Cognitive training, conflict resolution, and exercise: Effects on young adolescents' well being

Mark Taylor (2009). Cognitive training, conflict resolution, and exercise: Effects on young adolescents' well being PhD Thesis, School of Education, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Mark Taylor
Thesis Title Cognitive training, conflict resolution, and exercise: Effects on young adolescents' well being
School, Centre or Institute School of Education
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2009-04
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Professor Robyn Gillies
Professor Adrian Ashman
Total pages 212
Total black and white pages 212
Subjects 330000 Education
Abstract/Summary Abstract By 2020 the World Health Organisation has predicted that depression will be the largest cause of disease burden in the world (Ellen, 2002). This study investigated the effects of three interventions (Explanatory Style, Conflict Resolution, and Exercise) on the level of well-being of adolescents from the middle years of schooling. The research consisted of three studies. Study 1 involved the design of a Student Perception Questionnaire. The 28¬–item Student Perception Questionnaire was created to measure the outcomes of the three interventions and was trialled on 215 Middle School students. A Principal Components analysis with Varimax rotation was performed on the data retrieved from the respondents, and all items were retained on the questionnaire, although four factors did not show a .30 loading. Study 2, a Pilot Study, was conducted with three students to trial the interventions and measures in preparation for the final study. It included the collection of qualitative and quantitative data. The qualitative data was gained from interviews held with the students, parents, and teachers. Study 2 revealed that the interventions and the measures used to determine the effectiveness of the interventions would be suitable for Study 3. Study 3 was the full intervention that involved 25 students in an intervention group and six students in a no-intervention group. The 25 students were allocated to six groups that were engaged in a counterbalanced design study using the Explanatory Style, Conflict Resolution, and Exercise interventions. The group of six students was used as a comparison group. The results showed that students in the intervention group experienced a reduction of internalising behaviours such as withdrawal and depressive symptoms following all three interventions. The program as a whole was successful in reducing depressive symptoms and the interventions individually also significantly reduced depressive symptoms. The intervention group developed more optimistic thinking styles following the explanatory style intervention. Analysis of parent data revealed that parents of the intervention group were experiencing significant feelings of incompetence and guilt towards themselves as parents. In the members of the no-intervention group, having good social skills and a strong support network of friends and family were protective factors against depressive symptoms. The thesis showed that interventions can be used with adolescents that are effective in reducing depressive symptoms and do not have negative side effects, such as those associated with medications.
Keyword Cognitive training, conflict resolution, exercise, adolescents, well being

 
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Created: Tue, 19 May 2009, 14:19:40 EST by Mr Mark Taylor on behalf of Library - Information Access Service