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Title: Student anxiety and performance : a comparison of training in self-hypnosis with progressive muscular relaxation to enable students to increase control of their anxiety
Author: Byron, D.
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2007
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Background: The literature has identified that children's performance can be impaired by anxiety. Anxiety can lead to tension, stress, avoidance behaviour, and inhibit performance. Progressive muscular relaxation (PMR) and self-hypnosis (SH) have been identified in the literature as approaches to address anxiety.;Aims: This study questions whether anxiety in students can be successfully reduced by teaching students to apply two particular self help approaches PMR or SH and whether SH is more effective than PMR. The study examines changes in hopelessness, self-esteem, locus of control, strengths and difficulties, personal targets, effect on home life, the part played by commitment, expectancy and effort and whether changes achieved are maintained over time.;Sample: 20 secondary school students, all referred for anxiety related difficulties, were randomly assigned to either of the two treatment approaches with similar numbers of male and female students in each group. Method Each student attended four sessions with a parent to receive instruction in how to apply the treatment approach. Three follow up sessions took place over the following six months to check for maintenance of changes.;Results: Both approaches enabled participants to reduce their anxiety. There was a non significant, persuasively consistent trend in measures completed by participants and by parents for the effectiveness of self-hypnosis compared with progressive muscular relaxation for anxiety reduction and on the other measures except for SDQ (parent-rated). SDQ improvement noted in the SH group by participants and their parents contrasted with teachers who noted most change in the PMR group. Student and parent changes achieved on all measures were maintained over the following six months for the SH group except for effort and parent-rated SDQ. For the PMR group changes reported on all measures were maintained over six months except for self-esteem, SDQ (self-rated) and effort.;Conclusion: Students can be empowered to help themselves manage and reduce anxiety by using either PMR or SH, the latter appearing to show a consistent persuasive trend in effectiveness. Improvements in self-esteem, locus of control, personal targets, home life, and a reduction in hopelessness were also recorded. Parents and participants reported positive changes in home life. Anxiety reduction appeared correlated with high commitment to improve.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available