Cognitive Behavioral Treatment for Recurrent Binge Eating in Adolescent Girls: A Pilot Trial

Lynn L. DeBar, G. Terence Wilson, Bobbi Jo Yarborough, Beryl Burns, Barbara Oyler, Tom Hildebrandt, Gregory N. Clarke, John Dickerson, Ruth H. Striegel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


There is a need for treatment interventions to address the high prevalence of disordered eating throughout adolescence and early adulthood. We developed an adolescent-specific manualized CBT protocol to treat female adolescents with recurrent binge eating and tested its efficacy in a small, pilot randomized controlled trial. We present lessons learned in recruiting adolescents, a description of our treatment approach, acceptability of the treatment for teens and parents, as well as results from the pilot trial. Participants in the CBT group had significantly fewer posttreatment eating binges than those in a treatment as usual/delayed treatment (TAU-DT) control group; 100% of CBT participants were abstinent at follow-up. Our results provide preliminary support for the efficacy of this adolescent adaptation of evidence-based CBT for recurrent binge eating. The large, robust effect size estimate observed for the main outcome (NNT. =. 2) places this among the larger effects observed for any mental health intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-161
Number of pages15
JournalCognitive and Behavioral Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology


  • Adolescent
  • Binge eating
  • Cognitive-behavioral
  • Disordered eating
  • Female


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