Grégoire 2018

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APA Citation: 

Grégoire, S., Lachance, L., Bouffard, T., & Dionne, F. (2018). The use of acceptance and commitment therapy to promote mental health and school engagement in university students: A multisite randomized controlled trial. Behavior Therapy, 49, 360-372. DOI:10.1016/j.beth.2017.10.003

Publication Topic: 
ACT: Empirical
Publication Type: 
acceptance and commitment therapy; psychological flexibility; mental health; school engagement; university students

The aim of this multisite randomized controlled trial was to determine whether an intervention based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) was efficacious in improving university students’ psychological flexibility, mental health, and school engagement. Students were recruited in four Canadian universities and randomly assigned to an intervention (n = 72) or a wait-list control group (n = 72). Students in the intervention group took part in four 2.5-hour workshops during a 4-week period and were asked to do exercises at home (e.g., meditation, observation grids). Wait-list students received the intervention soon after the post measurements. MANCOVAs and ANCOVAs revealed that students in the intervention group showed greater psychological flexibility at postintervention than those in the control group. They also reported greater well-being and school engagement, and lower stress, anxiety, and depression symptoms. Taken together, results of this study suggest that an ACT-based intervention offers a valuable way to promote mental health and school engagement in postsecondary settings.

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