Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology

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Volume 3 Issue 4 (November 1993), Pages fmi-fmi, 235-342

Session impact and outcome in stress management training (pages 325-337)


The evaluation of stress management training (SMT) programmes suggest that benefits to participants may be due to non‐specific factors and not to the technical components of SMT. The current study employed a method of psychotherapy process research to assess the extent to which task, i.e. technique driven, impacts and non‐specific impacts are related to outcome. Sixty‐two female health service workers participated in six standardized sessions of SMT, each of which contained specific techniques. After training participants reported significantly lower levels of psychological distress but no changes in job or non‐job satisfaction. Specific task impacts, such as insight and problem definition, and non‐specific impacts, support, relief and involvement were significantly related to non‐job satisfaction one month after training. In addition, the slope of interpersonal impacts (support and relief) was associated with less psychological distress at one‐ and three‐month follow‐up. Process research methods appear to be a promising way of maximizing the benefits attributed to SMT and developing more effective interventions.

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