Cognitive restructuring is an important skill in managing anxiety. Many adolescents find this skill difficult outside of the therapy context. Recognizing this, we developed the Build Your Own Theme Song © (BYOTS ©) app to teach a musical version of cognitive restructuring. In this poster, we report preliminary data on the effectiveness of app. Participants were 27 inner city Black 7th and 8th grade girls. Data from the BYOTS© App was collected for two weeks one week with Push alerts and one week without push alerts. Results indicated that anxiety level had been reduced and the App was effective in helping girls manage their anxiety.
Feasibility and Effectiveness of a Musical Cognitive Restructuring App for Black Middle School Girls03/21/2017
Increasingly, mobile applications are becoming a useful tool in behavioral health interventions. Whereas a number of tools have been developed for use with adult populations, apps specifically designed for youth and minority populations are sorely lacking. In this study we examine the feasibility and effectiveness of a musical cognitive restructuring app to assist Black adolescent girls in managing their negative thoughts. We hypothesized that girls would like the idea of an app, find it helpful to reduce anxiety, and use it on a daily basis to manage negative thoughts. Eighty-eight girls were enrolled in the Sisters United Now (S.U.N.) anxiety intervention. As part of the intervention, girls were introduced and taught to use the SUN app. Girls’ belief about the app prior to, during, and after using the app were assessed. Data was analyzed both quantitatively (X2) and qualitatively (open-coding). Quantitative data indicated girls were excited to use the app, enjoyed recording their theme song, and believed the app would help with anxiety. Both quantitative and qualitative results indicated the initial app was feasible.
However, data indicated effectiveness would be enhanced by the following:
1. Expanding app capabilities beyond musical cognitive restructuring
2. Development of an app that could be placed on girls’ smart phone
3. Development of an internal social media presence
4. Integration of the app with all sessions of the SUN program
Based on this information, the app was upgraded. Effectiveness and feasibility of the upgraded version is currently being assessed.
The Acting White Accusation is one of the most negative accusations an African-American adolescent can receive from one another. This accusation is typically put on African-Americans whenever they engage in behaviors that are deemed “white”. These behaviors range from speaking proper English, dressing preppy, or even placing value into academia. In hopes to further understand the relationship between The Acting White Accusation and perceived stress levels, our lab administered two separate assessments to approximately 81 female African-American adolescents. Our first assessment was a perceived stress measure which had both quantitative and qualitative components. The second assessment tested for bother intensity due to The Acting White Accusation. We hypothesized that girls who were more bothered by the accusation would have higher perceived stress. We also hypothesized that our inner-city students would report higher levels of perceived stress compared to our diverse school. A bivariate correlation was performed. Results indicated a positive correlation between the two measures (r=0.369 and p=0.035 r2=0.13). We also examined differences in perceived stress amongst sites. A t-test was performed and results indicated higher amounts of reported perceived stress amongst the diverse school compared to the inner city middle school. (t=-2.252 and p=0.027). Considering this site has a vast amount of diversity among race and socioeconomic status, it poses the question as to whether the Acting White Accusation could have an influence on these elevated stress levels. The findings of implications for education around The Acting White Accusation in schools are discussed.