Adolescent externalizing problems (AEPs), including serious conduct problems, delinquency, and substance misuse, are the most common adolescent behavioral issues in specialty care. High rates of comorbidity between conduct and substance use problems necessitate multidomain treatment strategies that can effectively address the AEP spectrum. One strategy to increase delivery of evidence-based interventions for multiproblem youth in usual care is to focus on core elements of empirically supported treatments that can be judiciously applied to clients presenting with diverse clinical profiles. This paper describes six core practice elements of the cognitive-behavioral treatment (CBT) approach for AEPs: (a) functional analysis of behavior problems, (b) prosocial activity sampling, (c) cognitive monitoring and restructuring, (d) emotion regulation training, (e) problem-solving training, and (f) communication training. Integrated delivery of these core CBT elements is illustrated in two case examples, and implications for treatment planning for youth with AEPs are discussed.
Cognitive and Behavioral Practice. 2020. doi: 10.1016/j.cbpra.2019.12.002.