| ||Literature Coverage Dates||Number of Studies||Number of Study Participants|
|Meta-Analysis 1||1976 - 2004||73||0|
Wilson and Lipsey (2006) reviewed studies that met the following definitional criteria of social information- processing:
- The program includes training in at least one of the social information-processing steps: (1) encoding situational and internal cues, (2) interpreting the situational and internal cues, (3) choosing or clarifying a goal, (4) producing or accessing possible responses to meet the goal chosen, (5) selecting a response, and (6) executing the behavior.
- Rather than targeting specific behavioral skills, the program emphasizes cognitive/thinking skills. Through teaching cognitive and thinking skills, social information-processing interventions aim to prove a student’s ability to process information in a variety of social situations.
- The program includes structured tasks and activities to teach cognitive skills to students. Students then have the opportunity to apply the skills learned to actual social situations.
If an intervention met the definitional criteria set, the social information-processing component had to be the focus of the intervention. These interventions had to be delivered to school-aged children during regular school hours (afterschool programs were not eligible). The evaluation had to measure at least one outcome variable of aggressive behavior, which could include violence, aggression, fighting, person crimes, disruptive behavior problems, acting out, conduct disorder, and/or externalizing problems. Finally, only studies with a comparison group were eligible. Both experimental and quasi-experimental designs were eligible; however, quasi-experimental designs had to match students or provide evidence of group equivalence on key demographic variables.
A comprehensive search of bibliographic databases, bibliographies of previous meta-analyses, and literature reviews was conducted. Both published and unpublished reports were included in the search, which was not limited to the English language. The search strategy used three categories of search terms to index articles for each specific database. These categories included a population of interest, risks or outcomes, and treatment/evaluations.
The search yielded 89 eligible reports, which gave the results of 73 studies of universal school-based, social information-processing programs that were included in the meta-analysis. Six studies used individual random assignment to place students in the treatment versus control group; while 26 used random assignment at the class level, and 41 used a nonrandomized (quasi-experimental) design. The age of subjects ranged from 4 to 16, and a variety of racial and ethnic groups were represented. Fifteen percent of the programs were delivered in special education settings, and approximately half of all included students were from predominately low-socioeconomic- status families.
A random-effects mean was used to examine the impact of universal school-based, social information-processing on aggressive or disruptive behavior. The most common type of measure of aggressive or disruptive behavior was a teacher-report questionnaire. Most of the studies generated more than one effect size for aggressive behavior. These multiple measures were either different aspects of aggressive behavior or were the same type of behavior reported by different informants (i.e., teachers, or self-reports from students). When results of different types of aggressive behavior were presented in the studies, the review authors selected the effect sizes that most closely represented interpersonal physical aggression and disregarded the others. Further, different effect sizes from different informants were not averaged; instead, one effect size was selected from the informant most frequently represented in the data. If there was more than one effect size from the same informant, the mean value was used. This procedure resulted in 73 effect sizes that are included in this meta-analysis.