Lila Webb

Claudia O'Guin

Maureen Babineau

Lee Maagero

THE EFFECTS OF STRESS REDUCTION ON READING COMPREHENSION
 
 

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study was to determine how yoga and time pressure would affect performance on a reading comprehension test. Twenty-five female Mount Holyoke College students of traditional and non-traditional age volunteered for the study. We hypothesized that participants who were not under time pressure and received the yoga intervention would out-perform all other groups. The yoga participants were exposed to a 15-min. instructional yoga tape, prior to taking the test. The time pressure groups had the added affect of a ticking alarm clock. All groups were given 10 min. to complete the test. A 2x2 independent groups ANOVA indicated that yoga and time pressure had no effect on how participants scored on the test.
 
 

INTRODUCTION

We live in a society where knowledge is measured by our test scores. Being able to do well on tests has become essential for students to succeed academically. An emphasis on high test scores has increased with the recent Massachusetts state requirement of the MCAST. Since test scores have become so important in determining a student's academic future (entrance to higher education), taking tests is an increasingly stressful situation. One factor that can contribute to test related anxiety is time pressure. Standardized reading tests are an example of time pressure as a stressor on the test taker.

PREVIOUS RESEARCH:

Reducing student's stress and anxiety level prior to taking a test can reduce their stress level.

THE PURPOSE OF OUR STUDY… HYPOTHESIS: * yoga /no time pressure

* non-yoga/no time pressure

* yoga/time pressure

* non-yoga/time pressure

Method

PARTICIPANTS

MATERIALS PROCEDURE
 
 
 
 

RESULTS

DISCUSSION

What did the campers do during the week?

We had a good week at the camp. The bass were biting well and the sun shone endlessly, day after day. We would be tired at night and lie down in the accumulated heat of the little bedrooms after the long hot day and the breeze would stir almost imperceptibly outside and the smell of the swamp would drift in through the rusty screens. Sleep would come easily and in the morning the red squirrel would be on the roof, tapping...

1. According to the author, why was the camping trip pleasant?

(1) The campers were tired at night.

(2) The smell of the swamp was very enjoyable.

(3) The cabin was cool and comfortable.

(4) The campers fished successfully by day and slept soundly at night.

(5) The campers could photograph squirrels and other wild animals.
 
 
 
 

Post Experiment Questionnaire

  1. On a scale of 1-10 (1 being completely relaxed and 10 being completely stressed) how would you rate your level of stress prior to the experiment?----
  2. On a scale of 1-10 (1 being completely relaxed and 10 being completely stressed) how would you rate your level of stress after the experiment?---

  3.  

     

    3. Do you practice meditation or yoga? Yes no (circle one)

  4. If yes, how often do you practice?
Once a month

Once a week

Once a day

5. Do you practice a different form of stress reduction? What?