Yoga to Enhance Self Efficacy: An Intervention for At-risk Youth

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ABSTRACT:OBJECTIVE:Yoga has demonstrated effectiveness in improving self-management in a variety of disease states however little is known about the impact of yoga as a health promotion intervention for adolescent females in an urban school based environment. This pilot study was conducted to determine if yoga could improve the self-efficacy and body core tone in at-risk adolescent female participants.METHOD:A quasi-experimental design was employed, with data collection at baseline, end of program, and 1 month post-program. Fifteen participants ages 11–14 were recruited. Yoga was practiced twice weekly for eight weeks. Self-efficacy was measured using a standardized tool, the Self-Efficacy Questionnaire for Children (SEQ-C). Improvements in flexibility and core body tone were also examined. The researchers collected data on adverse childhood events using the Adverse Childhood Event (ACEs) scale.RESULTS:Fifteen participants were successfully recruited and 14 (87%) were retained through the duration of the project. Based on the small sample size, non-parametric tests were used (Freidman's test). Although there were no significant improvements in total SEQ-C, there were significant improvements in SEQ-C social subscale (p = 0.028). Significant improvements were also identified in waist circumference (p = 0.001) and in flexibility (p = 0.034).CONCLUSIONS:Participant attendance/dose did not correlate to any of the outcomes, however with the physical and emotional improvements noted, it is assumed that any level of attendance was beneficial. Improvements in the social subscale of the SEQ-C could be the result of belonging to a group and strengthening healthy relationships.HIGHLIGHTSEvidence demonstrates that the regular practice of yoga has benefits for a variety of disease states.The practice of yoga requires more investigation as a preventative self-management strategy.A yoga intervention for middle school females demonstrated significant improvements in the SEQ-C subscale.Any level of participation appeared to result in improvements in physical and mental well-being.

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