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Empirical Support

To date, five studies have been carried out to demonstrate the efficacy of Attachment-Based Family Therapy (ABFT). A sixth study is currently in process. Some of the studies focus on depression as the presenting problem (Diagnosis of MDD), but suicide ideation was present and examined. Other studies focused on suicide ideation or attempts as the presenting disturbance, but usually an elevated level of depression was required for inclusion as well.

In this regard, the data to date supports the efficacy of this intervention for reducing depression and suicide ideation and preventing suicide attempts better than wait list controls and/or treatment as usual (Diamond et al., 2002; Diamond et al, 2010; Diamond, Levy, & Creed, under review; Diamond, Diamond, & Levy, 2011, Israel & Diamond, 2013).

We also have studies that look at these disorders in specific populations either as independent studies (i.e., GLB suicidal youth) or as secondary analysis of sub groups within a study (i.e., suicidal adolescents with a history of sexual abuse). Preliminary data suggests that ABFT is effective for more severely depressed adolescents and those with a history of sexual abuse, both predictors of poor response in TORDIA, an earlier CBT study, and TADS (Arsanow et al., 2009; Barbe et al., 2004; Curry et al., 2006). ABFT has also been adapted for use with suicidal GLB adolescent in a pilot study with 10, 14-17 year olds. Also, several process studies have explored the proposed mechanisms of change (e.g., Diamond, Siqueland, & Diamond, 2003). This empirical support meets the criteria of a promising intervention (Chambless & Hollon, 1998).