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Theses Doctoral

The Development, Implementation, and Evaluation of a Yoga, Meditation, and Gratitude Practice Health Promotion Effort to Enhance Well-being in Women

Frost, Carolyn

Well-being is critical to fostering improved physical, mental, and emotional health among women. Regular physical activity also has significant implications for women’s health. Addressing the barriers that women experience to exercise may help improve exercise adherence and—ultimately—help to promote well-being in women.
Mind-body therapies (e.g., yoga and meditation) have long been considered health promoting efforts with a well-being emphasis. Research confirms that these therapies are generally beneficial, safe, flexible, cost-effective and accessible. In addition, gratitude has strong links to mental health and life satisfaction, and has been shown to enhance well-being and facilitate goal attainment.
There is an abundance of research on yoga, meditation and gratitude practices, though there is no program that effectively combines all three. This dissertation therefore developed, implemented, and evaluated the feasibility and effectiveness of a health promotion effort that integrates elements of yoga, meditation, and gratitude practice.
One-hundred and eleven women participated in the study (nexperimental = 56 and ncontrol = 55). Data on adherence and feasibility were collected throughout the program. Data on study outcomes (including well-being) were collected at baseline and again following completion of the program from both groups. Qualitative data were also collected to help contextualize participant experiences in the program.
The participants adhered to the yoga component of the program exceptionally well. The average participant completed 125% of the yoga classes, 86.58% of the meditations and 88.24% of the gratitude practices. Paired sample t-tests were conducted to examine pre- and post-intervention changes in well-being between and within groups. Despite the popularity and positive response to the program - 93.10% of participants in the yoga, meditation and gratitude group (YMG; n=54) reported a perceived improvement in well-being - many of the well-being findings were statistically insignificant. However, significant improvements on disposition and positive relationships were observed among the YMG group; suggesting the intervention had a significant impact on experiencing gratitude in everyday life, as well as on one’s positive assessment of personal relationships.
This study lays important groundwork for future and larger scale research to create and subsequently implement successful mind-body health promotion programs for women.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Health and Behavior Studies
Thesis Advisors
Rajan, Sonali
Degree
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
August 26, 2019
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