Adolescents living in poverty are more likely to experience intense and/or multiple stressors during childhood (Evans & Kim, 2012). These increases in stress levels can lead to patterns of pervasive emotion dysregulation which, in turn, can affect academic achievement (Ivcevic & Brackett, 2014). Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a promising intervention that can target emotion dysregulation and other symptomatology in adolescents (Miller et al., 2006). Although DBT has gained traction in the treatment of adolescent suicide and self-harm (Glenn et al., 2019), it has yet to be tested as an early intervention in a school-based setting (Fasulo et al., 2015; MacPherson et al., 2012). The purpose of this study is to examine the preliminary feasibility of a tier 2 DBT skills group intervention for adolescents in a school-based context. It was anticipated that adolescents receiving the DBT-based intervention would experience an overall positive opinion of group sessions for each session. We used post-session survey evaluation forms to track youth feedback about the intervention. We also hypothesized that the DBT-based intervention would have a positive impact on youth, measured by reduced scores on the Youth Outcomes Questionnaire – Self Report (YOQ-SR). Group sessions were rated positively overall (M = 3.28 out of 4) and preliminary effectiveness yielded a drop in scores but was nonsignificant. Project SOARing revealed promising, preliminary results that warrant further investigation.

LLU Discipline





School of Behavioral Health

First Advisor

Maya Boustani

Second Advisor

Bryan Cafferky

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

School psychology; Dialectical behavior therapy; Academic achievement


Doctoral Project

Page Count

x, 49 p.

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives