Effectiveness of group counseling sessions aimed at alleviating examination stress among junior high school students

Tzu Yang Chao, Yao Ting Sung, Hui Ning Kuo, Ying Ying Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


For adolescents, examination stress is a widespread and universal phenomenon, and how to alleviate Examination Stress is also an important issue. The purpose of this present study is two-fold: Based on the Examination Stress Framework, to set up group counseling sessions to help junior high school students alleviate examination stress, and to inspect whether the group counseling sessions are effective for ninth-grade students who experiencing high levels of examination stress. The parallel mixed method research design was used in this present study, by conducting both quantitative and qualitative methods. In regard to the quantitative method, we used the single-group-pretest-posttest design. The Examination Stress Scale (ExamSS) was used to measure the level of examination stress of ninth graders at a public junior high school in Taipei. According to the results, we then recruited 25 students experiencing high examination stress, and divided these students into four counseling groups. Each group underwent six counseling group sessions, after which the ExamSS was re-administered in order to determine whether there had been any decline in levels of examination stress. In regard to the qualitative method, in the other hand, we also interviewed six students after the counseling group sessions, to conduct qualitative content analysis to explore the possible benefits of the group counseling sessions. The quantitative result indicates that there is a significant reduction in levels of examination stress after the six counseling sessions. The qualitative result also indicates that benefits of group counseling sessions may be classified into “mitigation of physiological anxiety”, “emotional release”, “change of perspective”, and “learning how to deal with stress and other problems”. On the basis of these results, the present study provides theory- and practice-based recommendations about the group counseling sessions for examination stress, hoping that educational policy can be used to provide counselling programs in schools where it is needed so as to effectively reduce examination stress among adolescents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-52
Number of pages22
JournalBulletin of Educational Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2018


  • Adolescents
  • Examination Stress Scale
  • Examination stress
  • Group counseling session
  • Mixed method


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