Dialectical Behavior Therapy in Juvenile Correctional and Detention Facilities: A Scoping Review

Phillip Yang, Johanna B. Folk, Selena I. Lugosi, Zeba Bemat, Anne Thomas, Barbara Robles-Ramamurthy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) has shown preliminary success in the treatment of youth in forensic settings. However, the implementation of DBT varies considerably from facility to facility. A scoping review was conducted to detail DBT intervention protocols in juvenile correctional and detention facilities. We described eight works’ treatment setting, study design, youth characteristics, staff training, DBT approach, DBT skills modules, and main findings. All works involved DBT skills sessions, but few incorporated other DBT components such as individual therapy or skills coaching. Outcomes included reducing problematic behaviors such as aggression, improving mental health, and largely positive feedback regarding the DBT intervention from youth and staff. Our results consolidate the existing literature regarding DBT intervention in forensic settings for youth and inform future implementation and research of DBT in such facilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)355-369
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Correctional Health Care
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2023


  • descriptive review
  • dialectical behavior therapy
  • justice-involved youth
  • juvenile justice facility
  • systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Community and Home Care


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