Effects of positive emotional refocusing on emotional intelligence and autonomic recovery from stress in high school students

2004 2004

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Abstract (summary)

Using 99 ninth grade students as participants, this study employed a between-group experimental design to investigate the impact of positive emotional refocusing—a method developed by the Institute of HeartMath (the Freeze Frame method)—on heart rate variability (HRV), emotional intelligence (EI), and trait anxiety in adolescent youth. A group of 62 students received training in positive emotional refocusing during a three-month course in social-emotional learning; 37 students were in the waiting group. Results were assessed using the intrapersonal, stress management, and adaptability subscales of the Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory for Youth and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI). Impact on HRV was assessed by comparing coherence and HRV patterns in the very low frequency, low frequency, and high frequency bands during stress recovery. For exploratory analysis within the training group, students were also categorized as High Anxious (n = 23) or Low Anxious (n = 16), using combined scores on the STAI and the Negative Life Events and Positive Life Events scales of the Life Stressors and Social Resources Inventory for Youth.

Training group participants showed significant increased coherence (p < .05) during autonomic recovery from stress. No changes in EI or trait anxiety were detected in the training group. Within-group analysis indicated that significant increases in coherence during stress recovery (p < .01) were recorded for Low Anxious participants, as opposed to no change in the High Anxious group. Exploratory analysis on baseline data for all participants who completed both HRV and behavioral measures (n = 72) indicated significant positive correlations between EI and coherence in Low Anxious participants. Low Anxious youth showed a significant negative correlation between trait anxiety and stress management skills, while High Anxious youth appeared to benefit significantly from positive life events.

Indexing (details)

Physiological psychology;
0989: Physiological psychology
0622: Psychotherapy
Identifier / keyword
Psychology; Emotional intelligence; High school; Recovery; Refocusing; Stress
Effects of positive emotional refocusing on emotional intelligence and autonomic recovery from stress in high school students
Markham, Thom
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-B 65/09, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
9780496081769, 0496081764
Coffman, Daniel
Saybrook University
University location
United States -- California
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
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