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Keywords:

  • stress;
  • Tai Chi;
  • junior secondary school students

Abstract

Stress is common in junior secondary school students (JSSS). This study aimed to determine the feasibility and effectiveness of a Chen-style Tai Chi programme for stress reduction in JSSS. A non-equivalent pre-test/post-test control group design was adopted, and a convenience sample of 69 JSSS was recruited. The experimental group (n = 32) joined a Chen-style Tai Chi programme, which included 10 sessions of 80-minute Tai Chi training (one session per week). The control group (n = 37) proceeded with self-study. Participants' stress levels were assessed using the Perceived Stress Scale. Feasibility was determined as the percentage of participants completing and attending the programme. Effectiveness was measured as the significant difference in changes in stress levels before and after the intervention between the two groups. Results preliminarily supported that the programme was feasible for JSSS. Completion rate was 100%, and attendance rate was 90%. However, no significant difference was noted in changes in stress levels before and after the intervention between the two groups. The potential health benefits of Tai Chi could not be detected owing to the restrictions imposed by the research setting and study limitations. The present study represents initial efforts in this direction and serves as reference for future study. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.