Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 77–90

Development of a Cognitive-Behavioral Intervention Program to Treat Anxiety and Social Deficits in Teens with High-Functioning Autism


    • Department of PsychologyVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • Anne Marie Albano
    • Department of PsychiatryColumbia University Medical Center
  • Cynthia R. Johnson
    • University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Departments of Pediatrics and PsychiatryChildren’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
  • Connie Kasari
    • Psychological Studies in Education UCLA68-268 Semel Institute and Center for Autism Research and Treatment UCLA
  • Thomas Ollendick
    • Department of PsychologyVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • Ami Klin
    • Yale School of MedicineYale Child Study Center
  • Donald Oswald
    • Department of PsychiatryVirginia Commonwealth University
  • Lawrence Scahill
    • Yale School of Nursing and Child Study CenterYale Child Study Center

DOI: 10.1007/s10567-009-0062-3

Cite this article as:
White, S.W., Albano, A.M., Johnson, C.R. et al. Clin Child Fam Psychol Rev (2010) 13: 77. doi:10.1007/s10567-009-0062-3


Anxiety is a common co-occurring problem among young people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Characterized by deficits in social interaction, communication problems, and stereotyped behavior and restricted interests, this group of disorders is more prevalent than previously realized. When present, anxiety may compound the social deficits of young people with ASD. Given the additional disability and common co-occurrence of anxiety in ASD, we developed a manual-based cognitive-behavioral treatment program to target anxiety symptoms as well as social skill deficits in adolescents with ASD [Multimodal Anxiety and Social Skills Intervention: MASSI]. In this paper, we describe the foundation, content, and development of MASSI. We also summarize data on treatment feasibility based on a pilot study that implemented the intervention.


AutismAnxietySocial skillsAdolescenceInterventionTherapy

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010