Date of Award
Master of Arts
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is designed to target psychological flexibility, broadly defined as engagement with personal values regardless of the presence of difficult private events. As engagement with valued behaviors is imperative to psychological flexibility, clarification of values is an essential skill for clients to learn. Practicing of skills in treatment has historically been a difficult hurdle for clinicians to implement between sessions for clients as well. The present study examined the utility of a novel values card sort activity, as well as the utility of a rubber band to act as a reminding agent for engagement with values. 112 undergraduate students were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: a values card sort condition, a values card sort condition with a rubber band given to the participant, and a control card sort condition. Each participant completed questionnaires assessing connection with values, lack of contact with values, negative affect, and quality of life at baseline and at a one-week follow-up. A series of ANCOVAs were conducted to determine if there were any group differences between the three conditions at follow-up, with baseline scores as a covariate. The analyses indicate no significant difference between the conditions at follow-up across any of the variables of interest. Endorsement of prior therapy experience suggested unique trends and differential reaction to the card sorting activity. These findings suggest the values card sort may not be an effective intervention for subclinical populations but may be a fruitful intervention for clinically-elevated individuals.
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