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Katie Grein '13 presents her SMP

Check out the database of past PsycSMP abstracts

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Julie Gunther

Gunther, Julie (2010, May). The effects of physical activity and yoga on perceived stress and health in a college setting.
Mentor: Dr. Janet Kosarych-Coy


The present study comprised of 232 participants who were currently students attending St. Mary’s College of Maryland. In order to further research on the beneficial aspects of physical activity and specifically yoga, the current study was conducted. Participants completed an online questionnaire that included sections on activity participation time (amount of time spent participating in physical activity or yoga), motivating factors and reasons for participation, subjective health effects and stress, which was measured using the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) and open-ended responses. Although I discovered no differences between the PSS scores of the yoga and non-yoga/physical activity groups, qualitative data showed significant differences in the amount of times participants used stress as a reason for participation or stated stress as a subjective health effect, χ2 (1, N = 231) = 8.426, p <.005 and χ2 (1, N = 231) = 14.919, p < .001, respectively. Since both methods of measurement allowed for subjective ratings or responses, opposing results were obtained, from which no distinct or withstanding conclusions can be drawn about the association between different types of physical activity and stress. Researchers should continue to study this relationship between physical activity and stress to determine if one form of physical activity is more beneficial than another.


Read the paper (download the pdf)