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A Comparison of Dance/Movement Therapy and Cardiovascular Training on Cortisol Awakening Response in the Elderly


A Comparison of Dance/Movement Therapy and Cardiovascular Training on Cortisol Awakening Response in the Elderly

Vrinceanu, Tudor (2017) A Comparison of Dance/Movement Therapy and Cardiovascular Training on Cortisol Awakening Response in the Elderly. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Aging is associated with numerous chronic conditions as well as an increased stress response. The present study looks at the effects of Dance/Movement Therapy (DMT) on chronic stress (measured by the cortisol awakening response – CAR) in older adults. Healthy older adults (n = 40) aged 60 and over (M=67.45, SD=5.3) were randomized into three groups: DMT (n=12), Aerobic Training (AT; n=14), and Waiting List (WL; n=14). DMT defined as “the psychotherapeutic use of movement to promote emotional, social, cognitive and physical integration of the individual” (ADTA, 2017), was comprised of exercises including gross motor skills, body awareness, and socialization. The AT consisted of high intensity activity on a recumbent bicycle. Both training groups were supervised by a licensed instructor and met three times a week for three months. Participants of all groups provided, before and after their respective program, saliva samples on three days at 0, 30 and 60-minutes after awakening, and had their fitness level evaluated. A group x time interaction was found (F(2,35)=5.256, p=.01, η2partial=.231), with the DMT group showing lower salivary cortisol values post-training, while the other two groups showed no change from baseline in their CAR. Maximal aerobic power improved only in the AT group, while DMT showed no group-specific physical functioning improvements. The results are further discussed in terms of physical and psychological mechanisms that could explain the change in cortisol.

Keywords: dance/movement therapy, cortisol, aerobic training, stress, older adults

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science
Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Psychology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Vrinceanu, Tudor
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Date:31 June 2017
Thesis Supervisor(s):Bherer, Louis
Keywords:dance/movement therapy, cortisol, aerobic training, stress, older adults
ID Code:982901
Deposited On:10 Nov 2017 14:20
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:56


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