School-Based Treatment for Anxious African-American Adolescents: A Controlled Pilot Study

Golda S. Ginsburg, Kelly L. Drake

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

119 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of a school-based group cognitive-behavioral treatment (CBT) for anxiety disorders with African-American adolescents. Method: Twelve adolescents (mean age = 15.6 years) with anxiety disorders were randomly assigned to CBT (n = 6) or a group attention-support control condition (AS-Control; n = 6). Both groups met for 10 sessions in the same high school. Key treatment ingredients in CBT involved exposure, relaxation, social skills, and cognitive restructuring. Key ingredients in AS-Control involved therapist and peer support. At pre- and posttreatment, diagnostic interviews were conducted, and adolescents completed self-report measures of anxiety. Results: At posttreatment and among those who attended more than one treatment session, 3/4 adolescents in CBT no longer met diagnostic criteria for their primary anxiety disorder, compared with 1/5 in AS-Control. Clinician ratings of impairment and self-report levels of overall anxiety were significantly lower at posttreatment in CBT compared with AS-Control. Teenagers in both groups reported lower levels of social anxiety from pre- to posttreatment. Conclusions: Findings support the feasibility of implementing a manual-based CBT in an urban school setting. Responder rates among African-American adolescents were similar to those found in studies with white youths.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)768-775
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescents
  • African American
  • Anxiety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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