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Technology for assessment and treatment of justice-involved youth: A systematic literature review.
Law and Human Behavior  (IF3.795),  Pub Date : 2021-10-01, DOI: 10.1037/lhb0000467
Lauren Grove,Christopher M King,Rachel Bomysoad,Loumarie Vasquez,Lauren E Kois

OBJECTIVE We conducted a systematic literature review of e-mental health technologies in juvenile justice contexts. HYPOTHESES Our exploratory research questions were as follows: First, what types of e-mental health exist for justice-involved youth, their caregivers, and juvenile justice professionals? Second, what are the characteristics of studies that have examined these technologies? Third, what have studies found about the effectiveness, reliability, or validity of e-mental health in treating and assessing juvenile justice populations? And fourth, what advantages and disadvantages exist for e-mental health use in juvenile justice? METHOD We screened 759 articles and retained 36 for review. We included articles that investigated e-mental health for the assessment or treatment of justice-involved youth and their caregivers. We excluded technologies not directly related to assessment or treatment as well as samples of at-risk youth with no justice involvement. RESULTS We identified four types of e-mental health technologies: Interventions with technology-facilitated interpersonal communication (e.g., telehealth and mHealth), digitized intervention programs, simulation games, and computerized assessments. Most study designs were experimental/quasi-experimental or qualitative/descriptive, followed closely by repeated measures/pretest-posttest. A majority of evidence suggested that e-mental health technologies were potentially effective or valid for treatment and assessment, especially telehealth. Advantages included positive opinions of users, increased access to care, and efficiency; disadvantages included barriers to accessing technology, privacy concerns, and lack of clear effectiveness, reliability, or validity data. CONCLUSIONS Although the available evidence for e-mental health for juvenile justice is promising, the current literature base appears generally underdeveloped and nuanced. Worthwhile future directions include continued development of technologies and more rigorously conducted studies to support further implementation of e-mental health for juvenile justice. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).