Within Acceptance and Commitment Therapy(ACT)，pychological fexibility is conceptualized as a product of six distinct but interrelated sub-processes: acceptance; defusion; self as context; being present; valuing; and committed action. Extant ACT process measures are are typically circumscribed in their focus, and limited to particular theoretical sub-processes or contexts of application. Therefore, Conceptual questions therefore remain regarding how best to operationalize and measure core ACT processes. First of all, we describe the development of a new comprehensive measure of ACT processes (the CompACT) and explore the measure’s factor structure, validity and reliability and so as to provide a stable and psychometrically sound instrument in studies of experiential avoidance, psychological flexibility and ACT in China. Consistent with ACT theory, psychological flexibility has been found to mediate important therapeutic outcomes, with higher levels of psychological flexibility being associated with lower levels of psychological distress and improved quality of life. In order to provide evidence that psychological flexibility can serve as a functional diagnostic dimension, which is beneficial tothe treatment, then the study is to further explore the effect of psychological flexibility on indicators of pychological status with job stress in work place. In the end, this study investigate whether ACT can improve the psychological flexibility among staff working in financial institutions.
This study is composed of three sub-studies.Study 1 is reliability and validity of CompACT in staff working in financial institution. In total, candidates were collected from stuff working in financial institutions, and 3735 valid questionnaires were obtained. SPSS22.0 and AMOS21.0 were applied to analyze the data. Extremes elimination was applied before dividing all cases into two groups randomly. One group(n=1873) was conducted exploratory factor analysis(EFA) with principal components analysis(PCA), another group(n=1845) was conducted confirmatory factor analysis(CFA) with maximum likelihood. Criterion and convergent validity were tested by pearson correlation respectively. Incremental validity was tested by hierarchical regression. Study 2 is about the role of psychological flexibility in relationship of occupational stress and psychological states of staff working in financial institutions. Sample of study 1 were measured additonally with Job Stressor Questionaire，Maslach Burnout Inventory-General Survey, Job Satisfaction Index, Satisfaction with Life Scale and Psychological Capital Questionare.Spss version 22.0 was used for conducting descriptive statistics and Pearson's correlation. AMOS version 21.0 was uesd for testing the fits of mixed path analysis model, before bias-corrected nonparametric percentile bootstrap method was conducted for test the mediating effect of psychological flexibility. Study 3 is a plot study of invention for psychological flexibility. Participants were assessed at pretest, posttest using the CompACT within one-group pretest-posttest design.
In study 1, an EFA suggested a theoretically-coherent three-factor structure for a 15-itemed version of the CompACT. Three-factor solution explained 73.75% of the total variance, and factor loadings ranged between 0.67 to 0.90. An CFA confirmed the hypothesized three-factor mode (2/df=5.91，CFI=0.95，TLI=0.98，RMSEA=0.05). The CompACT demonstrated good internal consistency(Cronbach a=0.87), and converged and diverged in theory-consistent ways with other measured variables: higher levels of psychological flexibility were associated with higher levels of mental health and lower levels of distress. The CompACT also showed incremental validity beyond AAQ-Ⅱ in explaining depression, anxiety and stress.In Study 2, the working stress, psychological flexibility and mental state of the staff working in the financial institutions were different at gender, age, job position level and institution level respectively. Levels of Psychological flexibility were significantly positive with levels of mental health, job satisfaction, life satisfaction and psychological capital, and significantly negative with levels of occupational burnout and depression-anxiety- stress. The absolute value of all correlation coefficients between psychological flexibility with them ranged from 0.26 to 0.66. An mixed path analysis model demonstrated that psychological flexibility mediated the relationship between occupational stress among occupational burnout, depression-anxiety-stress, mental health, satisfaction and psychological capital. The mediating effect varied from 0.20 to 0.51. In Study 3, Participants who had took part in the ACT training showed significant improvement in psychological flexibility.
The conclusions are as follows:
i. First, the Chinese version of CompACT has acceptable psychometric properties in financial practitioner. CompACT can be applied in studies of psychological flexibility and ACT in China.
ii. In these financial institutution, the sample of women, municipal degree institutions or leading positions of the work pressure is relatively lower than other respectively, and the psychological state is relatively well also. Comparing with other age groups, 35-50 year-old respondents has maximum pressure, and mental state is also poorer.
iii. Psychological flexibility were significantly positive with levels of mental health, job satisfaction, life satisfaction and psychological capital, and significantly negative with occupational burnout and depression-anxiety-stress.
iv. Not only can job stress affects psychological states，but also influences them via psychological flexibility.
v. Psychological flexibility can serve as a functional diagnostic dimension for occupational mental health.
vi. Acceptance and commitment therapy can improve the psychological
flexibility of financial institution staff.