Changes in the Sense of Coherence of 13-17- Year-Old Adolescents after the Application of Cognitive-Behavioural Intervention

Aidas Perminas, Dovilė Normantaitė

Abstract


Previous studies have found relations between low sense of coherence in adolescent behaviour and different problems (aggression, low self-esteem, stress, smoking, etc.) at school. It is important to carry out programmes that enhance a sense of coherence, but there are only a few research methods used to challenge the effectiveness of such programmes. The aim of the study was to analyze how cognitive-behavioural intervention affects the sense of coherence of 13-17- year-old students.
A group of 283 students from Kaunas, 145 males and 138 females from 13 to 17 years of age, the average age 14,79, participated in the project. The participants were separated into two groups: the control group (N=142) and the experimental group (N=141).
The experimental group had an intervention. The first testing was carried out before the intervention and the second testing was carried out after the intervention. The control group was tested only twice. Both times the participants had to fill out the same questionnaire for their sense of coherence: A. Antonovsky’s Orientation to Life questionnaire (1987).
The participants of the experimental group were exposed to 5 sessions of 45 minutes once a week. The intervention was based on cognitive-behavioural therapy. Each session had different goals: the first one was to create the rules of the group and to motivate the group members to attend further sessions; the second was to introduce anger process and three different anger control techniques (image, deep breathing and counting backwards); the third session was to introduce the muscle relaxation method, thinking-ahead procedure and reminder techniques; the fourth session was to introduce self-evaluation procedure and assertion techniques; and the fifth session was to introduce conflict resolution stages. The techniques were introduced through role-play, discussions and brain-storming.
The results of the research have shown that the meaningfulness of the adolescents increased after the use of the cognitive-behavioural intervention. Also, the comprehensibility and manageability of the adolescents increased, but the same result was noticed in the control group. Thus, the intervention affected only the adolescents’ idea of meaningfulness.

Keywords


pupils; sense of coherence; intervention; effect

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"Societal studies" ISSN online 2029-2244 / ISSN print 2029-2236