An Electrodermal Biofeedback Intervention for Anxiety, Stress …

Wallace Research Symposium on Talent Development

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An Electrodermal Biofeedback Intervention for Anxiety, Stress, and Achievement Among Honors and Non-Honors Students: A Randomized Controlled TrialLuis Orione Ferreira, Del Siegle, & Talbot S. Hook

Monday, May 20, 2024, 1:45 – 3:15 pm, Lawrence D. McHugh Hall, Room MCHU 302

Stress and anxiety are prevalent issues among American college students and can have negative impacts on both health and academic achievement. Physiologically-based programs have been found to be effective in promoting stress and anxiety control in university settings. However, there is little research on how such interventions can affect honors students when compared to non-honors students. One tool that has shown promise is electrodermal biofeedback, which uses electrodermal activity as an indicator of psychophysiological phenomena associated with stress. Electrodermal wearables have helped people read and train their arousal activity. To address this gap, we conducted a randomized controlled trial with 82 students in General Chemistry I at the University of Connecticut. Pre- and post-intervention measurements were taken to determine whether the electrodermal biofeedback intervention affected achievement, stress, and anxiety. Preliminary results revealed a large impact (d=0.95) on anxiety and a medium impact (d=0.51) on stress reduction perception comparing students in control and treatment groups. Furthermore, students in the treatment group showed a significant increase in physiological stress control. We found no difference in the effect of the treatment for honors and non-honors students. Grades, reported in December, will be included in our analyses.