Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Multiculturalism: An Integrated Treatment Package for Adolescent Populations

Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Capstone

Degree Name



Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Fernand Lubuguin, Ph.D.

First Committee Member

Nikki Kraslin, Psy.D.

Second Committee Member

Olga Vera-NeSmith, Ph.D.


Dialectical Behavior Therapy, DBT, Multicultural Education


The efficacy of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) as a treatment modality for Borderline Personality Disorder is "well established'' (Linehan, 2003; Chambless & Hollon, t 998). tn recent years, DBT has been adapted for a multitude of disorders, populations and settings. Additional empirically validated studies reveal that multicultural infused treatment yields significantly improved therapy outcomes (Griner & Smith, 2006; Yutrzenka, 1995; Salzman & D' Andrea, 2001; Want, Parham, & Baker, 2004). Moreover, a growing body of work suggests that ethnic identity development is an integral part of adolescent development, and that adolescents who receive multicultural training tend to achieve healthier ethnic identity development and score higher on assessments of psychological well-being. Taken together, culturally informed DBT infused with multicultural education is expected to improve treatment outcomes for all adolescent populations. Treatment recommendations and applied clinical examples are provided for incorporating multiculturalism in DBT.


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