Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Amy E. Naugle

Second Advisor

Dr. C. Richard Spates

Third Advisor

Dr. Scott T. Gaynor

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Susan Baird


The study investigated the effectiveness of a time-limited, skills-based treatment in a population of female substance abusers. This project implemented a pilot clinical trial to evaluate the effectiveness of a 12-session modified Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) protocol among a small sample of women, with co-morbid borderline personality disorder features, receiving concurrent outpatient treatment for methamphetamine abuse. A non-concurrent multiple baseline design was used. In addition to on-going assessment conducted during baseline and weekly over the course of treatment, a comprehensive assessment battery was administered pre-, and post-treatment as well as at 1 and 3 months following treatment. Findings suggest that notable improvements were made in several variables of interest among treatment completers and some non-completers. This study suggests that an abbreviated version of DBT, adapted to substance use and dependence issues, can be modestly effective for females with BPD features and MA dependence who demonstrate persistent attempts for change and mild to moderate symptoms of psychopathology. Clinical and research implications for DBT and substance use problems are discussed.


5th Advisor: Dr. Roberto Flachier

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access