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The Effectiveness of a Modified Dialectical Behavior Therapy Program in a Women's Prison

11 December 2006


Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is an empirically supported treatment designed for use with people diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. DBT has been increasingly applied in different settings, and populations including forensic settings, with promising results. The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of a modified DBT treatment program being implemented at a women's prison. Disciplinary report data were collected for participants in two treatment groups and in a treatnient as usual (TAU) group at four time points. The treatment groups demonstrated significant treatment effects. The TAU group demonstrated inconsistent results, yielding significant results with one method of analysis but not with another. The results of the study suggest that a DBT program that conforms as closely as possible to the original model may be effective in reducing female inmate acting-out behavior. iii


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