Dialectical behavior therapy with high risk male adolescents and their families

by Agnew, Valencia, Ph.D., WALDEN UNIVERSITY, 2012, 171 pages; 3546159


Although dialectical behavior therapy has been used to treat a variety of mental health diagnoses with women and girls in inpatient and outpatient settings, there is little research addressing its effectiveness with male adolescents. The purpose of this study was to explore the effectiveness of a 6-week dialectical behavior therapy treatment group with high risk male adolescents who have demonstrated violent or aggressive behavior. Using cognitive behavioral therapy as the theoretical foundation, this study was constructed to answer 7 research questions about the therapy's effectiveness with high risk male adolescents. This quantitative research design consisted of a convenience sampling of males aged 11 through 14 who have a history of aggressive behaviors. Treatment outcomes were assessed using the Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment. Results from dependent sample t tests and simple linear regression analyses indicated that male adolescents exhibited significantly less aggression and depression after participating in the treatment group. The implications for social change include a better understanding of structural aspects of anger management programs that support successful group outcomes and allow participants to be more productive in a variety of social settings. The application and implication for social change reaches beyond the group participants: (a) the participating adolescents have the ability to positively influence their siblings, (b) the research will help close the knowledge gap in psychology by adding to the literature on dialectical behavior therapy, (c) if the therapy decreases violence, communities benefit, and (d) if the therapy is viewed as a viable treatment option, it may become more accessible and affordable.

AdviserMelody Richardson
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsBehavioral psychology; Counseling psychology; Clinical psychology
Publication Number3546159

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