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J Consult Clin Psychol. 1998 Feb;66(1):19-36.

Identifying and developing empirically supported child and adolescent treatments.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06520-8205, USA.


Child and adolescent therapy outcome research findings attest to the efficacy of a variety of treatments. This article illustrates promising treatments for selected internalizing (anxiety and depression), externalizing (oppositional, and antisocial behavior), and other (obesity and autism) conditions, and for other aims (preparation for medical and dental procedures). Studies in these areas illustrate worthwhile characteristics that can help inform the search for empirically supported treatments. These characteristics include randomized controlled trials, well-described and replicable treatments, tests with clinical samples, tests of clinical significance, broad-based outcome assessment including measures of real-world functioning, and others. Continued research progress will depend on greater attention to magnitude and maintenance of therapeutic change, long-term follow-up, moderators and mediators of change, and development and testing of treatment in conditions relevant to clinical practice.

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