Poor emotional processing and mind wanderings are two factors that are involved in the etiology of test anxiety. Dialectical behavioral therapy is a new approach that can be used to treat test anxiety in schools. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine the effect of dialectical behavioral therapy on emotional processing and mind wanderings among female high school students with test anxiety.
The population in this quasi-experimental study included all female high school students in Tabriz during the academic year 2019-2020. A total number of 45 students who received the test anxiety diagnosis in accordance with the cutoff score in the Sarason Test Anxiety Questionnaire were selected by multi-stage cluster and purposeful sampling and they were randomly assigned to two experimental and one control groups (15 students per group). The participants in the three groups completed the Test Anxiety Questionnaire (Sarahson, 1975), Cognitive Wandering Inventory (Carriere & Seli, 2013), and the Emotional Processing Scale (Baker et al., 2010) as the pre-test and post-test. Eight sessions of group dialectic therapy (for 4 weeks) were held for the participants in the experimental group, while the control group did not receive any intervention. The collected data were analyzed using multivariate and univariable covariance analysis.
Dialectical behavioral therapy was found to have a significant effect on emotional processing (F2=0.31; p=0.005) and mind wandering (F2=0.29; p=0.001) in the students with test anxiety.
The training of this therapeutic approach is recommended as an effective interventional method to treat mind wanderings and improve emotional processing of high school students.
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