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Publication

Perceived stress levels and health promoting behaviors among NAIA and NCAA Division I student athletes

Divin, Amanda Leigh
Abstract
Scope and Method of Study: The purpose of this study was to assess perceived stress levels and health promoting behaviors among collegiate student athletes. The relationship between stress and health promoting behaviors was also examined, as well as if differences in this relationship existed based on gender and/or level of intercollegiate competition. Fifty three student athletes competing at a NAIA institution and 45 student athletes competing at a NCAA Division I institution completed the Perceived Stress Scale, The Inventory of College Students' Recent Life Experiences, and the Health Promoting Lifestyle Profile II.
Findings and Conclusions: All student athletes reported moderate levels of perceived stress and a typical level of wellness. A significant negative relationship existed between stress and health promoting behaviors, supporting the idea that stress contributes to pathological states through changes in one's health behavior. The amount of variance in health promoting behaviors accounted for by stress was different based on level of competition, suggesting that stress affects health promoting behaviors differently in the two levels of competition. Results from a MANOVA indicate that differences exist in stress and health promoting behaviors across gender and level of competition, but not the combination of the two. Post hoc analysis showed that participants at the NAIA institution reported significantly more stress than those at the NCAA Division I institution, and that females reported more health promoting behaviors than males. These results suggest that differences in the relationship between stress and health promoting behaviors which exist between genders operate independently from differences which exist in level of competition. Further research examining stress, health promoting behaviors, and the relationship in between should be performed to further clarify how, if, and why these variables relate, and possibly change, across time and type of participant.
Date
2009-07