The Effect of Progressive Muscle Relaxation on Perceived Stress and Cognitive Avoidance among University Students

Hojat Hossein-oghli, Mohammad-Reza Esmaeili, Farshad Tojari



Background and Objectives: Progressive muscle relaxation is a method designed to reduce stress and anxiety, and it can help to reduce perceived stress and cognitive avoidance. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of progressive muscle relaxation on perceived stress and cognitive avoidance among university students.

Method and Materials: This semi-experimental study with pre-test and post-test design and control group was conducted with participation of 60 physical education students of Islamic Azad University in the second semester of the academic year 2016-2017. Participants were selected using simple random sampling method. Data were collected via perceived stress questionnaire and cognitive avoidance scale and analyzed via analysis of covariance by SPSS-22 software.

Results: The mean (SD) age of the experimental group was 24.1 (3.8) and 24.5 (4.1) for the control group. The mean (SD) perceived stress score was 81.6 (2.8) in the experimental group, which decreased to 65.7 (3.1) in the post-test (P<0.001); however, the variation of the score was not significant for the control group. The mean (SD) cognitive avoidance score of the experimental group was 44.8 (4.2), which decreased to 32.4 (5.3) in the post-test (P<0.001) ); however, the variation of the score was not significant for the control group.

Conclusion: The study showed that progressive muscle relaxation training could reduce the perceived stress and cognitive avoidance among physical education students.



Muscle relaxation, Stress, Cognition, Students

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