DIAGNOSIS: Youth Behavioral Issues

TREATMENT: Cognitive Behavioral Group Therapy for Youth Behavioral Issues


  • Basic premise: Cognitive behavioral group therapy includes several interventions that share the same core principles that (1) “psychological problems are based, in part, on faulty or unhelpful ways of thinking,” (2), “psychological problems are based, in part, on learned patterns of unhelpful behavior,” and (3) “people suffering from psychological problems can learn better ways of coping with them, thereby relieving their symptoms and becoming more effective in their lives.” In some cases, we used the above core principles to classify a study as CBT in the absence of a clear theoretical orientation declaration. One specific cognitive-behavioral intervention—the Coping Power Program—is discussed more in depth on the "Coping Power" treatment page.



An anger management intervention for adolescent males in a residential treatment center: The impact of treatment for cognitive distortions and deficiencies (Ellmann, 2002)

Making choices: Social problem-solving skills for children (Fraser et al., 2001)

Temper taming program manual (Mills & Evans, 1999)

Seeing red: An anger management and peacemaking curriculum for kids (Simmonds, 2003)

Anger management for adolescents: Efficacy of a short-term cognitive-behavioral intervention (Snyder, 1999)

Zelfcontrole [Self-control] (van Manen, 2001)

The New Haven Social Development Program (Weissberg et al., 1991)


Starving the anger gremlin: a cognitive behavioral therapy workbook on anger management for children aged 5-9 (Collins-Donnelly, 2014)

Cognitive behvioral therapy for children and adolescents (Improving MI Practices)

Playful approaches to CBT with aggressive children (Feindler & Schira, 2022)

The reduction of childhood aggression using the BrainPower program (Hudley, 1994)

Cognitive-behavior group therapy for angry and aggressive youth (Lochman et al., 2007)

Practicing cognitive behavioral therapy with children and adolescents: A guide for students and early career professionals (Palmiter, 2016)

CBT toolbox for children and adolescents: Over 200 worksheets & exercises for trauma, ADHD, autism, anxiety, depression, & conduct disorders (Phifer et al., 2017)

3-Day intensive training: Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for children & adolescents (Pratt, 2019)

Anger management for kids: 14 best activities and worksheets (Sutton, 2021)

Principle-guided psychotherapy for children and adolescents: The FIRST treatment program for behavioral and emotional problems (Weisz & Bearman, 2020)


Abdulmalik, J., Ani, C., Ajuwon, A. J., & Omigbodun, O. (2016). Effects of problem-solving interventions on aggressive behaviours among primary school pupils in Ibadan, Nigeria. Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health, 10(31), 1-10.

Battagliese, G., Caccetta, M., Luppino, O. I., Baglionim C., Cardi, V., Mancini, F., & Buonanno, C. (2015). Cognitive-behavioral therapy for externalizing disorders: A meta-analysis of treatment effectiveness. Behavior Research and Therapy, 75, 60-71.

Bennett, D. S., & Gibbons, T. A. (2000). Efficacy of child cognitive behavioral interventions for antisocial behavior: A meta-analysis. Child and Family Behavior Therapy, 22(1), 1–15.

Burcham, B. G. (2002). School-based social problem-solving training on middle school students with disruptive behavior (Publication No. 3042453) [Doctoral dissertation, University of Kentucky]. ProQuest Information and Learning.

Ellmann, S. W. (2002). An anger management intervention for adolescent males in a residential treatment center: The impact of treatment for cognitive distortions and deficiencies (Publication No. 3075464) [Doctoral dissertation, The University of Wisconsin]. Milwaukee ProQuest Dissertations Publishing.

Fraser, M. W., Day, S. H., Galinsky, M. J., Hodges, V. G., & Smokowski, P. R. (2004). Conduct problems and peer rejection in childhood: A randomized trial of the Making Choices and Strong Families programs. Research on Social Work Practice, 14(5), 313-324.

Fry, M. L., Maclin, V., Newmeyer, M., & Baggerly, J. (2020). Effectiveness of child-centered and psychoeducational groups on disruptive behavior. International Journal of Play Therapy, 29(4), 201-212.

Leff, S. S., Paskewich, B. S., Waasdorp, T. E., Waanders, C., Bevans, K. B., & Jawad, A. F. (2015). Friend to friend: A randomized trial for urban African American relationally aggressive girls. Psychological Violence 5(4), 433-443.

Lipman, E. L., Boyle, M. H., Cunningham, C., Kenny, M., Sniderman, C., Duku, E., Mills, B., Evans, P., & Waymouth, M. (2006). Testing effectiveness of a community-based aggression management program for children 7 to 11 years old and their families. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 45(9), 1085–1093.

Moore, K. J., & Shannon, K. K. (1993). Brief report: The development of superstitious beliefs in the effectiveness of treatment of anger: Evidence for the importance of experimental program evaluation in applied settings. Behavioral Residential Treatment, 8(2), 147-161.

Morshed, N., Babmiri, M., Zemestani, M., & Alipour, N. (2019). A comparative study on the effectiveness of individual and group play therapy on symptoms of oppositional defiant disorder among children. Korean Journal of Family Medicine 40, 368-372.

Norlander, B. J. (2008). Targeting dimensions of psychopathy in at-risk youth: Assessment and utility of a focused cognitive behavioral therapy program (Publication No. 3352120) [Doctoral dissertation, University of North Texas]. ProQuest LLC.

Riise, E. N., Wergeland, G. J. H., Njardvik, U., & Öst, L. (2021). Cognitive behavior therapy for externalizing disorders in children and adolescents in routine clinical care: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Clinical Psychology Review, 83.

Singh, P. (2017). Altering the way adolescents attribute negative ambiguous social encounters: A social-cognitive intervention for reducing aggression. Asia Pacific Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy, 8(1), 15-28.

Snyder, K. V., Kymissis, P., & Kessler, K. (1999). Anger management for adolescents: Efficacy of brief group therapy. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 38(11), 1409-1416.

Splett, J. D., Maras, M. A., & Brooks, C. M. (2015). GIRLSS: A randomized, pilot study of a multisystemic, school-based intervention to reduce relational aggression. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 24, 2250-2261.

Sukhodolsky, D. G., Solomon, R. M., & Perine, J. (2000). Cognitive-behavioral, anger-control intervention for elementary school children: A treatment-outcome study. Journal of Child and Adolescent Group Therapy, 10(3), 159-170.

Sukhodolsky, D. G., Kassinove, H., & Gorman, B. S. (2004). Cognitive-behavioral therapy for anger in children and adolescents: A meta-analysis. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 9(3), 247–269.

van Manen, T. G., Prins, P. J. M., & Emmelkamp, P. M. G. (2004). Reducing aggressive behavior in boys with a social cognitive group treatment: Results of a randomized controlled trial. American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 43(12), 1478-1487.

Yeo, L. S. & Choi, P. M. (2011). Cognitive-behavioural therapy for children with behavioural difficulties in the Singapore mainstream school setting. School Psychology International 32(6), 616-631.