Y Yao
J Fanning


Yuechun Yao, Jason Fanning. Wake Forest University, Winston Salem, NC.

Background: College students encounter new and powerful stressors, predisposing them to a lifetime of poor health and unhealthy behaviors; thus, finding low-impact and attainable methods of stress management is of high importance for this population. The purpose of this study is to examine the impact on stress of a single bout of three potential stress intervention components—yoga, progressive muscle relaxation (PMR), and deep breathing technique (DBT)—delivered alone and in combination. Methods: A 30-minute stress reduction intervention session was conducted for 40 undergraduate college students who were randomized to one of 8 combinations of yoga (yes or no), PMR (yes or no), and/or DBT (yes or no). Participants self-reported stress via the perceived stress scale (PSS), and positive and negative affect via the positive and negative affect schedule (PANAS) before and following the session. We investigated component main effects and interactions via ANCOVA, controlling for pre-session stress or affect. Result: Participants were 20.6 ± 1.19 years of age on average, and 70% were female. Regarding PSS, an ANCOVA controlling for baseline PSS revealed a significant yoga x PMR interaction (F=4.67, p=0.04, η2=0.14), and an investigation of interaction plots revealed that the combination of yoga and PMR resulted in the lowest stress levels compared to all other combinations. Regarding positive affect, the ANCOVA controlling for baseline positive affect revealed an approached significant yoga x DBT interaction (F=3.76, p=0.06, η2=0.12) such that the combination of yoga and DBT resulted in the highest positive affect compared to all other combinations. Conclusions: These results support the value of a single session of yoga in combination with either PMR and/or DBE for enhancing recovery from stress and positive mood in college students. Grant or funding information: Wake Forest Research Fellowships.

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