Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


College of Humanities and Social Sciences



Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Peter Vietze

Committee Member

Kate Nooner

Committee Member

Silvia Pastor


Research has shown that too much stress can be harmful to your health (Sinha, 2007). Stress can contribute to depression, weaken the immune system, increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, and also speed up the process of aging (Aldwin, 2007). Aside from improving one’s flexibility and endurance, there is evidence that regular yoga practice (i.e., an hour session, at least twice a week) can decrease one’s risk of such health-related problems by lowering stress (Smith, Hancock, Blake-Mortimer & Eckert, 2006).

The aim of the present study was to further investigate the relationship between yoga and stress. We compared two groups—a group of individuals who practice yoga (N=61) and a group of individuals who do not (N=58)—to see if they would differ on a self-report stress survey (Perceived Stress Scale, [PSS]). A one-way analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was used to see if the means of the groups on the PSS were statistically different. We found that those who practiced yoga had significantly lower scores on the PSS than those who did not practice yoga. Among those who practiced yoga, the amount of practice was not related to stress.

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Psychology Commons