Summary of the Systematic Review
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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Murdoch Children’s Research Institute Clinician-Scientist Fellowship (Australia)
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.
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.
"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).
Children and adolescents (4 to 17 years of age) with social challenges
Number of Studies Included
Database inception to December 1, 2020
Conclusions from This Systematic Review
What are Conclusions?
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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.
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.
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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.