Personality Trait Predictors of Psychophysiological Changes Following Two Stress-Management Workshops in College Students
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractCollege and graduate school are periods in life often filled with challenges and transitions. Multi-component psychosocial approaches to stress management and student wellness are likely to offer the greatest benefit, while individual responses to these approaches are expected to differ. In a circumscribed analysis of the first wave of a larger randomized controlled trial, data were evaluated from 20 college-aged students (16 female, 4 male) randomly assigned to complete one of two workshops. One workshop (YES+) focused on yogic breathing and social connectedness and the other workshop (WOW!) focused on cognitive stress management techniques. Both workshops entailed 18 hours training across four consecutive days. Questionnaires regarding perceived stress and personality wre collected pre- and post-workshop, in addition to EKG data in the context of a laboratory psychosocial stress induction. While YES+ demonstrated a pre-post workshop increase in Conscientiousness scores on the Big-5 Personality Inventory, improvements on heart rate metrics related to the stress induction task were most prominently observed for WOW!. When collapsing across both groups, baseline Agreeableness was a personality predictor of intervention-related reductions in heart rate during the experimental stress task. These results have important implications for understanding benefits that may be obtained from student wellness workshops in terms of adaptive stress physiology in daily life.
Degree ProgramHonors College