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Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy in the Treatment of Anger: A Meta-Analysis

Beck, R., Fernandez, E. (1998). Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy in the Treatment of Anger: A Meta-Analysis. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 22(1), 63-74.

Anger has come to be recognized as a significant social problem worthy of clinical attention and systematic research. In the last two decades, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has emerged as the most common approach to anger management. The overall efficacy of this treatment has not been ascertained, and therefore, it was decided to conduct a meta-analysis of this literature. Based on 50 studies incorporating 1,640 subjects, it was found that CBT produced a grand mean weighted effect size of .70, indicating that the average CBT recipient was better of than 76% of untreated subjects in terms of anger reduction. This effect was statistically significant, robust, and relatively homogenous across studies. These findings represent a quantitative integration of 20 years of research into a coherent picture of the efficacy of CBT for anger management. The results also serve as an impetus for continued research on the treatment of anger.