Overview of meta-analyses of the prevention of mental health, substance use, and conduct problems

Irwin Sandler, Sharlene A. Wolchi, Gracelyn Cruden, Nicole E. Mahrer, Soyeon Ahn, Ahnalee Brincks, C. Hendricks Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

84 Scopus citations


This review presents findings from an overview of meta-analyses of the effects of prevention and promotion programs to prevent mental health, substance use, and conduct problems. The review of 48 meta-analyses found small but significant changes that reduce depression, anxiety, antisocial behavior, and substance use. Furthermore, the results were sustained over time. Meta-analyses often found that the effects were heterogeneous. A conceptual model is proposed to guide the study of moderators of program effects in future meta-analyses, and methodological issues in synthesizing findings across preventive interventions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-273
Number of pages31
JournalAnnual Review of Clinical Psychology
StatePublished - Mar 2014



  • Mental health
  • Meta-analysis
  • Prevention
  • Substance use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology

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