Systematic and Literature Review Paper

Systematic and Literature Review Paper

Systematic and Literature Review Paper

How you went about your search this week. The keywords and terms used.

I started my search by utilizing the terms from the previous week that produced results but I added the term “literature review” and “systematic review.” I started with “recidivism AND education AND literature review.” This led to a meta-analysis by Davis, Bozick, Steele, Saunders, and Miles (2013) on the effectiveness of correctional education. This was a good source to understand the broad topic. The study was federally funded to analyze the outcomes of the 2007 Second Chance Act that outlined laws pertaining to improving educational outcomes for incarcerated adults and juveniles across the nation in a multitude of settings. Another helpful resource was a systematic review of experimental evidence related to the impact of vocational education and training programs on recidivism (Newton et al., 2018). Next, I used the same terms but inserted “systematic review” instead of “literature review.” This search produced a systematic review of literature on sexual offenders and learning disabilities (Cohen & Harvey, 2016). Because sexual offenders are a more narrow topic, I thought this would be a good study to begin identifying a gap in the literature.



The gap you identified and an explanation of why you believe it is a true gap

A gap in the literature does not necessarily mean that there is no knowledge on the subject. Dr. Patton (Walden University, 2015) cautions against the belief that a literature review is supposed to turn up a never-before discovered piece of information. A literature review should be a continued “flow of knowledge” that is based upon the previous traditions and theorists (Walden University, 2015). A gap to be explored could be a different methodology implemented, a more homogenous population tested, or the population observed in an alternate setting. One clue that there is a gap in the literature regarding sex offenders with learning disabilites and recidivism rates is that the authors noted the inconsistency in defining learning disabilities and even definitions of sexual offending (Cohen & Harvey, 2016). This can reduce the generalizability of the results when different terms and definitions are used across studies and points to a need to explicitly define a specific learning disability that is being observed or studied. For example, a gap I initially identified was a qualitative study on violent sexual offenders diagnosed with specific learning disabilities and their recidivism rates. Many of the studies focused on quantitative methods that administered pre-and post -tests to offenders that had completed a treatment program and then measured recidivism. I did not come across a qualitative study, like a case study or narrative inquiry, on violent sexual offenders with a diagnosed learning disability. Looking at one specific learning disability or a different research method can fill a small gap in the literature.



Cohen, G., & Harvey, J. (2016). The use of psychological interventions for adult male sex offenders with a learning disability: A systematic review. Journal of Sexual Aggression22(2), 206–220.…

Davis, L. M., Bozick, R., Steele, J. L., Saunders, J., & Miles, J. N. V. (2013). Evaluating the effectiveness of correctional education: A meta-analysis of programs that provide education to incarcerated adults. In RAND Corporation. RAND Corporation.

Newton, D., Day, A., Giles, M., Wodak, J., Graffam, J., & Baldry, E. (2018). The impact of vocational education and training programs on recidivism: A systematic review of current experimental evidence. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology62(1), 187–207. doi:10.1177/0306624X16645083

Walden University Center for Research Quality. (2015a, January 23). Literature reviews: Common errors made when conducting a literature review [Video file]Retrieved from