Date of Award

2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Baird, Anne

Keywords

Academic Self-Efficacy; Intervention; Prospective Memory; Relaxation; Student; Undergraduate

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

Undergraduates may struggle to finish degree requirements due to factors such as poor academic self-efficacy and goal management. The cognitive rehabilitation literature has found that prospective memory (PM) skill training has improved goal attainment in older adult and brain-injured populations. Due to the ongoing brain development supporting PM in emerging adults, cognitive rehabilitation approaches also may help improve function and academic self-efficacy. Thirty-nine undergraduate students (25 female) were randomly assigned to one of two conditions: PM skills training (n = 21) or relaxation training (n = 18). PM was assessed immediately before and 2 to 14 days after intervention using self-report and performance PM measures and mood and academic self-efficacy questionnaires. PM training emphasized implementation intention, cue monitoring, and use of external aids. Larger post-intervention gains were expected in the PM condition. PM performance and academic self-efficacy measures showed significant main effects for time (p < .01). Effect sizes (ω2partial) were .12 for an updated version of the Royal Prince Albert (RPA) PM test, .21 for Self-Efficacy for Learning form, .25 for a time-based PM measure embedded in a working memory test, .37 for an event-based PM task incorporated into a semantic memory test, and .08 for a self-report measure of stress. Only the RPA showed a significant interaction between time and condition; however, this interaction reflected a decline after relaxation and stability after PM training. The interaction for the time-based PM measure approached significance (p = .07) and was in the expected direction. Self-reported PM did not show significant change. A single-session PM intervention shows promise for improving PM performance and academic self-efficacy. Self-reported PM showed no consistent effect from this intervention in the current form. Further exploration of this intervention in a long-term context is warranted.

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