Treating Comorbid Anxiety in Adolescents With ADHD Using a Cognitive Behavior Therapy Program Approach

J Atten Disord. 2017 Nov;21(13):1094-1104. doi: 10.1177/1087054712473182. Epub 2013 Feb 4.


Objective: To evaluate an 8-week cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) treatment specifically designed for adolescents with ADHD and comorbid anxiety.

Method: Using a multiple baseline design, nine adolescents (13 years to 16 years 9 months) received a weekly CBT, which focused on four identified anxiety-arousing times. Participants self-recorded their levels of anxiety for each of the four times during baseline, intervention, and a maintenance phase. Anxiety was also assessed using the Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children (MASC).

Results: Paired samples t tests supported the success of the intervention. Interrupted time-series data for each participant revealed varying rates of success across the four times, however. The MASC data revealed significant reductions in Physical Symptoms of Anxiety, Social Anxiety, Separation Anxiety, Harm Avoidance, and Total Anxiety.

Conclusion: The data demonstrate the efficacy of a CBT program for the treatment of comorbid anxiety in adolescents with ADHD.

Keywords: ADHD; CBT; anxiety; intervention.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anxiety / epidemiology
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Anxiety / therapy*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / epidemiology*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / psychology
  • Child
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Self Report
  • Treatment Outcome