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Anger Control Training for Youth With Tourette Syndrome

  • Study HIC#:0102012121
  • Last Updated:03/08/2024

This is a clinical study of a cognitive-behavioral therapy known as anger control training in adolescents with Tourette Syndrome and explosive, disruptive behavior. ACT is compared to treatment as usual (TAU) in a randomized clinical trial.

  • Age11 years - 16 years
  • GenderBoth

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Trial Purpose and Description

This is a randomized controlled study of a cognitive-behavioral, anger control training (ACT) in adolescents with Tourette Syndrome (TS) complicated by disruptive behavior. Disruptive behaviors in TS may take numerous forms including noncompliance, anger outbursts, and physical aggression. Anger outbursts in TS have been described as rage attacks or rage storms due to their high intensity and unpredictability in response to minimal provocation. Whether these behaviors are part of TS, related to comorbid conditions, or due to the burden of chronic illness is not clear. Nevertheless, these disruptive behaviors can result in significant functional impairment and often require clinical attention. The purpose of the ACT intervention is to improve the explosive and noncompliant behavior in adolescents with TS by enhancing affect regulation and social problem-solving skills. The treatment is based on anger control training which has been empirically supported for reducing aggressive behaviors and improving social functioning in aggressive youths. The primary outcome measures include the parent-rated Oppositional Defiant Scale and the Clinicians Global Improvement Score assessed by a clinician blind to treatment assignment.

Eligibility Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  1. Boys and girls, 11 to 16 years of age.
  2. Diagnosis of Tourette syndrome (TS) or chronic tic disorder (CTD).
  3. Significant level of disruptive behavior

Exclusion Criteria:

  1. Current diagnosis of Severe Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, or Psychotic Disorder.
  2. Significant medical condition such as heart disease, hypertension, liver or renal failure, pulmonary disease, seizure disorder that may require more pressing treatment.
  3. Initiation or discontinuation of a psychotropic medication treatment within six weeks of enrollment in the study

Principal Investigator


For more information about this study, including how to volunteer, contact: