Techniques for managing stress

Gaab, Budzynski, Sinha

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  • Created by: lfcvish
  • Created on: 14-04-12 12:23

Gaab - Cognitive Approaches

Gaab conducted a lab experiment to assess the effect stress management training has on male students at the Swiss federal institute of technology, in Zurich. Participants were randomly assigned to recieve group based stress managemennt training before or after undergoing a standardised stress test.

At the beginning of the study, participants responded to a questionnaire about their personality and attitudes towards stress. Participants were randomly assigned to a group that undertook stress inoculation training (SIT training) before taking the stress test or in a control group which took stress test before training. Training consisted of 2 days of learning stress management and relaxation techniques. Before taking the stress test, participants saliva was tested for cortisol. The test composed of a simulated job interview, and a maths test.

The researchers found that the physiological measures of stress were in line with the participants reported stress levels, and both of these were significantly reduced if they had previously undergone SIT training.

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Sinha - Social Approaches

Sinha's study was a study of elderly people living in high density housing in Agra, India. This sample was chosen because older adults living in high density conditions were likely to suffer restrictions of freedom which is likely to cause stress. 300 individuals responded to self report measures on their age, social support, and self control. All the elderly people were university graduates and members of extended families.

The sample was divided into 2 halves based on the following criteria: age (young old/old old), social support (high/low), and self control (high/low). The results were that age,level of support and self control all predicted participants perceived control over their lives. The least positive feelings were experienced by older adults, with low social network, and low self control. 

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Budzynski - Behavioural Management of stress.

Approach: Behaviourist
Method: Case Study
Participants: 5 patients who suffered from tension headaches, focused on one female patient.

Procedure: A technique was developed by the authors for training individuals in deep muscle relaxation to reduce tension headaches. The patients had EMG electrodes applied to the skin surface over a particular muscle, and had to keep the feedback tone low by relaxing the muscle.  As the patient gets better at doing this it gets harder so the patient is required to maintain a lower EMG in order to hear the low tone.

Results: Analysis showed a gradual decline in headaches from the first week of training, although the patient did not notice until the 3rd week of training.

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