Date of Award

8-2010

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major

Recreation and Leisure Studies

Major Professor

Steven L. Waller

Committee Members

Dawn P. Coe, Eugene C. Fitzhugh, Steven L. Waller

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of two models, namely an adaptable wellness programming model and an action research model, when creating and administering a stress management initiative for campus recreation settings that will have a positive effect on freshmen participants at the University of Tennessee. Eight freshmen from the University of Tennessee (6 females, 2 males) volunteered to complete a five week stress management initiative entitled the FROSH! (FResh Out of Stress, & Healthy!) Program which was based upon action research methodology. Program participants completed an exit interview and exit interview questionnaire after the program to determine if their levels of perceived stress had changed and to measure the effect that the program had on each individual. The Perceived Stress Scale was also administered before and after the program to detect any changes in perceived stress levels that participants experienced, but the sample size was too small to detect any significant changes in perceived stress levels. E. T. Stringer’s Categorizing and Coding procedure was used to decode responses from all meetings as well as from the exit interviews. Results indicate that the FROSH! Program was rewarding in various ways for participants, and 86% of participants said that their stress levels had lowered by the conclusion of the program. All participants thought that setting weekly goals was helpful in lowering their stress levels. Furthermore, the revised adaptable program model was perceived to be successful in creating the stress management initiative. It is recommended to increase the number of participants for future programs, and also to test the success of such action research-based wellness programs in campus recreation centers.

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