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Effectiveness of Acts of Kindness on Symptoms of Anxiety and Mental Well-being and the Mediating Role of Positive Emotions and Positive Relations

Steinbach, Eva (2019) Effectiveness of Acts of Kindness on Symptoms of Anxiety and Mental Well-being and the Mediating Role of Positive Emotions and Positive Relations.

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Abstract:Aim of this study was to examine (1) to what extent Acts of Kindness exercises are effective in improving anxiety symptoms and mental well-being compared to a waitlist control condition and (2) whether the effects were mediated by improvements in positive emotions and/or positive relations. Within an RCT design, 150 participants were randomly assigned to either the experimental condition (performing acts of kindness, n = 76) or to the waitlist control condition (n = 74). Mixed ANOVA and simple mediation analyses were conducted. Mixed ANOVA analyses revealed a significant increase of mental well-being and significant decrease of symptoms of anxiety in the experimental group compared to the waitlist condition although the effect sizes were categorized as small. Simple mediation analyses demonstrated that neither positive emotions nor positive relations did mediate these changes. The present study provides empirical evidence for the effectiveness of AoK. It showed that AoK might be used as a beneficial prevention against the onset of anxiety disorders. Future research should focus on examining possible underlying mediators in more detail to refine and strengthen the used AoK intervention and to enhance its effectiveness.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/79281
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