Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) for the treatment of stalking offenders: A randomized controlled study.

The objective was to evaluate the relative efficacy of dialectical behavior therapy modified for stalking offenders (DBT-S) versus a cognitive–behavioral anger management intervention for the treatment of stalking offenders. We expected DBT to result in significantly lower rates of renewed stalking behavior and significantly greater improvements in impulsivity, aggression, anger, and empathy. We randomly assigned individuals charged with stalking-related offences (N = 109) to one of two study interventions: DBT-S and anger management. Recidivism (renewed stalking, violence, and other offences) was monitored for 1 year following the baseline assessment, and participants completed a battery of self-report questionnaires before and after treatment and at a 1-year follow-up assessment. We found relatively low rates of reoffence when compared to past studies of untreated stalking offenders in the U.S., but type of treatment had no impact on the likelihood of reoffence, nor did completion of the treatment program. Likewise, there was no between-groups difference in rates of treatment completion, or on changes in self-report measures. Intensive treatment focused on reducing problematic behaviors in stalking offenders may be effective regardless of treatment modality, but the mechanism by which treatment impacts criminal behavior is not yet clear. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)