A meta-analysis update on the effectiveness of early self-control improvement programs to improve self-control and reduce delinquency

Alex R. Piquero, Wesley G. Jennings, David P. Farrington, Brie Diamond, Jennifer M.Reingle Gonzalez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

150 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To update Piquero et al.’s (Justice Quarterly 27:803–834, 2010) meta-analysis on early self-control improvement programs. Methods: Screening of eligible studies was carried out for the period between January 2010 and September 2015. An additional seven studies were identified, which were added to the original database of 34 studies, totaling an overall sample of 41 eligible studies. A random effects model was used to obtain an overall mean effect size estimate. Additional analyses were performed to assess publication bias and moderation. Results: Overall average, positive, and significant effect sizes were observed for improving self-control (0.32) and reducing delinquency (0.27). There was evidence of publication bias for the self-control improvement outcomes, as well as some evidence of moderation for both self-control improvement and delinquency outcomes. Conclusions: Early self-control improvement programs are an effective evidence-based strategy for improving self-control and reducing delinquency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-264
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Experimental Criminology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Crime
  • Delinquency
  • Impulsivity
  • Meta-analysis
  • Prevention
  • Self-control

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