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Evaluating the impact of an autogenic training relaxation intervention on levels of anxiety amongst adolescents in school

Atkins, T; Hayes, B; (2019) Evaluating the impact of an autogenic training relaxation intervention on levels of anxiety amongst adolescents in school. Educational and Child Psychology , 36 (3) pp. 33-51. Green open access

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Abstract

Aim: This study aimed to investigate the impact of a group-based Autogenic Training (AT) relaxation intervention on levels of anxiety in adolescents in mainstream school settings. Method: A mixed-methods design was used to measure differences in levels of anxiety and explore a range of perceived changes between groups over time. 66 young people aged between 14 and 15 years old from 4 mainstream schools in the UK were randomly assigned within each school to a treatment or wait-list control group. Quantitative data was analysed using a mixed between-within subjects ANOVA. Qualitative information from 12 volunteer participants was analysed using Thematic Analysis. Findings: Results showed a main effect of time for both the treatment group and the wait-list group however no significant main interaction was found. Qualitative results showed perceived improvements in social relationships and connectivity; reflectiveness; selfawareness; physiological symptoms; and a sense of control. Limitations: Measures were reliant on self-reported data. Schools were recruited through self-referral and expression of interest excluding participants who may not have the opportunity to take part. There were no opportunities to collect follow up data. Conclusions: Results suggest that a structured AT relaxation intervention delivered in a familiar school environment may significantly reduce levels of anxiety amongst adolescents. However, significant improvements for the wait-list group also raises questions around the potential of other supportive variables such as acknowledgement and validation of feelings; the promise and availability of forthcoming support; and the potential impact of raised awareness and interest in pupil wellbeing amongst school staff.

Type: Article
Title: Evaluating the impact of an autogenic training relaxation intervention on levels of anxiety amongst adolescents in school
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: https://www.bps.org.uk/publications/educational-ch...
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Autogenic Training; Relaxation; Adolescence; Mind-body interventions; Anxiety.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10081189
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