Evaluating an online intervention to increase present control over stress

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Evaluating an online intervention to increase present control over stress

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The temporal model of perceived control is concerned with the perception of control over stressful life events and differentiates between past, present, and future control (Frazier, Berman, & Steward, 2001). To date, present control has been found to be associated with a range of positive outcomes including lower levels of depression, anxiety, and stress and higher levels of life satisfaction and physical health (e.g., Frazier, 2003; Frazier et al., 2011). The goal of the three studies presented here was to assess the feasibility and effectiveness of an online intervention designed to increase present control in samples of undergraduate students coping with stress. In an initial pilot test (Study 1, N = 31), our online intervention increased present control in both within group (pre/post within intervention group, d = .56) and between group (intervention group vs. stress-information only group, d = .51) analyses. In Study 2 (N = 34), a refined intervention produced larger within-group increases in present control (d = .79). Finally, Study 3 (N = 292) compared the present control intervention, the present control intervention plus feedback, and stress-information only groups and found that the two present control intervention groups had lower levels of stress, depression, and anxiety relative to the stress-information only group at posttest and 3-week follow-up (mean between group d at follow-up = -.35, mean within group d for intervention groups at follow-up = -.46). Further, mediation analyses revealed that these effects were mediated by changes in present control. Implications for research and practice are discussed.


University of Minnesota Ph.D dissertation. August 2013. Major:Psychology. Advisor: Patricia Frazier. 1 computer file (PDF); vi, 72 pages, appendices A-H.

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Hintz, Samuel. (2013). Evaluating an online intervention to increase present control over stress. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy, https://hdl.handle.net/11299/158336.

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