Start Date

8-5-2020 12:00 AM

Document Type

Poster Session

Department

Social Work

Advisor

Caroline Shanti, PhD

Abstract

College students often endure high levels of stress while completing their coursework. This can negatively impact their mental and physical health, resulting in problems including high blood pressure, heart disease, anxiety, and depression. Most public universities offer inadequate, inaccessible services to support the needs of their students due to factors including a lack of funding, low space, and staffing issues. Yoga is a practice that involves linking the breath to movement, and previous studies suggest that it can be instrumental in managing stress. This mixed-methods study sought to understand yoga’s impact on stress management. Participants were college students (N=8) ages 18-40 years who were recruited using purposive, convenience sampling and enrolled in a bachelor's-level yoga class at the University of Southern Maine during the time of this study. Subjects completed two online questionnaires--a pre-test (N=8) and a post-test (N=2)--that consisted of scale and short-answer questions. Data was analyzed using SPSS and thematic analysis. Three major themes were drawn from the data, including how students define stress management, types of stress-management activities, and the benefits of a regular yoga practice. Due to limitations including small sample size, attrition, and poor generalizability, no statistically significant conclusions were drawn. Further research is required to determine the effectiveness of yoga at managing stress. Implications of this pilot study include yoga as a low-cost, alternative method of stress prevention and management for universities to consider implementing on campus.

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May 8th, 12:00 AM

How Stress Affects College Students And How Yoga May Help

College students often endure high levels of stress while completing their coursework. This can negatively impact their mental and physical health, resulting in problems including high blood pressure, heart disease, anxiety, and depression. Most public universities offer inadequate, inaccessible services to support the needs of their students due to factors including a lack of funding, low space, and staffing issues. Yoga is a practice that involves linking the breath to movement, and previous studies suggest that it can be instrumental in managing stress. This mixed-methods study sought to understand yoga’s impact on stress management. Participants were college students (N=8) ages 18-40 years who were recruited using purposive, convenience sampling and enrolled in a bachelor's-level yoga class at the University of Southern Maine during the time of this study. Subjects completed two online questionnaires--a pre-test (N=8) and a post-test (N=2)--that consisted of scale and short-answer questions. Data was analyzed using SPSS and thematic analysis. Three major themes were drawn from the data, including how students define stress management, types of stress-management activities, and the benefits of a regular yoga practice. Due to limitations including small sample size, attrition, and poor generalizability, no statistically significant conclusions were drawn. Further research is required to determine the effectiveness of yoga at managing stress. Implications of this pilot study include yoga as a low-cost, alternative method of stress prevention and management for universities to consider implementing on campus.

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