Attrition in mental health treatment is an area of concern among the adolescent population, especially with patients engaged in deliberate self-harm. The purpose of this study was to examine the treatment attrition rate for adolescents with deliberate self-harm in an adapted dialectical behavior therapy intensive outpatient program. A total of 141 adolescents previously enrolled in the program were available for the study. Results demonstrated a 31.9% dropout rate. Graduates indicated greater improvement of overall distress from baseline to post-treatment than dropouts. Dropouts attended an average of 12 treatment sessions. Several factors were examined to identify potential predictors of patient treatment dropout: patient sociodemographic characteristics (i.e., age, gender,
ethnicity, funding type, number of previous psychiatric hospitalizations) and psychosocial factors (i.e., Y-OQ-SR Total Score at baseline; BASC-2 PRS-A Externalizing Problems composite score; BASC-2 SRP-A School Problems; and the PRQ-CA Communication, Involvement, and Relational Frustration scale scores). None of the identified variables significantly predicted the number of treatment days. This suggests that the predictive factors of treatment dropout in youth with DSH may not be directly similar to those typically associated with general adolescent mental health treatment. The current study provides additional support for DBT-A and further understanding of treatment retention among adolescents with DSH.
School of Behavioral Health
Morrell, Holly E. R.
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Year Degree Awarded
Date (Title Page)
Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings
Dialectical Behavior Therapy; Adolescent Psychotherapy; Behavior Therapy - Psychology; Borderline Personality Disorder; Self-Injurious Behavior
Subject - Local
Deliberate Self-harm; Adolescence; Outpatient programs; Patient treatment dropout;
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Mayo, Danessa, "Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Adolescent Patient Treatment Dropout" (2015). Loma Linda University Electronic Theses, Dissertations & Projects. Paper 317.
Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations
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