Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and Risk Assessment in Delinquent Female Youth
Cleary, John P.
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Research has indicated that dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) may be effective in treating symptoms of borderline personality disorder (BPD). We investigated the effects ofDBT on a sample of 47 delinquent female youth. The juveniles were sampled from a midsized industrial county in the Midwest. DBT youth were compared to the general juvenile population on several areas. Risk assessment scores and recidivism rates were examined for the DBT youth and the general delinquent population. Scores for risk assessment and recidivism rates were administered and analyzed through a court system. Risk assessment was measured using the Youth Level of Service/Case Management Inventory (YLS/CMI) instrument. Recidivism rates were recorded with respect to any new offense committed within a one-year follow-up pet1od. DBT youth scored significantly higher in total risk assessment measurement than the control group, and also recidivated at a significantly ·lower rate than the control group. The data also · indicate that DBT youth score higher in different areas of the YLS/CMI, such as the leisure and recreation or personality and behavior subscales. DBT youth were also grouped into different risk cluster types based on predetermined sets of risk factors. These findings could have implications on the effectiveness of DBT programs in delinquent female youth.