This article systematically reviews the available research on rational emotive behavioral therapy (REBT) with children and adolescents.
Meta-analytic procedures were applied to 19 studies that met inclusion criteria. The overall mean weighted effect of REBT was positive and significant. Weighted z(r) effect sizes were also computed for five outcome categories: anxiety, disruptive behaviors, irrationality, self-concept, and grade point average. In terms of magnitude, the largest positive mean effect of REBT was on disruptive behaviors.
Analyses also revealed the following noteworthy findings: (a) there was no statistical difference between studies identified low or high in internal validity; (b) REBT appeared equally effective for children and adolescents presenting with and without identified problems; (c) non-mental health professionals produced REBT effects of greater magnitude than their mental health counterparts; (d) the longer the duration of REBT sessions, the greater the impact, and (e) children benefited more from REBT than adolescents.
The findings are discussed in terms of several important limitations along with suggestions for future research.
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