A randomized controlled trial of a web-based intervention to reduce distress among students with a history of interpersonal violence

Viann Nguyen-Feng, Patricia A Frazier, Christiaan S. Greer, Kelli G. Howard, Jacob A. Paulsen, Liza N Meredith, Shinsig Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Many college students have a history of interpersonal violence (IPV) and are thus at risk of greater mental health problems. This study evaluated the efficacy of a web-based stress management program targeting the established protective factor of present control in promoting well-being among students with and without a history of IPV. Method: Students from an introductory psychology course were randomly assigned in a 2:1 ratio to the web-based stress management intervention (n = 329) or the waitlist comparison group (n = 171). Self-report measures of 4 outcomes (perceived stress, symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress) and 2 mediators of intervention efficacy (present control, rumination) were completed online pre-and postintervention. IPV history was assessed preintervention. Results: Thirty-nine percent reported an IPV history. The intervention group reported less distress than the comparison group at posttest but effects were larger in the IPV group (mean d =.44) than in the no IPV group (mean d =.10). Increases in present control mediated intervention effects in both groups; decreases in rumination mediated intervention effects in the IPV group only. Conclusions: Web-based universal prevention stress management programs may be a cost-effective way to teach protective skills to students with an IPV history.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)444-454
Number of pages11
JournalPsychology of Violence
Volume5
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

Keywords

  • college student mental health
  • interpersonal violence
  • perceived control
  • trauma
  • web-based interventions

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