Using the Multi-Theory Model (MTM) of Health Behavior Change to Explain Yoga Practice

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Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine






Background • Diverse groups, including college students, are being encouraged to practice yoga. Research suggests that college students fail to attain the mental and physical benefits of yoga practice. Objetive • The purpose of this study was to utilize the fourth-generation, multi-theory model (MTM) of health behavior change to explain change regarding yoga practice of asanas, shava asana, pranayama, dhyana, yama and niyama among college students. Method • This cross-sectional study relied on a quota sample of students 18 years and older attending Jackson State University, a historically black college in Jackson, Mississippi, United States. Measures • A 36-item face and content valid instrument was used to collect data. Stepwise multiple regression was used to analyze the survey data for identifying the best possible predictors of yoga practice. A statistical significance level of 0.05 was set a priori. Results • A total of 70 participants, mean age 28.62 years (SD, 6.11), predominately female (84%) and black (87%) completed the survey. The initiation model constructs— changes in the physical environment (ß = 3.99, P = .002) and behavioral confidence (ß = 0.331, P = .008)—were significant, explaining 40% of the variability in the dependent variable. Practice change was statistically significant (F1,65 =7.569; P = .0001; adjusted R2 = 0.460) for the maintenance model, explaining 46% of the variability. Conclusion • The MTM model of health behavior change is effective for explaining the intent to initiate and maintain yoga behavior among college students.


College students; Yoga practice; Mental and physical benefits; Multi-theory model; Health behavior change


Medicine and Health Sciences | Movement and Mind-Body Therapies | Rehabilitation and Therapy



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