ERIC Number: ED334253
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1983-Aug-22
The Effects of Systematic Desensitization on Test-Anxious Students in an Urban Community College: Learning Theory and Applications.
Woods, Nathaniel A.
A study involving 97 students (79 females and 18 males) at New York City Technical College was undertaken to determine the effectiveness of desensitization in reducing test anxiety and improving grade point averages (GPAs). The study compared the GPAs of students who completed workshops using the desensitization hierarchy developed by R. Strieby (1974) with those of control students. The study used J. Wine's (1971) theory that systematic desensitization should be effective in reducing test anxiety. In all, 42 students did and 55 students did not participate in the workshops. Test anxiety levels of all subjects were assessed by administration of the debilitating and facilitating scales of the Achievement Anxiety Test before and after a treatment period of 6 weeks. The achievement level was assessed for all subjects through the comparison of GPAs at the end of the semester. In addition, a Mann Whitney u test was used to evaluate the significance of the results. Results indicate that students participating in the workshops improved their academic averages more than did control students. The experimental group also reported less debilitating anxiety than did the control group, although there was no comparable finding for facilitating anxiety. Early screening of students to identify test anxiety and the use of desensitization workshops using counselors in college learning centers are recommended. Study instruments and instructions for subjects and a 37-item list of references are included. (TJH)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Practicum Papers; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A