Youth interventions with and without supervised practice: A second-order meta-analysis

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Youth interventions with and without supervised practice: A second-order meta-analysis

Christensen, K., Assink, M., van Dam, L., and Stams, G. , Poon, Y.S., Astesano, J., & Rhodes, J. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal. (2020-01-02)


The study reviews the literature on supervised practice through a second-order meta-analysis, a method used to aggregate overall effects from previous meta-analyses. Supervised practice pairs behavioral rehearsal (practice of skills) with constructive and supportive feedback, enabling learners to enact new skills accurately and develop the motivation to consistently apply these skills.


The study utilized a second-order meta-analysis to examine the impact of supervised practice across various youth interventions. It included relevant meta-analyses written in English up to November 2019 that assessed the effectiveness of interventions aimed at improving the psychosocial well-being of youth (from kindergarten to higher education) and included a moderator of supervised practice.


Results from five meta-analyses revealed a significant overall effect of supervised practice compared to unsupervised practice (SMD = 0.22). Youth outcome type significantly moderated the effects of supervised practice, with internalizing behavior yielding the largest effect.


The findings suggest that offering opportunities for supervised practice can significantly enhance the effectiveness of various skills-based interventions. The implications for supervised practice include its potential as an adjunct to cognitive-behavioral interventions and a valuable role for volunteers and other paraprofessionals in delivering research-supported care.