Date of Award
Master of Science
Behavior Analysis and Therapy
AN ABSTRACT OF THE THESIS OF Alysha Rodgers, for the Master of Science degree in Behavior Analysis and Therapy, presented on April 28, 2022, at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. TITLE: THE EFFECTS OF ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT TRAINING ON COMMITTED ACTIONS AND LEVELS OF DEPRESSION, ANXIETY, AND STRESS AMONG UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC MAJOR PROFESSOR: Dr. Natalia Baires Studies show that mental health problems are very prominent in the U.S., especially for college students. With the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) that began in March 2020, it is probable that depression, anxiety, and stress have increased for individuals. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) on self-reported committed actions and self-reported measures of depression, stress, and anxiety for three undergraduate college students. Using a three-phase variation of the alternating treatments design, participants completed half hour, remote ACT sessions and remote ACT worksheets that focused on values, committed actions, and acceptance. The frequency of daily committed actions was monitored during baseline, randomly alternating treatments (i.e., remote ACT sessions and remote ACT worksheets), and participant's choice conditions. Moreover, the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale (DASS-21) and the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire (AAQ-II) were administered during baseline and the participant’s choice condition. Following treatment, an increase in participants’ committed actions was seen, results from the AAQ-II suggested a decrease in psychological inflexibility, and results from the DASS-21 suggested a decrease in depression, anxiety, and stress for all participants. Limitations, considerations, and areas for future research are discussed.
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