The Unit for Social Welfare Research at the Norwegian Knowledge Centre in the National Institute of Public Health was commissioned by the Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs to conduct a systematic literature search with a subsequent categorisation of relevant research. The commission was to identify research on the effects of interventions aimed at children and young people who commit violent and/or sexual abuse.
In June 2016, a librarian carried out the literature search in 12 social and medical scientific databases from 2000 to June 2016. Two researchers independently screened all identified references to assess inclusion according to predefined criteria. We evaluated the methodological quality of and extracted descriptive data from each of the included systematic reviews.
We included 19 reviews: 8 systematic reviews and 11 non-systematic reviews. The results of the 8 systematic reviews were:
- Methodological quality of the systematic reviews ranged from low to moderate.
- Most of the studies were conducted in the USA among males.
- The authors of 5 reviews concluded that there seems to be positive effects of:
- school-based interventions on intimate partner violence and aggression/ violence against other young people
- therapeutic foster care on violence against other young people
- cognitive-behavioural therapy and multi-focus programs on violent crime among juvenile offenders
- The authors of one review concluded that there are negative effects of interventions that facilitate the transfer of juvenile offenders to the adult judicial system.
The authors of one review drew no conclusions and the last concluded that there is a lack of evidence about internet-based interventions to prevent violence.