Effectiveness of a College-Level Self-Management Course on Successful Behavior Change

Studies have shown that college-level self-management (SM) courses, which typically require students to complete an individual project as part of the course, can be an effective method for promoting successful self-change (i.e., targeted behavioral change). However, only a handful of studies have focused on and investigated the intensity of the SM component required for successfully changing a target behavior. The purpose of this study was to (a) examine the effectiveness of a SM course in improving a target behavior within a college setting, (b) determine the level of SM course intensity necessary for successful behavioral change, and (c) identify the characteristics of successful self-managers in terms of strategy use. A total of 84 college students were enrolled in a high-intensity SM course, low-intensity SM course, or non-SM course (i.e., control group). Self-report questionnaires were administered at the beginning and end of the courses. Results showed that only the high-intensity SM course was effective for successful behavioral change and helped increase certain psychosocial characteristics (e.g., internal locus of control, expectancy of success). Overall, successful self-managers used significantly more SM strategies than participants who were unable to meet their behavioral goals. Implications and limitations are also discussed.

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