Previous literature has shown that stress and happiness are related in various ways, and both variables have been also related to physical activity (PA) practice. The objective of the present study was to test the role of PA in the decrement of stress and increment of happiness, and additionally to test its mediator role in the relationship between the two aforementioned variables. Concretely, the following hypotheses were tested: 1) the perceived stress (with or without control of the stressful situation) and the authentic happiness differ across different levels of PA; 2) subjects with higher practice of PA will show higher perceived control and lower loss of control in stressful situations; 3) subjects with higher practice of PA will show higher authentic happiness; and 4) the relationship between perceived stress (with or without control of the stressful situation) and authentic happiness is mediated by PA. Participants were 938 undergraduate students from different careers, with an age range from 17 to 51 years (M = 20.25, SD = 3.34), 521 women and 417 men. Regarding physical activity (PA) practice: 15.1% does not to do any activity; 19.7% does an irregular PA; 28% does moderate PA (2hrs / week); and 37.1% does intense PA (20min/day, 5 times/week). Participants answered the PSS (Cohen, Kamarck, y Mermelstein, 1983) and the AHI (Shepherd, Oliver, y Schofield, 2015). We used descriptive analysis, ANOVAs and mediated regression models to test the hypotheses. Results showed that perceived stress (with or without control of the stressful situation) and authentic happiness differ significantly across PA levels. Concretely, higher level of PA practices was related to higher perception of control in a stressful situation and to higher authentic happiness; otherwise, the lower the PA practice, the greater the perception of being overwhelmed by a stressful situation. Finally, the level of physical activity mediated the relationship between perceived stress (with and without control of the stressful situation) and authentic happiness. Based on these results, we concluded that PA helps to perceive less stress in demanding situations, thus promoting psychological well-being.
|Translated title of the contribution||Perceived stress and authentic happiness through the level of physical activity in young university students|
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Cuadernos de Psicologia del Deporte|
|Publication status||Published - 1 May 2020|
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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Psychology