Follow-up of a social skills training (SST) for juvenile delinquents: effects on reoffending

Trudy van der Stouwe*, Jessica J. Asscher, Machteld Hoeve, Peter H. van der Laan, Geert Jan J.M. Stams

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objectives: To examine (1) the long-term effects on reoffending of an individual SST for juvenile delinquents in The Netherlands and (2) whether effects differ by demographic and offense history characteristics. Methods: The present study is a follow-up of a matched control study comparing post-treatment effects of N = 115 juveniles receiving Tools4U, an SST with a parental component, to N = 108 control group juveniles receiving treatment as usual (TAU). Analyses were conducted separately for delinquents and truants. Effects in terms of recidivism were assessed using official delinquency data after 6 and 12 months and 1.46 years after SST termination. Percentage of recidivists, number of re-arrests, and violent recidivism were outcome variables. Results: Overall, 39% of the juveniles reoffended, and there were no differences between Tools4U and TAU on any of the selected recidivism outcomes. Additionally, demographic and delinquency characteristics and post-treatment effects did not moderate effectiveness. Conclusions: Tools4U was not more effective than TAU in preventing recidivism, which may be explained by a generally low percentage of recidivists. With established treatment integrity, and a lack of well-researched effective treatment alternatives, Tools4U could still be a reasonable treatment option for adolescent onset juvenile offenders, although more research is needed to confirm this.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243–252
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Experimental Criminology
Issue number2
Early online date13 Sept 2018
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2019


  • Effectiveness
  • Juvenile delinquents
  • Moderators
  • Recidivism
  • Social skills training


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