Effective Components of TORDIA Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Adolescent Depression: Preliminary Findings

Betsy D. Kennard, Greg N. Clarke, V. Robin Weersing, Joan Rosenbaum Asarnow, Wael Shamseddeen, Giovanna Porta, Michele Berk, Jennifer L. Hughes, Anthony Spirito, Graham J. Emslie, Martin B. Keller, Karen D. Wagner, David A. Brent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


In this report, we conducted a secondary analysis of the Treatment of SSRI-Resistant Depression in Adolescents (TORDIA) study to explore the impact of specific cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) treatment components on outcome. In TORDIA, 334 youths (ages 12 to 18 years) with major depressive disorder who had failed to respond to an adequate course of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) medication were randomized to a medication switch (either to an alternative SSRI or venlafaxine) with or without 12 weeks of adjunctive CBT. Participants who had more than 9 CBT sessions were 2.5 times more likely to have adequate treatment response than those who had 9 or fewer sessions. CBT participants who received problem-solving and social skills treatment components, controlling for number of sessions and other confounding variables, were 2.3 and 2.6 times, respectively, more likely to have a positive response. These preliminary findings underscore the importance of receiving an adequate number of sessions to attain an adequate clinical response. Finally, social skills and problem solving may be active elements in CBT for adolescent depression and should be considered in treatment by those working with seriously depressed youths.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1033-1041
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2009


  • adolescent depression
  • cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • treatment components

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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