A Critique of Dialectical Behavioral Treatment for Adolescents

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A Critique of Dialectical Behavioral Treatment for Adolescents

Psychological Research & Statistics


According to a review done by Clive Robins & Alex Chapmen (2004), dialectical behavior therapy (dbt) was originally created for parasuicidal women with borderline disorder. This method has been adapted to treat many other populations, especially adolescents, for it’s ability to keep patients committed to treatment as well as for its focus on reducing behaviors that interfere with a good quality of life (Clive and Alex, 2004). This article claims that the use of dbt is an effective treatment for female adolescents that are both suicidal as well as those that have non-suicidal injurious behavior, including those with risk factors of depression, conduct disorder and child abuse (Fleischhaker et al., 2011). Although the study’s outcome shows statistically significant results that support the hypothesis, it could have been strengthened with a stronger sample size and a more developed method to demonstrate internal validity.

Critique 1: Weak Sample Size

To begin with, the entire study was originally based on a sample size of twelve adolescents, which eventually dropped to nine. Although our class book states that, “a sample size of 150 people will describe a population of 1,500 or 15 million with virtually the same degree of accuracy,” this sample size of nine is so low that is less likely to yield data that accurately reflect the true population value (Paul and Scott, 2012). Within this sample size of nine people, there was high variability of conditions and symptoms amongst them, straining the outcome results even more. Some had bipolar disorder, while others had depression, some had self injurious tendencies while others didn’t. Although the hypothesis states that this treatment effectiveness was tested on all of the above individuals, it doesn’t specify any outcome differences amongst them. It is still important to note that having...
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