Cognitive behavioral therapy: A meta-analysis of race and substance use outcomes

Liliane C. Windsor, Alexis Jemal, Edward J. Alessi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an effective intervention for reducing substance use. However, because CBT trials have included predominantly White samples caution must be used when generalizing these effects to Blacks and Hispanics. This meta-analysis compared the impact of CBT in reducing substance use between studies with a predominantly non-Hispanic White sample (hereafter NHW studies) and studies with a predominantly Black and/or Hispanic sample (hereafter BH studies). From 322 manuscripts identified in the literature, 16 met criteria for inclusion. Effect sizes between CBT and comparison group at posttest had similar effects on substance abuse across NHW and BH studies. However, when comparing pre-posttest effect sizes from groups receiving CBT between NHW and BH studies, CBT's impact was significantly stronger in NHW studies. T-test comparisons indicated reduced retention/engagement in BH studies, albeit failing to reach statistical significance. Results highlight the need for further research testing CBT's impact on substance use among Blacks and Hispanics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)300-313
Number of pages14
JournalCultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Blacks
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Cultural competence
  • Hispanics
  • Substance abuse treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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