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ERIC Number: ED515071
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 115
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1096-9642-4
Treatment of Test Anxiety: A Computerized Approach
Pless, Anica
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Central Michigan University
Test anxiety creates problems for many students, and can have a negative impact on the academic performance of many who suffer from it (Jones & Petruzzi, 1995). Typical treatment components for test anxiety involve psychoeducation, relaxation training, gradual exposure, cognitive restructuring, study skills training, and relapse prevention. Clinician-administered treatments tend to be effective in both individual and group modalities (Tyron, 1980). Increased use of the internet has influenced the development of computerized treatment packages for many psychological disorders, including test anxiety. There exist several advantages to online treatments, for example, they are cost-effective because clinical contact time is reduced, data collection is streamlined, and clients hold more responsibility for their own treatment (e.g., Taylor & Luce, 2003). Cognitive-behavioral treatments offered over the internet appear to be effective in reducing test anxiety over time, but are inconsistent in demonstrating the ability to improve academic performance (Orbach et al., 2007). The purpose of the current study was to investigate the usefulness of a computerized treatment package for test anxiety. The current study examined whether material presented in an interactive treatment format was effective in reducing state anxiety and test anxiety and increasing academic performance. A wait-list control group served as the comparison group in this study. The interactive component of the program introduced the ability for participants to test their knowledge of each treatment component, to experience imaginal exposure, and to provide anxiety ratings during exposure sessions. It was predicted that the participants in the treatment group would experience a greater decline in test anxiety than the participants in the wait-list control group. Results demonstrated that test anxiety decreased over the course of the semester for treatment group members who made use of the entire program. Several other hypotheses were not supported. There was a slight increase in state anxiety scores for treatment group members who completed the study over the course of the semester. There was not an observed improvement in GPA for treatment group members. Program use was not correlated with change in anxiety scores or academic performance. Very few participants made use of the exposure module, and for those who did, use was not related to final anxiety measures. Some feedback indicated that the program was not as user-friendly as was hoped, and there was significant dropout from the treatment group, which changed the analysis plan for the study and made interpretation of results more cautionary. Although the program appears to be helpful for those who use it completely, it seems that, to improve effectiveness for a larger range of users, the program should be modified to be more user-friendly and then retested. Additional study findings and implications are discussed. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A