A Meta-Analysis of Common Factors in Child Therapy Interventions

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The Journal of Child and Adolescent Counseling


The purpose of this paper is to explore treatment effects associated with counseling and therapy interventions (CTIs) for children ages 3–12 and to understand the role of common factors (CFs) in child CTIs. We conducted a systematic review and metaanalysis of CTIs for children to explore CF and clinically relevant outcomes based on the sequential model by Lambert and Ogles. The 59 effect sizes included in the analysis of the relationship between CTI for youth and treatment outcomes (N = 36) yielded a mean effect size of 0.548 (CI95 = 0.413, 0.683), Ο„πœ2 = 0.092, p < .001, indicative of a medium effect size. There were no statistically significant differences detected between study outcomes and CF, Q(2) = 5.240, p = .073. However, when inspecting effect sizes estimates between groups, interventions that were associated with learning (g = 0.623, k = 20) and action (g = 0.557, k = 35) trended toward larger magnitudes compared to support alone (g = 0.245, k = 4). Implications for counseling and future research are provided.