A meta-analysis of child and adolescent psychotherapy outcome research tested previous findings using a new sample of 150 outcome studies and weighted least squares methods. The overall mean effect of therapy was positive and highly significant. Effects were more positive for behavioral than for nonbehavioral treatments, and samples of adolescent girls showed better outcomes than other Age × Gender groups. Paraprofessionals produced larger overall treatment effects than professional therapists or students, but professionals produced larger effects than paraprofessionals in treating overcontrolled problems (e.g., anxiety and depression). Results supported the specificity of treatment effects: Outcomes were stronger for the particular problems targeted in treatment than for problems not targeted. The findings shed new light on previous results and raise significant issues for future study.
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