Date of Award:

5-2009

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Psychology

Advisor/Chair:

Renee V Galliher

Co-Advisor/Chair:

Mary E Doty

Abstract

This study was designed to answer two research questions. First, factors associated with placement decisions to three treatment modalities in a university counseling center were examined; the skills training group for dialectical behavior therapy plus individual therapy (DBT), the interpersonal process group plus individual therapy (IP), and individual therapy only (IND). Individual therapy in all three conditions did not follow a specific theoretical orientation. Of 203 participants (55 males, 148 females), 83 were in DBT, 53 were in IP, and 67 were in IND. Client information included demographic variables (e.g., age, gender) and clinical variables (i.e., diagnosis, and scores from Global Assessment of Functioning, the Outcome Questionnaire-45; OQ-45, and the College Adjustment Scale; CAS). As predicted, the results indicated that clinical characteristics played a significant role in referral decision making, with clients in the DBT condition reporting higher clinical severity. Second, the effectiveness of the skills training group (DBT) was examined, testing the hypothesis that people in DBT start out with more clinical problems but make greater progress than those in IP and IND. Treatment outcome was measured by the OQ-45 and the CAS, each collected at multiple time points. Data from 101 people were available for the OQ-45, and 77 people for the CAS. The results did not provide support for the hypothesis. Although significant change was observed over the course of treatment, no clear patterns of superior outcomes for any of the three treatment conditions emerged.

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