Title

Behavioral Relaxation Training: A Stress Management Tool for Graduate Students

Presenter Information

Natalie Juhlin
Savannah Warrington

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Ballroom C/D

Start Date

15-5-2014

End Date

15-5-2014

Keywords

Behavioral Relaxation Training, Stress Reduction, Graduate Students

Abstract

The purpose of the current study was to investigate the effectiveness of teaching Behavioral Relaxation Training (BRT) as a stress management technique for graduate students. The need for this study was highlighted by research findings revealing the maladaptive effects of stress on health and academic performance. BRT is a form of relaxation training that uses overt behaviors to teach individuals how to apply relaxation techniques when experiencing distressing emotions. Participants included four graduate students in a non-psychology major. A concurrent multiple probe design across participants was used in conjunction with pre-test and post-test scores from the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS). The PSS is a subjective 10-item questionnaire that measures the participants' perception of stress and the degree to which participants perceived life situations as stressful during the previous month. Following baseline probes, participants received two BRT training sessions focusing on acquisition and proficiency of relaxed body postures. Results revealed that after BRT training all participants achieved greater than 80 percent relaxed postures across three post-test sessions. Social validity measures also showed participants’ evaluated BRT as an effective tool for stress management. Study limitations included that only an on-line follow-up was conducted four weeks after the final BRT post-session, so it was difficult to how well relaxed postures were maintained. However, in a social validity questionnaire, all participants agreed that they would continue using BRT as a stress management technique. Further research should compare and contrast in-person follow-up sessions.

Poster Number

45

Faculty Mentor(s)

Lovett, Sadie; Lonborg, Susan

Additional Mentoring Department

Psychology

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May 15th, 2:29 PM May 15th, 5:00 PM

Behavioral Relaxation Training: A Stress Management Tool for Graduate Students

SURC Ballroom C/D

The purpose of the current study was to investigate the effectiveness of teaching Behavioral Relaxation Training (BRT) as a stress management technique for graduate students. The need for this study was highlighted by research findings revealing the maladaptive effects of stress on health and academic performance. BRT is a form of relaxation training that uses overt behaviors to teach individuals how to apply relaxation techniques when experiencing distressing emotions. Participants included four graduate students in a non-psychology major. A concurrent multiple probe design across participants was used in conjunction with pre-test and post-test scores from the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS). The PSS is a subjective 10-item questionnaire that measures the participants' perception of stress and the degree to which participants perceived life situations as stressful during the previous month. Following baseline probes, participants received two BRT training sessions focusing on acquisition and proficiency of relaxed body postures. Results revealed that after BRT training all participants achieved greater than 80 percent relaxed postures across three post-test sessions. Social validity measures also showed participants’ evaluated BRT as an effective tool for stress management. Study limitations included that only an on-line follow-up was conducted four weeks after the final BRT post-session, so it was difficult to how well relaxed postures were maintained. However, in a social validity questionnaire, all participants agreed that they would continue using BRT as a stress management technique. Further research should compare and contrast in-person follow-up sessions.