PhD, Associate Professor B.S. Vasyakin1
Dr.Hab., Professor M.S. Berezhnaya1
PhD, Associate Professor E.L. Pozharskaya1
Dr.Sc.Psych., Professor O.A. Ovsyanik1
1Plekhanov Russian University of Economics, Moscow
Keywords: health promotion psychotechnologies, stress, stress control, socio-psychological training.
Background. Modern health promotion psycho-technologies on the whole and socio-psychological trainings in particular applicable for the stress control purposes in academic environments make it possible to effectively control the mental and emotional stresses the academic personnel is exposed to, improve their mental health standards and prevent potential health disorders due to the stressors.
Objective of the study was to test benefits of an experimental Stress Control Socio-psychological Training Course in application to academic personnel.
Methods and design of the study. The study was performed at Plekhanov Russian University of Economics under the ‘Modern Health Psycho-technologies to Facilitate Personality Progress of Academic Personnel’ Research Project, with the Physical Education and Psychology Departments faculties (n=24) sampled for the study. The sample was split up into an Experimental (EG, n=12) and Reference (RG, n=12) Groups. The study data were obtained by the following test methods: ‘Prognoz’ Nervous and Mental Balance Rating Tests by V.A. Baranov; Coping Strategies and Models Rating Method by N.Y. Vodopyanova and Y.S. Starchenkova; and C. Maslach and S. Jackson Burnout Inventory for the Human Services, adapted by N.Y. Vodopyanova. The input study data were used to develop the Stress Control Socio-psychological Training Course  and test it on the EG. The sample progress was rated by the post-course questionnaire survey, with the survey data compared with the pre-course ones.
Study findings and discussion. A statistical analysis found an inverse correlation of the nervous-mental balance rate with the stress-coping avoidance strategy. Having analyzed correlations of the nervous-mental balance rate with the burnout rates (emotional draining, de-personalizing, diminishing of personal accomplishments), we found some statistically insignificant correlations.
Having analyzed correlations of the burnout rates (emotional draining, de-personalizing, personal accomplishments diminishing) with the coping models and strategies, we found significant correlations of the emotional draining with the stress-coping indirect actions strategy; emotional draining with the stress-coping aggressive actions strategy; and the personal accomplishments diminishing with the stress-coping careful actions strategy.
Furthermore, we customized the frame Stress Control Socio-psychological Training Course for the EG primary test data to facilitate the group progress, and trained the EG, with the training course taking 9 hours (1 full day).
Upon completion of the training, the sample was tested by the questionnaire survey forms. The ‘Prognoz’ Nervous and Mental Balance Rating Tests by V.A. Baranov failed to show any variation in the EG post- versus pre-experimental test data. Coping Strategies and Models Rating Method by N.Y. Vodopyanova and Y.S. Starchenkova showed the following changes in the coping strategies: the social contacts strategy was tested to grow from 56% to 72%; the social support mobilizing strategy was tested to advance from 56% to 64%; the careful actions strategy made progress from 24% to 32%; versus the sociopathic actions strategy tested to regress from 42% to 24%; and the aggressive actions strategy tested to shrink from 42% to 24%. The C. Maslach and S. Jackson Burnout Inventory for the Human Services adapted by N.Y. Vodopyanova showed the EG progress on the emotional draining and personal accomplishments diminishing scales in the average values, with the lowest values staying virtually the same and the top values tested to go down on every test scale. The RG post- versus pre-experimental test rates showed virtually no variations with the only exclusion for the emotional draining test rates that were found to grow.
Conclusion. Based on the study findings, we recommend the academic personnel being trained on a regular basis to help them develop fair mental-and-emotional control and stress coping skills; with the training service supported by a follow-up counseling service to help the personnel effectively apply and advance the acquired knowledge and skills.
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Corresponding author: email@example.com
The study outlines the ways to improve health and stress tolerance of academic personnel. The authors have designed and piloted a Stress Control Socio-psychological Training Course, with the Plekhanov Russian University of Economics Physical Education and Psychology Departments staff being sampled for the study. Prior to the course, the sample was tested for the nervous-mental balance, stress coping models/ strategies and job-specific burnout levels. The primary health data were analyzed to customize the Stress Control Socio-psychological Training Course for the Experimental Group (EG) stress-coping needs. Upon completion of the course, the sample progress was rated by the post-course questionnaire survey, with the survey data compared with the pre-course ones. The Stress Control Socio-psychological Training Course was found beneficial as verified by the EG versus RG progress rates. Based on the study findings, we recommend the academic personnel being trained on a regular basis to help them develop fair mental-and-emotional control and stress coping skills; with the training service supported by a follow-up counseling service to help the personnel effectively apply and advance the acquired knowledge and skills.