ISSN : 2733-4538
In this study, we developed a brief unified, transdiagnostic intervention for subclinical anxiety and depression on the basis of the Unified Protocol for Transdiagnostic Treatment of Emotional Disorders. We then examined its effects on negative mental health variables (i.e., depression, anxiety, social anxiety, generalized anxiety, negative emotion, and stress symptoms), positive mental health variables (i.e., positive emotion and mental well-being), and emotion regulation variables (i.e., difficulties in emotion regulation, mindfulness, and psychological inflexibility) among subclinical undergraduate students with anxiety or depression symptoms. Participants were forty-three undergraduate students who met the criteria for at least a mild level of relevant symptoms on one or more of the five self-report scales, including two depression scales and three anxiety scales. The participants were divided into two groups, among which 20 from one group completed the brief unified, transdiagnostic treatment and 20 from the other group completed the psychoeducational intervention. Each intervention consisted of five semiweekly 90- or 120-minute-long sessions. Compared to the participants in the psychoeducation intervention condition, those in the brief unified, transdiagnostic intervention condition showed improvements on all of the outcome measures. These improvements were maintained at a two-week follow-up. In conclusion, these results suggest that the brief unified, transdiagnostic intervention is efficacious for promoting mental health and cultivating emotion regulation ability among subclinical undergraduate students with anxiety or depression. Lastly, the theoretical and practical implications of these findings, as well as their limitations, are discussed.