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Manual for the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scales (DASS)

Sydney
Publisher: Psychology Foundation
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    • "The scales are widely used in general populations and have demonstrated high internal consistency and validity across settings (Crawford & Henry, 2003; Henry & Crawford, 2005). DASS does not allocate normal and clinical subjects to discrete diagnostic categories, because this process is performed by other classificatory systems such as DSM (Lovibond & Lovibond, 1995 ). However, it does provide conventional severity categorizations and their recommended cutoffs (normal, mild, moderate, severe, extremely severe). "
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    ABSTRACT: Stress, anxiety and depression are relatively common problems among university students. A online psychological intervention aimed at enhancing the wellbeing of university students could be an effective and practical alternative for meeting the needs of a university population. University students (N = 68; 85% female; 19–32 years old) were randomly assigned to either a guided seven-week online Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (iACT) intervention or a waiting list control condition (WLC). A between-groups pre–post (iACT vs WLC) design with 12-month follow-up for the iACT participants was conducted. The intervention participants were offered two face-to-face meetings, completed online exercises during a five-week period, and received personal weekly written feedback via the website from their randomly assigned, trained student coaches. Waitlist participants were offered the intervention program soon after the post measurements. Results in this small efficacy trial showed that the iACT participants had significantly higher gains in wellbeing (between group, d = 0.46), life satisfaction (d = 0.65), and mindfulness skills (d = 0.49). In addition, iACT participants’ self-reported stress (d = 0.54) and symptoms of depression (d = 0.69) were significantly reduced compared to the participants in the control group. These benefits were maintained over a 12-month follow-up period (within iACT group, d = 0.65-0.69, for primary measures). The results suggest that an online-based, coach-guided ACT program with blended face-to-face and online sessions could be an effective and well-accepted alternative for enhancing the wellbeing of university students.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016
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    • "Mental health This was assessed using two scales. The Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale-21 (DASS-21;Lovibond and Lovibond, 1995) is a reliable and well-validated scale (seeCrawford and Henry (2003)) comprising three seven-item subscales assessing depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms. Participants rated how frequently in the preceding week they had experienced particular symptoms – for example, " I felt like I was not worth much as a person " (depression subscale; α T1 ¼.83), " I felt I was close to panic " (anxiety subscale, α T1 ¼.79), and " I tended to over-react to situations " (stress subscale, α T1 ¼ .76) "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Social isolation and disconnection have profound negative effects on mental health, but there are few, if any, theoretically-derived interventions that directly target this problem. We evaluate a new intervention, Groups 4 Health (G4H), a manualized 5-module psychological intervention that targets the development and maintenance of social group relationships to treat psychological distress arising from social isolation. Methods: G4H was tested using a non-randomized control design. The program was delivered to young adults presenting with social isolation and affective disturbance. Primary outcome measures assessed mental health (depression, general anxiety, social anxiety, and stress), well-being (life satisfaction, self-esteem) and social connectedness (loneliness, social functioning). Our secondary goal was to assess whether mechanisms of social identification were responsible for changes in outcomes. Results: G4H was found to significantly improve mental health, well-being, and social connectedness on all measures, both on program completion and 6-month follow-up. In line with social identity theorizing, analysis also showed that improvements in depression, anxiety, stress, loneliness, and life satisfaction were underpinned by participants' increased identification both with their G4H group and with multiple groups. Limitations: This study provides preliminary evidence of the potential value of G4H and its underlying mechanisms, but further examination is required in other populations to address issues of generalizability, and in randomized controlled trials to address its wider efficacy. Conclusions: Results of this pilot study confirm that G4H has the potential to reduce the negative health-related consequences of social disconnection. Future research will determine its utility in wider community contexts.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Journal of Affective Disorders
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    • "In the current study the representation of parents reporting elevated anxiety may not have been high enough to detect this relationship. In fact, only 14.1% of parents in the present sample had a total DASS anxiety score above the population mean of 4.7 (as per the DASS manual;Lovibond and Lovibond (1995)). Consequently, it remains possible that parental anxiety may impact the relationship towards challenging parenting behaviour however this may not have been captured using the community sample recruited for the present study. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: This research investigates the relationship between challenging parenting behaviour and childhood anxiety disorders proposed by Bögels and Phares (2008). Challenging parenting behaviour involves the playful encouragement of children to go beyond their own limits, and may decrease children's risk for anxiety (Bögels and Phares, 2008). Method: Parents (n=164 mothers and 144 fathers) of 164 children aged between 3.4 and 4.8 years participated in the current study. A multi-method, multi-informant assessment of anxiety was used, incorporating data from diagnostic interviews as well as questionnaire measures. Parents completed self-report measures of their parenting behaviour (n=147 mothers and 138 fathers) and anxiety (n=154 mothers and 143 fathers). Mothers reported on their child's anxiety via questionnaire as well as diagnostic interview (n=156 and 164 respectively). Of these children, 74 met criteria for an anxiety disorder and 90 did not. Results: Fathers engaged in challenging parenting behaviour more often than mothers. Both mothers' and fathers' challenging parenting behaviour was associated with lower report of child anxiety symptoms. However, only mothers' challenging parenting behaviour was found to predict child clinical anxiety diagnosis. Limitations: Shared method variance from mothers confined the interpretation of these results. Moreover, due to study design, it is not possible to delineate cause and effect. Conclusions: The finding with respect to maternal challenging parenting behaviour was not anticipated, prompting replication of these results. Future research should investigate the role of challenging parenting behaviour by both caregivers as this may have implications for parenting interventions for anxious children.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Journal of Affective Disorders
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