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Adjustment to conditions surrounding the first year of studies in tertiary education can be highly stressful. Because of the pertinent challenges, University freshmen evidently run risks for developing mental and physical ailments probably undermining their entire wellbeing. Aims: This study evaluates effects of two preventive or/and corrective intervention methods dealing with their difficulties. Sample: Freshmen (N=60). Methods: In a parallel quasi-experimental design the above freshmen were randomly sub-grouped for attending to 8 consecutive weekly sessions of either Pythagorean Self-Awareness Intervention (PSAI) or Stress Management Techniques Intervention (SMTI). Several self-report measures were administered at pre- and post-intervention phases. Assessment included various factors: (a) psychological: stress, anxiety, depression, anger, emotionality, (b) physiological: Body-Mass-Index (BMI) via engaging in healthy habits, lifestyle, sleep, (c) basic cognitive: visuospatial memory, verbal learning and (d) complex mental: fatigue-vs-coherence, speed processing, self-efficacy. Results: Significant post-intervention improvements were noted for most dimensions, irrespective of group allocation. SMTI was superior to PSAI for reducing BMI and improving basic cognitive features, whereas PSAI was superior for improving psychological and complex mental processes. Conclusions: Results are encouraging to suggest these interventions be introduced in academic settings as effective meta-cognitive multifaceted procedures for stress management, to help students become more successful in their personal as well as academic lives.
Article DOI : 10.5958/2347-6869.2017.00012.7
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