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Student Self-Care in the Sciences

A Self-Care Intervention in an Undergraduate Physiological Psychology Course

Journal of College Science Teaching—Fall 2023 (Volume 52, Issue 7)

By Carly Yadon

Instructor support is associated with various positive outcomes for students. Self-care (taking care of one’s physical, mental, and emotional health) has become a mainstream concept. Self-care may be one way for students to increase wellness, particularly students enrolled in rigorous science courses. If self-care is facilitated or suggested by an instructor, it may lead to students’ feelings that they are supported by the instructor. In the study discussed in this article, 45 students enrolled in a physiological psychology course (an upper-level online course) participated in a control group section or an experimental group section that included an integrated self-care blog and supporting communication. Across both groups, a sense of classroom community and professor-student rapport were related to a variety of positive perceptions about the course and instructor. Students in the self-care section rated the course more positively across several variables, but this rating only nearly reached significance for instructor warmth. The self-care blog was easy to implement and well received by students. Integrated discussions about self-care may help students connect with their instructor and can facilitate skills that will benefit students in future semesters.
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