Randomized trial of anger control training for adolescents with tourette's syndrome and disruptive behavior

Denis G. Sukhodolsky, Lawrence A. Vitulano, Deirdre H. Carroll, Joseph McGuire, James F. Leckman, Lawrence Scahill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficacy of a 10-session individually administered anger control training (ACT) for adolescents with Tourette's syndrome (TS) and disruptive behavior. METHOD: Twenty-six subjects (24 boys and 2 girls; mean age 12.7 years, SD 0.88) with TS and high levels of disruptive behavior were randomly assigned to ACT or treatment-as-usual (TAU). The parent-rated Disruptive Behavior Rating Scale and the Clinical Global Impression-Improvement Scale rated by the independent evaluator were used as primary outcome measures. RESULTS: All randomized subjects completed end-point evaluation, and all subjects in the ACT group completed 3-month follow-up evaluation. The Disruptive Behavior Rating Scale score decreased by 52% in the ACT group compared with a decrease of 11% in the TAU control group (p <.001). On the Clinical Global Impression-Improvement Scale, the independent evaluator rated 9 (69%) of 13 subjects in the ACT condition as much improved or very much improved compared with 2 (15%) of 13 in the TAU condition (p <.01). This reduction of disruptive behavior in the ACT group was well maintained at 3-month follow-up. CONCLUSIONS: Anger control training seems to reduce disruptive behavior in adolescents with TS. Larger trials are needed to confirm these results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)413-421
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Aggression
  • Anger
  • Anger control training
  • Cognitive-behavior therapy
  • Tourette's syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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