Date of Award
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Education Policy, Planning, and Administration
Heather Schugar, Ph.D.
Melissa Reed, Ph.D.
Emily Duckett, Ed.D.
College students have experienced exponential increases in stress and mental health concerns that continued to rise during the global coronavirus pandemic. Yoga is a popular, well-regarded method for improving psychological wellbeing, and this study explored how students’ perceived stress improved during a semester-long introductory yoga course upon returning to in-person instruction after a period of remote learning as a result of coronavirus restrictions. This study used an explanatory sequential mixed method design to first measure perceived stress scores and then compare this data to student-reports of wellbeing. College students (n = 121) enrolled in 8 sections of Yoga 1 completed the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) during weeks 3, 7, and 11, and reported statistically significant decreases in stress between weeks 3 and 11 according to repeated measures ANOVA analysis with a significant effect for time, Wilks’ Lambda = .92, F (2, 119) = 5.02, p < .01. A stratified random sample (n = 27) of student cases were selected for qualitative analysis of reflective assignments in Dedoose using a constant comparative method. The main themes of students’ experiences were finding a sense of ease, supercharging, holding opposing forces, and preparing to tackle the day. Results from data convergence indicated that the yoga classes supported psychological wellness among college students, while divergent findings demonstrated that self-report surveys may not accurately measure the interaction of stress and coping skills. Future research is recommended to expand approaches that improve college students’ wellbeing.
Klein, Lori, "Yoga, Stress, and College Students During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Mixed Methods Study" (2022). West Chester University Doctoral Projects. 141.