A pilot study of 2 brief forms of dialectical behavior therapy skills training for emotion dysregulation in college students

Shireen L. Rizvi, Lauren M. Steffel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine the feasibility and initial efficacy of 2 abbreviated dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) skills training groups: emotion regulation skills only and emotion regulation with mindfulness skills. Participants: Participants were 24 undergraduates (aged 18-29) with significant emotion dysregulation who participated between February and May of 2010, 2011, and 2012. Methods: Participants participated in 2-hour weekly group sessions for 8 weeks and completed outcome measures at baseline, midtreatment, posttreatment, and 4-week follow-up. Results: Participants in both conditions made significant gains, with large effect sizes, across measures of emotion regulation, affect, skills use, and functioning. There were no differences between the 2 groups, suggesting no additive benefit of mindfulness skills. Conclusions: This pilot study provides support for the acceptability and efficacy of abbreviated DBT skills training in colleges, given significant improvements, positive feedback, and low attrition. Impediments to feasibility included recruitment difficulties, particularly due to scheduling constraints. © 2014

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)434-439
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of American College Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 18 2014


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


  • dialectical behavior therapy
  • emotion regulation
  • group skills training
  • mindfulness

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