Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 63-74

First online:

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

  • Richard Beck
  • , Ephrem Fernandez

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Anger has come to be recognized as a significantsocial problem worthy of clinical attention andsystematic research. In the last two decades,cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has emerged as themost common approach to anger management. Theoverall efficacy of this treatment has not beenascertained, and therefore, it was decided to conduct ameta-analysis of this literature. Based on 50 studiesincorporating 1,640 subjects, it was found that CBT produceda grand mean weighted effect size of .70, indicatingthat the average CBT recipient was better off than 76%of untreated subjects in terms of anger reduction. This effect was statistically significant,robust, and relatively homogeneous across studies. Thesefindings represent a quantitative integration of 20years of research into a coherent picture of theefficacy of CBT for anger management. The results alsoserve as an impetus for continued research on thetreatment of anger.