A study of yoga therapy to increase attention in preschool students, Rich, N. (2010)

Registered with the Library of Congress – TX 6-716-065

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There are important gaps in research regarding how and to what extent yoga therapy can be integrated into the preschool curriculum to help young students develop their attention spans.This study was an attempt to determine the impact of yoga therapy on the development of behaviors that are related to the regulation of emotions in preschool students.

John Locke’s theory of environmentalism and Heinz Werner’s theory of physiognomic perception provided the theoretical framework for this study, in the sense that these theories suggest that children require focused attention on their physical health and sensory input. The study involved 49 preschool students, aged 3–6 years, from two suburban integrated preschool settings. Participants took part in 20-minute yoga sessions led by a Certified Yoga Teacher 2 days per week for a total of 4 weeks.

A one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and a paired-samples t test were utilized to examine the results of Conners’ Teacher Rating Scales—Revised: Short Version to determine the impact of yoga therapy on the attention span of preschool students. Data were examined for male versus female preschool students as well as for the total population of students. The findings of the study proved that overall, exposure to yoga did not have an impact on the attention of the preschool students.

However, posttest scores for a subtest proved that females demonstrated increased attention at the conclusion of the study. Further research should be conducted on yoga for preschool students that would examine behaviors throughout the course of an academic year to gain more insight into the rate of development as it corresponds to all other variables that impact students in an integrated setting.

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