Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Social Work


This is an interpretive, single-subject design study, which followed a non-concurrent multiple baseline design to understand the processes of bereavement treatment. The study comprised six groups (n=29) enrolled in the General Adult Loss Groups after the loss of a family member. The researcher used mixed methodologies to understand the bereavement process, group work process, and DBT process. The objective was to evaluate whether the timing of implementing DBT, or DBT at all, improved coping outcomes. Two groups served as control groups, and the remaining four groups received a 5-weeklong 45-minute voluntary modified intervention of DBT at staggered intervention start points. Participants completed the Brief C.O.P.E. Scale, Global Emotion Measure, and DBT diary forms. One month follow-up forms were collected for DBT participants (n=22). For the qualitative data, a constant comparison method was used, triangulating divergent themes from the diaries. Findings from qualitative data showed that participants benefited from the intervention and used the skills taught. Findings from quantitative data showed no statistical significance among individuals’ emotions and the timing of intervention implementation. Statistical significance was found with the emotion love for individuals who received DBT intervention. Conversely, there was statistical significance found in levels of denial (F= 71.596; p< 0.03), the first phase of grief, when the intervention was implemented later


The strong findings suggest this study should be replicated using a larger sample and separating groups to control for variability.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.