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Stress inoculation training, type A behaviour, and irrational beliefs in medical, dental, and graduate students Wyne, Monica A. A.


This study examined the effects of a stress inoculation training program on self-reported Type A behaviour pattern (TABP) and irrational beliefs in a sample of female medical, dental, and graduate students. Thirteen female medical students from the first, second, and third years of medical school, one female dental student from the first year of dental school, and 16 female graduate student volunteers were assigned to a 6-week stress inoculation group (SI; n = 14) or a 4-hour brief treatment group (BT; n = 16) in a repeated measures (pre, post, 11-week follow-up) quasi-experimental design. Participants completed the Rational Behavior Inventory, the Irrational Beliefs Test, the Type A Irrational Beliefs Test, and the Framingham Type A Scale (modified) in order to assess treatment effects. Price's (1982) cognitive social learning model proposes that TABP is elicited and maintained, in part, by specific beliefs and the fears and anxieties that they engender. Following this model, it was hypothesized that self-reported TABP, irrational beliefs, and Type A irrational beliefs would significantly decrease, and rational behaviour, or general rational thinking, would significantly increase, from pre- to post-test and these changes would be maintained at 11-week follow-up in the SI group, compared with the BT group. Repeated measures MANOVAs with pre-planned contrasts indicated that SI was effective in significantly reducing TABP from pre-to post-test. Both SI and BT were effective in significantly decreasing irrational beliefs and Type A irrational beliefs, as well as significantly increasing rational behaviour, or general rational thinking, from pre to post-test. These changes were maintained at follow-up and provide further insight into the relationship between TABP and irrational beliefs. This study provides partial support for Price's model and implicates the use of stress inoculation training in the treatment of TABP in female medical, dental, and graduate students. Implications of these findings and suggestions for future research are discussed.

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