Decreasing Stress and Improving Self-control With "Stress in Control" (Sync) Training

Conditions:Obesity Weight Loss
Therapuetic Areas:Endocrinology
Age Range:18 - 60
Start Date:September 2010
End Date:January 2013

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This is a study of treatment approaches aimed to improve self-control and decrease stress
and unhealthy/maladaptive behaviors such as drinking, overeating, and smoking.

High levels of stress may make it harder to maintain self-control, especially when trying to
control our unhealthy behaviors. Training on improving self control and decreasing stress
may help decrease unhealthy behaviors. The goal of this new training program will be to
decrease a subject's unhealthy behavior by helping them better manage their stress and
improve their self control over unhealthy habits.

This study proposes to pilot a mindfulness based affect-regulation treatment approach to
improve self-control and physiological and biochemical indicators of stress, as well as
decrease unhealthy/maladaptive behaviors such as drinking, overeating, and smoking. The
broad aims of the treatment approach will be to teach participants to (1) observe and
increase awareness of cognitive, affective, bodily sensations/expressions and action-urge
components of emotional/compulsion experiences; and (2) develop alternate affective,
behavioral and cognitive coping strategies in managing and regulating affect/urge
experiences. It is hoped that the findings from this study will aid in the further
development of treatment and prevention programs targeting stress reduction and coping to
improve control over maladaptive behaviors and decrease physical and mental health symptoms.


1. Develop a mindfulness based affect-regulation therapy manual, and training materials to
train therapists on a treatment approach aimed at improving self-control over unhealthy
addictive behaviors.

2. Develop and implement "Stress in Control" (SynC) training competence and adherence
rating scales;

3. Conduct a preliminary study using the SynC manual, which will evaluate the
effectiveness and feasibility of SynC in comparison to a Primary Care Treatment Control
Group and a Historical Control Group approach for 100 individuals interested in help in
decreasing targeted unhealthy behaviors. Primary outcomes will be a reduction in
unhealthy problem behaviors, and secondary outcomes will be decrease in measures of
stress, and increases in emotion regulation and self control.

4. (secondary aim) Collect baseline data on measures of self control, mood, coping,
personality, cognitive functioning, acute and chronic stress, and mental and physical
health on a large sample of subjects seeking help in decreasing unhealthy behaviors.

Inclusion Criteria:

1. Between ages 18-60 years;

2. Able to read and write;

3. Interested in treatment aimed at gaining greater control over an unhealthy,
maladaptive behavior

Exclusion Criteria:

1. Any psychotic disorder or current psychiatric symptoms requiring specific attention,
including active symptoms of psychosis or suicidal/homicidal ideation

2. Pregnant women will be excluded.

3. Inability to give informed consent

4. Traumatic brain injury or loss of consciousness

5. Medical problems requiring immediate attention
We found this trial at
New Haven, Connecticut 6520
(203) 432-4771
Yale University Yale's roots can be traced back to the 1640s, when colonial clergymen led...
New Haven, CT
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