Stress Management in Physical Education Class: An Experiential Approach To Improve Coping Skills and Reduce Stress Perceptions in Adolescents

in Journal of Teaching in Physical Education
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In most physical education (PE) syllabuses, promoting life skills constitutes an important educational objective. The aim of this study was to implement a coping training program (EPHECT) within regular PE and to evaluate its effects on coping and stress among vocational students. Eight classes from a vocational school were selected for study; four were allocated to the intervention group (IG) and four to the control group (CG). The study examined intervention effects between pre- and postintervention, and postintervention and 6-months follow-up. Compared with the CG, the IG showed improved coping skills from pre- to postintervention. From postintervention to follow-up, stress decreased for the IG. A path analysis suggests an indirect effect on stress perception at follow-up via improved adaptive coping skills. The findings support EPHECT as a positive contribution to the development of adaptive coping skills. The project further shows how physical educators can translate psychological theory into practice.

Lang, Feldmeth, Pühse, and Gerber are with the Department of Sport, Exercise, and Health, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland. Brand and Holsboer-Trachsler are with the Center for Affective, Stress and Sleep Disorders, Psychiatric Hospital of the University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland.

Address author correspondence to Christin Lang at christin.lang@unibas.ch.

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Journal of Teaching in Physical Education