Disruptive Behavior Disorders (DBDs) are among the most common reasons for youth referrals to mental health clinics. Aim of this study is to compare short and medium term efficacy of a multimodal treatment program (MTP), compared to community care (treatment-as-usual, TAU). The sample included 135 youths with DBDs (113 males, age range 9-15 years, mean age 12±2.5 years) were assigned either to a MTP (n=64), or addressed to community care for a TAU (n=71). Outcome measures were the Child Behaviour Checklist (CBCL) and the Children's Global Assessment Scale (C-GAS). All subjects were assessed at the baseline (T0), after 1-year treatment (T1) and after a 2-year follow-up (T2). Compared with patients receiving TAU, youths in the MTP showed, both at T1 and T2, significantly lower scores on CBCL Externalizing Scale, Internalizing Scale, Anxious/Depressed, Social Problems, and Aggressive Behavior, and higher scores at the C-GAS. Improvement in Internalizing Scales was particularly evident, with a shift from the clinical to the non-clinical range. Rate of use of mental health services and scholastic failure were reduced in the MTP. It is suggested that the improvement of the Internalizing symptoms is a crucial component of the therapeutic process in this MTP.
- Conduct disorder
- Disruptive behavior disorders
- Internalizing symptoms
- Oppositional defiant disorder
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Biological Psychiatry