Innovative Practice: Does Practicing Yoga Increase the Self Efficacy of At Risk Adolescent Females

Serowoky, Mary, and Andrea Kwasky

Problem Statement: Little is known about the impact of yoga as a health promotion intervention for at risk young adolescent females in an urban environment.  The goal of this study is to improve both the physical and emotional health of a resource poor community through a interdisciplinary school based intervention.

Theoretical Framework: Teaching skills for self-management (mindfulness) can benefit adolescents in a variety of ways that can positively impact social, academic, and emotional domains. 

Methods and Design:  This pilot study will determine if a yoga intervention can improve the self-efficacy and flexibility of adolescent female participants ages 11-14.  Fifteen participants will be recruited from a public school in a large urban district.  A quasi-experimental design will be employed, with the collection of baseline and post-program measures. The participants will engage in a yoga intervention facilitated by a certified yoga instructor, twice weekly for eight weeks.

Results: The project is currently in process and will be completed in April 2016.  The planned statistical analysis will include the Wilcoxon Signed Rank test to analyze the baseline and post treatment variables of self-efficacy and flexibility. Friedman's ANOVA will be employed for analysis post-program (T1), 1 month post-program (T2) and 3 months post-program (T3).

Implications for Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing Practice: Results from this study could have abundant implications for the physical and mental health of youth who are living in resource poor environments.

Implications for Future Research: The results of this study will be utilized to inform and plan for a larger scale multi-site intervention.