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Compassion against stress? : A RCT design to test positive and negative emotions as mediators for the effect of a compassion self-help course on stress

Jakobs, E.J. (2017) Compassion against stress? : A RCT design to test positive and negative emotions as mediators for the effect of a compassion self-help course on stress.

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Abstract:Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) is a promising approach for a growing mental health problem: stress. Drawing on theoretical and empirical evidence it is assumed that both types of emotions could play a role as an underlying working mechanism for the effect on stress. This study investigated if a CFT-based self-help course could reduce perceived stress and if reductions in stress were mediated by pre-post changes in positive and negative emotions. The used RCT design consisted out of two groups: an experimental group, which worked through a CFT-based self-help book and received e-mail support from counselors over a nine-week period and a waitlist control group. The data of 196 participants was used. The sample consisted out of Dutch participants. The results showed that the intervention had a significant reducing effect on perceived stress and negative emotions and increased positive emotions three to six months after baseline. When controlling for gender differences, similar effects were found for perceived stress and negative emotions, but not for positive emotions. The effect on stress was mediated by changes in positive and negative emotions. In conclusion, this study showed that a CFT based self-help course did reduce perceived stress and that positive and negative emotions were workings mechanisms of CFT. It is recommended to implement a study with a better distributed sample, to check if demographic variables are possible moderators. Gender seemed to have influence on self-compassion and its interventions. This should be further investigated to make suitable interventions. Further, it should be checked if other aspects of CFT also function as mediator for the effect on stress, like self-criticism.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:70 social sciences in general, 77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/73658
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