The Effects of Self-Care on Undergraduate Stress
Keywords:undergraduate research, stress, self-care, student health, cross-lagged panel analysis
Previous research shows that excessive stress can have a significant, negative effect on one’s overall cognitive efficiency and that stress is negatively correlated with self-care routines. The present research builds upon this body of knowledge by gathering data from an undergraduate sample (N = 200) with 44 males and 156 females (MAge = 21.22). Participants’ stress and self-care practices were measured at weeks 3, 6, 9, 12, and 15 of their semester using the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale and the Mindful Self-Care Scale. We hypothesized that increased stress would result in decreased self-care practices and that predisposed self-care at time 1 could be used to predict stress levels at times 3 and 5. A cross-lagged panel analysis supported this hypothesis, indicating simultaneously that self-care was significantly correlated with stress and that the two factors were significantly predictive of one another at later time points.