EFFECTS OF RATIONAL EMOTIVE BEHAVIOURAL THERAPY ON THE LEVEL OF GENERAL AND EXAMINATION ANXIETIES
An abundance of research has shown that large transactional distance between geographically dispersed learners and supporting staff in Open and Distance learning institutions contribute to students’ feelings of isolation, low self efficacy and reduced level of motivation which culminates to poor academic performance. This study, therefore, examined the impact of Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT) in fostering self-efficacy amongst academically at-risk learners in National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN). A pre-test and post-test control group quasi experimental design with 2x2x2x2 factorial matrix was adopted for the study. Stratified random and Probability Proportional to Size sampling techniques (PPS) were used to draw one hundred and thirty-five respondents (Males=68; Females=67) with age range of between 22 and 51 years ( x =16.17; SD=1.01) from first-year NOUN undergraduates in South West geopolitical zone of Nigeria.
The experimental group was treated with nine sessions of one and half hour using REBT, while the control group was not treated. General SelfEfficacy (GSE) scale (r=0.81) was the outcome measure. Analysis of Covariance and t-test for independent samples were used to test the four null hypotheses at 0.05 alphas. The findings revealed that REBT was effective in fostering self-efficacy in the treated group (F (1,130) = 54.11, P <0.05 when compared with their counterpart in the control group. Males have superior treatment gains ( x =40.11) over the female participants ( x =33.03). Participants educational level and age significantly influenced study outcomes (t=25.55; df=133, P=3.14, <0.05) and (t=4.64; df=133, P=1.77, <.05). The outcome of this study provided insight into the viability and potential of REBT in fostering self-efficacy in academically – at-risk learners. Based on the findings, it is recommended that Students Counsellors should continuously update their skills on the use of REBT and other psychological intervention in order to assist NOUN students become self actualized academically.