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This review updates similar articles published in the Journal of Family Therapy in 2001 and 2009. It presents evidence from meta-analyses, systematic literature reviews and controlled trials for the effectiveness of systemic interventions for families of children and adolescents with various difficulties. In this context, systemic interventions include both family therapy and other family-based approaches such as parent training. The evidence supports the effectiveness of systemic interventions either alone or as part of multi-modal programmes for sleep, feeding and attachment problems in infancy; child abuse and neglect; conduct problems (including childhood behavioural difficulties, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, delinquency and drug misuse); emotional problems (including anxiety, depression, grief, bipolar disorder and self-harm); eating disorders (including anorexia, bulimia and obesity); somatic problems (including enuresis, encopresis, medically unexplained symptoms and poorly controlled asthma and diabetes) and first episode psychosis.