Wednesday, December 9 • 1:30pm - 2:00pm
ACT in the University Classroom: An Investigation of Academic and Social Impacts

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Levels of stress and anxiety amongst Canadian undergraduate students have increased in recent years (Booth, Sharma, & Leader, 2015). University accommodations due to panic attacks, test anxiety, and ongoing anxiety have become common in this population. Considering this and the fact that students are quite unlikely to seek professional help (Coles, Coleman, & Schubert, 2015), students need some strategies to help them manage stress and anxiety. Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a technique that is commonly used to manage stress and anxiety by teaching individuals to pay attention to the present moment through meditative practice. A newer intervention that incorporates mindfulness is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). It combines the use of acceptance and mindfulness strategies with commitment and behaviour change strategies that focus on a person’s values, and has been shown to help individuals and groups manage stress and anxiety, even when presented as a brief intervention. We are interested in testing whether we can reveal benefits of implementing ACT in a university classroom setting. Given the time constraints inherent in university courses, it is relevant to determine how brief an intervention can be and still be effective. Thus, we are comparing two different schedules of ACT (distributed and condensed) in two sections of the same course. Students complete the activities as a group and have an opportunity to discuss their experiences. Selected effects on test anxiety, stress, and student experience will be reported.


Sarah Kupferschmidt

Mohawk College

Heather Poole

McMaster University
Heather Poole is a postdoctoral fellow at the McMaster Institute for Innovation and Excellence in Teaching and Learning. Heather's background is in experimental psychology.

Wanda Smith

McMaster University

Wednesday December 9, 2015 1:30pm - 2:00pm EST
Meeting Room A

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