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SOMATIC COMPLAINTS AND SYMPTOMS OF ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION IN A SCHOOL-BASED SAMPLE OF PREADOLESCENTS AND EARLY ADOLESCENTS. FUNCTIONAL IMPAIRMENT AND IMPLICATIONS FOR TREATMENT

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Teodora C. ZOLOG*¹, Ma Claustre JANE-BALLABRIGA¹, Albert BONILLO- MARTIN¹, Josefa CANALS-SANS², Carmen HERNANDEZ-MARTINEZ², Kelly ROMERO-ACOSTA¹, Eldemira DOMENECH-LLABERIA¹ ¹Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain ²Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona, Spain   Abstract This study examined the associations between somatization and specific somatic complaints on one hand, and symptoms of general anxiety, depression and types of anxiety […]

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OPTIMISM, PESSIMISM AND NEGATIVE MOOD REGULATION EXPECTANCIES IN CANCER PATIENTS

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The purpose of this study was to investigate the interrelations among optimism, pessimism and negative mood regulation expectancies in predicting distress levels in a sample of women (N=64) diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer. The study offers empirical data that could clarify the relation between these variables impacting emotional distress. Our results indicate that negative mood regulation expectancies completely mediated the effects of pessimism on symptoms of depression and anxiety. The direct relation between negative mood regulation expectancies and emotional distress can be explained by conceptualizing these expectancies as specific beliefs within a response expectancy model.

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THE IMPACT OF RATIONAL EMOTIVE BEHAVIOUR EDUCATION ON ANXIETY IN TEENAGERS

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The present study is based on the assumption that teenagers endorsing high levels of irrational cognitions are prone to higher levels of anxiety, which can be diminished by rational emotive education (REE). To test this assumption we developed a brief REE intervention that was offered to a group of 88 10th-12th grade students from a high school in Cluj-Napoca. ABS II (irrationality) scores and STAI and HADS scores (anxiety) were used to assess the dependent variables, whereas the independent variables were represented by the presence/absence of the rational emotive behavior intervention and by gender, respectively.

The intervention consisted of a one-hour REE lesson, followed by a 14-day period during which the students were required to read the Rationality vs. Irrationality Decalogue (David, 2007) daily. After two weeks, both groups (intervention/non-intervention) were assessed again.

Our results indicate a strong correlation between irrational thinking and anxiety among teenagers. Moreover, REE resulted in a significant reduction in anxiety levels, and a decrease in irrational thinking.

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ANXIETY, DEPRESSION AND COPING STRATEGIES: IMPROVING THE EVALUATION AND THE UNDERSTANDING OF THESE DIMENSIONS DURING PRE-ADOLESCENCE AND ADOLESCENCE

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The aim of this study is to investigate and refine three different scales which measure depression, anxiety and coping strategies. The relation between these scales is also verified in a non-clinical school population of pre-adolescents and adolescents. Lastly, the moderating effects of age, gender, grade failure and family type are tested. This study used depression, anxiety and coping strategy scales to check moderating effects. The sample consisted of 916 Portuguese pupils, 54.3% females, aged 10 to 22 (M = 14, 44). The participants were randomly selected from the 5th to the 12th grades of public schools. The CDI (Kovacs, 1981), the MASC (March, 1997) and the CRY-Y (Moos, 1993) were used. Scales revealed a good internal consistency and suggested that girls are more anxious than boys are and that older students are more depressed, but use more coping strategies than younger learners. A set of exploratory factorial analyses (EFA) was then carried out with the objective of getting the most representative factor from the anxiety (MASC), the depression /CDI) and the coping (CRY-Y) scales. Reduced scales were identified and they strongly correlated with the previous measures, but better differentiate between a set of moderators. A confirmatory model (CPA) was carried out. Also, adjustment indexes suggested a good fit for the model, but consider both genders separately and the two age groups independently. An analysis of the items retained provided suggestions for school based interventions.

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The implementation of a rational-emotive educational intervention for anxiety in a 3rd grade classroom: an analysis of relevant procedural and developmental constraints

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We tested the efficiency of a rational-emotive behavioral intervention to reduce the level of anxiety (emotional and behavioral) and remedy the irrational thinking in children (ages 9-10). The participants were 63 school-children (3 classes), boys and girls. They were initially evaluated with the Spence Anxiety Scale (for the general and specific anxiety level) and the CASI questionnaire (for the level of irrational beliefs). Their parents completed the Spence Anxiety Scale (parent version). There were 3 groups (classes): rational-emotive behavioral education (REBE), sham intervention (a Placebo type group), no intervention. The intervention lasted for 20 sessions and we assessed the level of irrational beliefs (CASI) and the general and specific anxiety (Spence Anxiety Scale) before and after the intervention. Results did not show a significant improvement of the REBE group compared to the others, neither in measures of anxiety, nor in those of irrationality. The level of REBE specific knowledge (tested with a knowledge questionnaire) after the intervention was significantly higher in the REBE group than in the other two groups. Parents’ evaluations differed from children’s own evaluations: they tended to overlook the existence or frequency of anxiety symptoms in their children. Possible implications and explanations are discussed. Implications envisage the efficiency of REBE in reducing the anxiety and irrational thinking of school-children and possible problems regarding its applications in the classroom.

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