The feasibility and effectiveness of compassionate mind training as a test anxiety intervention for adolescents: A preliminary investigation

Dean O'Driscoll*, Maria McAleese

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Test anxiety can have a deleterious impact on academic achievement and adversely effect adolescent wellbeing both concurrently and in later life. The current study explored the use of Compassionate Mind Training (CMT) as a school-based intervention for test anxiety among adolescents. Participants were 47 adolescents, aged 16 to 17 years old, attending a post-primary school in the UK and enrolled to take qualifications beyond compulsory education. Participants were quasi-randomly allocated on the basis of timetable availability into an intervention group that received eight sessions of CMT (n = 22) or a control group (n = 25). Participants in both groups completed pre- and post-intervention measures of test anxiety, general anxiety, and self-compassion. Attendance and retention rates were used as an index of intervention feasibility. The findings indicated that CMT was a feasible and effective intervention. Adolescents receiving CMT showed significant reductions in test anxiety and general anxiety, as well as a significant improvement in self-compassion following the intervention compared to the control group. The findings highlight the potential value of CMT in supporting young people suffering from test anxiety in schools. The implications for counselling practice are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCounselling and Psychotherapy Research
Early online date18 Jul 2021
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 18 Jul 2021

Keywords

  • Compassionate Mind Training
  • Test Anxiety
  • General Anxiety
  • Self-compassion
  • Adolescent
  • School

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