Development and Application of an Innovative Transdiagnostic Treatment Approach for Pediatric Irritability

Jessica L. Hawks, Sarah M. Kennedy, Jacob B.W. Holzman, Jill Ehrenreich–May

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Recent work has drawn attention to the previously underrecognized role that irritability plays in childhood psychopathology. Despite increased recognition of the clinical importance of pediatric irritability as a transdiagnostic symptom dimension, there is a lack of evidence-based treatments for this population that simultaneously and equitably addresses both child and contextual (e.g., parental) factors implicated in the development and maintenance of associated emotional and behavioral difficulties. In the current pilot study, we adapted the Unified Protocol for Transdiagnostic Treatment of Emotional Disorders in Children (UP-C) for the treatment of pediatric irritability in a sample of 19 children (ages 8 to 12) with primary presenting concerns of irritability and/or disruptive behaviors. Results supported the feasibility and acceptability of this treatment and provided preliminary evidence that such an approach may yield improved outcomes for symptoms of pediatric irritability and disruptive behaviors. Implications of these findings for future research and clinical interventions for pediatric irritability are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)334-349
Number of pages16
JournalBehavior Therapy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2020


  • disruptive behaviors
  • parenting
  • pediatric irritability
  • transdiagnostic
  • treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


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