International Journal of Exercise Science 14(5): 1234-1246, 2021. Psychological stress is a major concern in college students and can lead to negative mental and physical health outcomes. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased psychological stress. Using exercise as a stress management technique has been shown to have a large effect in preventing and treating psychological stress. This study attempts to understand the gender differences between how using exercise as a stress management technique predicts perceived stress levels during the COVID-19 pandemic. Students completed an online survey to self-report their stress management techniques, perceived stress (PSS-10), grade point average (GPA) and demographics (age, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity). Independent samples t-tests compared each PSS-10 item for those who did/not use exercise as a stress management technique for each gender. Separate linear regression models compared perceived stress levels in those who did/not use exercise as a stress management tool for each gender. GPA, sexual orientation, and race/ethnicity were included as covariates. Data from 384 students were analyzed. Four PSS-10 items showed significant differences in women who did/not use exercise as a stress management technique. Women who used exercise as a stress management technique reported significantly lower levels of perceived stress compared to those women who did not (p < 0.05); while men showed no significant differences whether or not they used exercise as a stress management technique. University officials should recognize gender differences in stress among their students when creating programs/interventions to prevent and treat student psychological stress.
Elliott, Lucas D.; Wilson, Oliver W. A.; Holland, Kelsey; and Bopp, Melissa
"Using Exercise as a Stress Management Technique During the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Differences Between Men and Women in College,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Vol. 14
5, Pages 1234 - 1246.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijes/vol14/iss5/5