Just Keep Breathing:Predicting Biofeedback-Training Stress Reduction Through Proactive and Reactive

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Proactive aggression is coercive, deliberate and related to low arousal. Reactive aggression is fear-induced, impulsive, responsive behaviour due to processing and encoding stimuli as more arousing than normal. With relaxation treatment components possessing large effect sizes in anger and aggression treatment, it is important whether the distinction between proactive and reactive aggression with corresponding distinctions in arousal during stressful situations changes the efficacy of relaxation training. Thus, this study ascertained using 22 students to what extent the degree of proactive and reactive aggression – measured with the Reactive Proactive Questionnaire – of an individual predict the efficacy of a 4-session biofeedback virtual reality training in reducing heightened arousal – measured by skin conductance, heartbeat per minute and the Physical Arousal Questionnaire – during a stressful event – being the Trier Social Stress Task – including interoceptive awareness as possible mediator. Results indicates those with higher reactive aggression are worse in reducing physiological arousal using a relaxation training, and there is a disparity with interoceptive awareness, self-regulation reducing psychological arousal, and body listening reducing physiological arousal. It shows those with reactive aggression either need more guidance to implement the relaxation, or other training-techniques in reducing arousal might have more effect, for which further research is required. Keywords: Proactive, reactive, aggression, biofeedback, relaxation
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