review

Article Citation

Behavioral Intervention for Social Challenges in Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Darling, S. J., Goods, M., et al. (2021).
JAMA Pediatrics, 175(12), e213982.
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Sponsoring Body

Murdoch Children’s Research Institute Clinician-Scientist Fellowship (Australia)

Article Quality Ratings

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Indicators of Review Quality

  • Yes The review states a clearly focused question/aim.
  • Yes Criteria for inclusion of studies are provided.
  • Yes Search strategy described in sufficient detail for replication.
  • Yes Included studies are assessed for study quality.
  • Yes Quality assessments are reproducible.
  • Yes Characteristics of the included studies are provided.

Quality Rating Notes

Study Quality: Study quality was reviewed using supplemental materials.

Article Details

Description

This is a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials investigating the effects of behavioral interventions on social function or social competence in children and adolescents with social challenges.

Questions/Aims Addressed

"We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis investigating whether behavioral interventions in children and adolescents with social challenges were associated with improvements in social outcomes" (p. E2).

Population

Children and adolescents (4 to 17 years of age) with social challenges

Intervention/Assessment

Behavioral interventions

Number of Studies Included

33

Years Included

Database inception to December 1, 2020


Conclusions from This Systematic Review

What are Conclusions?

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Treatment

All 12 of the included studies investigating social cognition outcomes involved children and adolescents with autism. Estimates reported a medium to large overall effect size of 0.67 indicating that behavioral interventions can improve social cognition outcomes in children and adolescents with autism. 

Keywords: Behavioral Interventions, Social Communication, Social Cognition/Thinking

Twenty-three of the 33 included studies investigated the effects of behavioral interventions on social function outcomes in children and adolescents with autism. Findings reported a medium to large effect size of 0.63, demonstrating that behavioral interventions can improve social function outcomes in children and adolescents with autism. 

Keywords: Behavioral Interventions, Social Communication

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Treatment

Although only a limited number of included studies involved children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), results suggested that children with ADHD are as likely as children with other neurobehavioral disorders to benefit from behavioral interventions to improve social outcomes.

Keywords: Behavioral Interventions, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

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