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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A comparison of aerobic conditioning and stress inoculation as stress-management interventions Long, Bonita Clarice


The efficacy of an aerobic conditioning program (jogging) in modifying self-reported chronic intermittent stress is compared to stress-innoculation training (self-statement modification) and a waiting list control group. Guiding this research is a transactional model of stress. The participants were community residents; 48 were females and 25 were males. Therapy sessions were conducted over a 10-week period with subjects meeting in groups for 1 1/2 hours per week and also completing homework assignments and activities. The State and Trait Anxiety Inventories, the Tension Thermometer, a Thought-listing Technique and a Self-efficacy Scale were administered at pre, post, and three-month follow-up. In addition, a submaximal bicycle ergometer test was utilized to predict maximum oxygen uptake (a measure of cardiovascular fitness). Multivariate analyses of variance indicate that both the aerobic conditioning program and the stress-innoculation training were effective in reducing self-reported anxiety and increasing self-efficacy. These changes were maintained three months after completing the program. Subjects who experienced stress more cognltlvely than somatically reduced their level of stress from pre- to post-testlng significantly more than those who experienced stress more somatically, regardless of treatment condition. However, from post to follow-up the somatic subjects continued to improve while the cognitive subjects stayed approximately the same. Compared to the waiting list control group, subjects' positive self-statement ratings increased significantly from pre- to post-testing for the stress-inoculation group. Subjects' self-statement ratings and judges self-statement ratings changed differentially between groups and over time. Subjects in the aerobic conditioning program improved their cardiovascular fitness compared to the stress-inoculation and waiting list groups. Participation in an aerobic conditioning program was found to be a viable alternative to stress-innoculation training as a stress-management treatment. Although the pattern of changes differed between treatment groups and among types of individuals from pre- to post-testing on some measures, at three-months follow-up few differences were found between treatment groups.

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