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Other family-based therapies (non-name brand)

Juvenile Justice
Benefit-cost methods last updated December 2018.  Literature review updated September 2015.
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Other family therapies are non-name brand therapies for youth in the juvenile justice system (name brand therapies include, for example, Functional Family Therapy or Multi-Systemic Therapy). The therapies included in this analysis have a wide range of theoretical foundations and therapeutic techniques. Most of the interventions consisted of therapy with a single family unit, but they also included group therapy with multiple families at once or separated therapy for the juvenile and their parents. All programs took place in a community setting.
The estimates shown are present value, life cycle benefits and costs. All dollars are expressed in the base year chosen for this analysis (2017). The chance the benefits exceed the costs are derived from a Monte Carlo risk analysis. The details on this, as well as the economic discount rates and other relevant parameters are described in our Technical Documentation.
Benefit-Cost Summary Statistics Per Participant
Benefits to:
Taxpayers $3,226 Benefits minus costs $11,261
Participants $462 Benefit to cost ratio $7.11
Others $8,856 Chance the program will produce
Indirect $561 benefits greater than the costs 92 %
Total benefits $13,105
Net program cost ($1,844)
Benefits minus cost $11,261
1In addition to the outcomes measured in the meta-analysis table, WSIPP measures benefits and costs estimated from other outcomes associated with those reported in the evaluation literature. For example, empirical research demonstrates that high school graduation leads to reduced crime. These associated measures provide a more complete picture of the detailed costs and benefits of the program.

2“Others” includes benefits to people other than taxpayers and participants. Depending on the program, it could include reductions in crime victimization, the economic benefits from a more educated workforce, and the benefits from employer-paid health insurance.

3“Indirect benefits” includes estimates of the net changes in the value of a statistical life and net changes in the deadweight costs of taxation.
Detailed Monetary Benefit Estimates Per Participant
Benefits from changes to:1 Benefits to:
Taxpayers Participants Others2 Indirect3 Total
Crime $2,903 $0 $8,742 $1,457 $13,102
Labor market earnings associated with high school graduation $262 $577 $266 $0 $1,106
Health care associated with educational attainment $117 ($32) ($128) $59 $16
Costs of higher education ($55) ($84) ($25) ($28) ($192)
Adjustment for deadweight cost of program $0 $0 $0 ($926) ($926)
Totals $3,226 $462 $8,856 $561 $13,105
Detailed Annual Cost Estimates Per Participant
Annual cost Year dollars Summary
Program costs $1,788 2014 Present value of net program costs (in 2017 dollars) ($1,844)
Comparison costs $0 2014 Cost range (+ or -) 10 %
We calculated the cost per participant based on the cost of Functional Family Therapy in Washington, a similar family therapy program that lasts four months on average, weighted by the average length of the programs from the literature in the meta-analysis (2.1 months). See: Barnoski, R. (2009). Providing evidence-based programs with fidelity in Washington State juvenile courts: Cost analysis (Doc. No. 09-12-1201). Olympia: Washington State Institute for Public Policy.
The figures shown are estimates of the costs to implement programs in Washington. The comparison group costs reflect either no treatment or treatment as usual, depending on how effect sizes were calculated in the meta-analysis. The cost range reported above reflects potential variation or uncertainty in the cost estimate; more detail can be found in our Technical Documentation.
Estimated Cumulative Net Benefits Over Time (Non-Discounted Dollars)
The graph above illustrates the estimated cumulative net benefits per-participant for the first fifty years beyond the initial investment in the program. We present these cash flows in non-discounted dollars to simplify the “break-even” point from a budgeting perspective. If the dollars are negative (bars below $0 line), the cumulative benefits do not outweigh the cost of the program up to that point in time. The program breaks even when the dollars reach $0. At this point, the total benefits to participants, taxpayers, and others, are equal to the cost of the program. If the dollars are above $0, the benefits of the program exceed the initial investment.

Meta-analysis is a statistical method to combine the results from separate studies on a program, policy, or topic in order to estimate its effect on an outcome. WSIPP systematically evaluates all credible evaluations we can locate on each topic. The outcomes measured are the types of program impacts that were measured in the research literature (for example, crime or educational attainment). Treatment N represents the total number of individuals or units in the treatment group across the included studies.

An effect size (ES) is a standard metric that summarizes the degree to which a program or policy affects a measured outcome. If the effect size is positive, the outcome increases. If the effect size is negative, the outcome decreases.

Adjusted effect sizes are used to calculate the benefits from our benefit cost model. WSIPP may adjust effect sizes based on methodological characteristics of the study. For example, we may adjust effect sizes when a study has a weak research design or when the program developer is involved in the research. The magnitude of these adjustments varies depending on the topic area.

WSIPP may also adjust the second ES measurement. Research shows the magnitude of some effect sizes decrease over time. For those effect sizes, we estimate outcome-based adjustments which we apply between the first time ES is estimated and the second time ES is estimated. We also report the unadjusted effect size to show the effect sizes before any adjustments have been made. More details about these adjustments can be found in our Technical Documentation.

Meta-Analysis of Program Effects
Outcomes measured Treatment age No. of effect sizes Treatment N Adjusted effect sizes(ES) and standard errors(SE) used in the benefit - cost analysis Unadjusted effect size (random effects model)
First time ES is estimated Second time ES is estimated
ES SE Age ES SE Age ES p-value
Crime 14 11 1623 -0.121 0.067 16 -0.121 0.067 26 -0.349 0.020

Citations Used in the Meta-Analysis

Baron, R., Feeney, F., & Thornton, W. (1973). Preventing delinquency through diversion: The Sacramento County 601 diversion project. Federal Probation, 37(1), 13-18.

Byles, J. A., & Maurice, A. (1979). The juvenile services project: An experiment in delinquency control. Canadian Journal of Criminology, 21, 257-262.

Davidson, W.S., II, Redner, R., Blakely, C.H., Mitchell, C.M., & Emshoff, J.G. (1987). Diversion of juvenile offenders: an experimental comparison. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 55(1), 68-75.

Dembo, R., Ramirez-Garnica, G., Rollie, M., Schmeidler, J., Livingston, S., & Hartsfield, A. (2000). Youth recidivism twelve months after a family empowerment intervention: Final report. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 31, 29-65.

Hinton, W.J. (2004). Examining the impact of a family systems counseling approach for reducing the recidivism rates of first offender junveniles. Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis. Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS.

Lipsey, M.W., Cordray, D.S., & Berger, D.E. (1981). Evaluation of a juvenile diversion program using multiple lines of evidence. Evaluation Review, 5(3), 283-306.

McPherson, S. J., McDonald, L. E., and Ryer, C. W. (1983). Intensive counseling with families of juvenile offenders. Juvenile and Family Court Journal, 34, 27-33.

Minor, K.I. (1988). An evaluation of an intervention program for juvenile probationers. Doctoral dissertation, Western Michigan University. UMI No. 8827331.

Quinn, W.H., & Van Dyke, D.J. (2004) A multiple family group intervention for first-time juvenile offenders: Comparisons with probation and dropouts on recidivism. Journal of Community Psychology, 32(2), 177-200.

Stratton, J.G. (1975). Effects of crisis intervention counseling on predelinquent and misdemeanor juvenile offenders. Juvenile Justice, 26(4), 7-18.