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It takes two to tango: the two-continua model in a self-help acceptance and commitment therapy intervention

Klippel, Annelie (2013) It takes two to tango: the two-continua model in a self-help acceptance and commitment therapy intervention.

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Abstract:Background According to the positive psychology movement, mental health is more than the absence of psychopathological symptoms. Researchers accommodated a growing body of research in support of a two-continua structure of mental health. The present research examined the relation of the two continua within a self-help intervention based on acceptance and commitment therapy (’Living to the fullest’). Method Participants (N=250) with mild to moderate depression and anxiety were recruited and took part in the self-help intervention with email support. Levels of depression, anxiety and mental health were assessed prior to, directly and three months after the intervention. Pearson’s correlation, cross tabular as well as eight blockwise linear regression analyses were performed in order to examine the relationship between psychopathology and mental health. Baseline levels of psychopathology and mental health were controlled for within the regression analyses. Results The two continua are distinct but show a modest negative correlation. Change in levels of psychopathology are predictive for future mental health. Likewise, change in levels of mental health are predictive for future psychopathology. Participants improved on both psychopathology and mental health separately through the intervention. Conclusion The study provides the first findings of the two-continua model within an intervention sample using multiple measurement occasions. These findings underline the importance of acknowledging mental health as a complete state, instead of the mere absence of symptoms. In order to enhance individuals’ mental health, both dimensions have to be taken into account. Further research is required in order to identify and create interventions that make individuals truly mentally healthy.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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