Community-Based Mental Health and Behavioral Programs for Low-Income Urban Youth: A Meta-Analytic Review

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A meta-analytic review of 33 studies and 41 independent samples was conducted of the effectiveness of community-based mental health and behavioral programs for low-income urban youth. Findings indicated positive effects, with an overall mean effect of 0.25 at post-test. While this is comparable to previous meta-analytic intervention research with more diverse samples, it stands in contrast to findings of the school-based review (0.08 at post-test) focused on this population. The current review found type of intervention to significantly moderate effects, with effects highest for programs that were environmentally based. In fact, effect sizes for programs that did not target the environment were not significant. Findings are discussed with an emphasis on environmental influences, including the differing contexts affecting school- versus community-based interventions conducted with low-income, urban youth.

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