A School-Based Health Promotion Program: A Group Physical Activity Intervention and Peer Support for College Students Experiencing a High Degree of Stress

Wednesday, 9 July 2008
Pei-Lin Hsieh, MSc, PhD , School of Nursing, Chang Gung Institute of Technology, Tao-Yuan, Taiwan

Learning Objective 1: realize a school-based education program intervention to manage students’ stress.

Learning Objective 2: effective health promotion counseling.

Stress in young people is recognized as a major concern. Recent studies have identified that high degree of stress is significantly associated with suicide attempts. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among teenagers in Taiwan. Evidence indicates that school-based education program interventions, such as relaxation techniques and health promotion counseling are significantly associated with health-enhancing behavior and degree of stress. Thus, stress prevention is a priority in schools. The purpose of this study was to evaluate a six month school-based intervention. This study design included group activity and peer support into the health promotion counseling programs. The 70 college students were divided into two groups, experimental (n=35) and control groups (n=35). Quantitative data were analyzed using descriptive, independent t test, correlation, and repeated measurement with SPSS 12.0 Statistical Package for Windows. Content analysis was used to analyze qualitative data. Results revealed that the level of stress had been statistically decreased in the experimental group. The results suggested that students who participated in the intervention, experienced less stress than those who had not participated. Also, it was found that the program assisted the development of positive attitudes towards health promotion counseling. This study may assist educators to develop an effective educational intervention program to manage students' stress. It is also likely that the intervention will assist students to develop their own coping strategies.