Indian Journal of Social Psychiatry

: 2018  |  Volume : 34  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 48--51

Effect of yoga on positive–Negative affect and self-esteem on tribal male adolescents- A randomized control study

Rema Mohan, Sony Kumari 
 Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana, Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sony Kumari
Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana (SVYASA University), Eknath Bhavan, Gavipuram Circle, Kempegowda nagar, Bangalore, Karnataka


Aim: Effect of yoga on positive–negative affectivity and self-esteem in tribal adolescents. Material and Methods: This is a pilot randomized control study. Several chits were made in which the name of all the available students was written. The youngest boy from the group selected 30 chits for yoga group and the remaining students were included in the control group. The yoga group included 30 male adolescents between the age of 10 years and 18 years (M = 14.4, SD = 3.51). Control group included 25 male adolescents between the age of 10 years and 18 years (M = 13.3, SD = 1.90). PANAS-C and Rosenberg self-esteem scales were used to measure the positive–negative affectivity and self-esteem, respectively. Data was collected before and after interventions. Results: Study shows significant increase in positive affect (P = 0.008) and negative affect (P = 0.047) in experimental group as compared to control group's positive affect (P = 0.468) and negative affect (P = 0.156). Self-esteem in experimental group slightly reduced (P = 0.927). Similarly, self-esteem in control group reduced (P = 0.019). Conclusion: Study suggests that two weeks of yoga practice has a significant impact on positive-negative affect in tribal adolescents.

How to cite this article:
Mohan R, Kumari S. Effect of yoga on positive–Negative affect and self-esteem on tribal male adolescents- A randomized control study.Indian J Soc Psychiatry 2018;34:48-51

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Mohan R, Kumari S. Effect of yoga on positive–Negative affect and self-esteem on tribal male adolescents- A randomized control study. Indian J Soc Psychiatry [serial online] 2018 [cited 2019 Aug 24 ];34:48-51
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Adolescence is a period of physical and psychological development which is overruled by emotions. The adolescents may have been suffering from emotional, behavioral and developmental disorders. Previous studies have shown increase in rates of suicide, leaving home at an early age, vulnerability to addiction and psychological illness.[1] Youth who have been victims of high impact trauma, chronic abuse and neglect are especially vulnerable and may impair the ability of the youth during their developmental period.[2] Tribes are one of the most exploited populations in Indian society (UNICEF). Being the earliest inhabitants of the country, they have maintained a distinct style for centuries. The isolation has kept them out of mainstream and made them easy prey to exploitation.[3] Lack of education and deprivation that these tribes face due to poverty may result in frustration both in personal and social relations. Further, the tribal children are subject to acculturation pressures that do not exist for other populations, which create unique problems during their transition to adulthood.[4] Tribal students are emotionally immature,[5] show poor emotional intelligence,[3] high prevalence of anxiety/depression, somatic, withdrawn/depressed thought problems and attention problems,[6] aggression regardless of age and gender,[7] and poor self-esteem.[8]

The term yoga comes from Sanskrit word Yuj which means union. Traditionally, yoga is a method of joining individual self with the divine. Yoga is the art and science of living. It is concerned with the evolution of the mind and body. Yoga incorporates all aspects of an individual. First aspect of personality is physical body and we begin with disciplining the body by asana or physical postures. Asana makes the spine, muscles, and joints healthy and flexible. Internal organs are getting subtle massage and they balance the physiological abnormalities, faulty insulin secretions and hormonal imbalances. Pranayama or breathing techniques strengthen the lungs, increase the supply of fresh oxygen and have a direct effect on brain and emotions. By emotional stability, mental and creative energies are directed in a constructive way and child become more self-confident, self-aware and self-control.[9]

There is growing empirical support for positive health effects,[10] psychological and physiological improvement after yoga intervention,[11] and thus may be an ideal practice to introduce to children and adolescents. Present study is trying to explore the construct positive and negative affectivity and self-esteem on tribal adolescents.

Positive affect is the state where the person feels enthusiastic, active, and alert. Negative affect is a dimension of subjective distress and un-pleasurable engagement. It includes variety of aversive mood states, including anger, contempt, disgust, fear and nervousness. Low PA is described by sadness and lethargy. Low NA (positive affect) is described by calmness and serenity.[12] Further low PA (positive affect) and high NA (negative affect) are major distinguishing features of depression, and anxiety, respectively,[13] as well as its ability to identify individuals with mood problems.[14] PA ''buffer'' the negative effect of NA on job performance.[15] PA was consistently related negatively only to symptoms and diagnoses of depression.[12] Character strengths appears to be crucial for students to experience school-related positive affect, which in turn supports students' positive school functioning and their overall school achievement.[16] The happiness–success link exists not only because success makes people happy, but also because positive affect brings about success.[17] Frequent positive emotions during school were associated with higher levels of student engagement and negative emotions with lower levels of engagement.[18]

Self-esteem is the totality of self-confidence and self-respect. It is the capability of being skillful to cope with the basic challenge of life and being worthy of happiness.[19] Self-esteem includes feeling of worthiness and pride.[20] It is a significant element affecting their mode of life and well-being. With good self-esteem, people do constructive things for themselves and due to poor self-esteem, avoid doing such things.[21] Stigma associated with mental illness harms the self-esteem of many people.[22] Self-esteem changes in middle school years.[23]

Self-esteem has a positive role in association with adolescent's life and this relationship is equally strong for both genders and across age.[24] Self-esteem is relatively a stable trait and reflects life satisfaction and affective symptoms rather than functional status.[25]

Yoga improves adolescents' mood and affect and is highly beneficial for students.[26],[27] In a mindfulness based intervention for at-risk adolescents, positive affect increased significantly and mindfulness increased.[28] A one-month residential yoga program showed significant change in reducing negative attitude and improvement in positive attitude in healthy volunteers.[29] A randomized control study on the effect of yoga for a month for school children showed significant improvement in positive affect and attitude towards violence. Yoga intervention increased self-esteem, life satisfaction, and enthusiasm for a better life, scores of interpersonal anxiety and perfectionism dropped.[30] Review articles suggest that yoga can be a beneficial adjunctive treatment.[11] Yoga enhances self-esteem and attention abilities of high school children.[31]

The present study

The purpose of the present study was to measure the positive–negative affect and self-esteem in tribal male adolescents using PANAS-C scale and Rosenberg self-esteem scale, respectively. Although many studies have been conducted using yoga as intervention, no study is available where positive–negative affectivity and self-esteem is measured on tribal adolescents. We hypothesized that yoga may have effect on positive affectivity and self-esteem in tribal adolescents.

 Materials and Methods

Patients were taken from Arshavidya Kendra, Palakkad-Kerala. N = 54 under the age group of 10 years to 18years. Patients were men and they were randomly divided into two groups. Thirty of them were in the experimental group and 24 in the waitlist control group. Mean age of patients in experimental group was (M = 14.4 years, SD = 3.51) and of control group was (M = 13.3 years, SD = 1.90). Informed consent was signed by the head of the organization. Data was analyzed using SPSS-version 16.


The Positive and Negative Affect Schedule scale for children,[32] is a 27 item youth self-report measure used in child and adolescent population to measure positive and negative affectivity. It is used to measure the respondent's emotions during the past few weeks. The respondent is asked to read several words which describe feelings and emotions and enter a number that corresponds to the value on a scale. The five-item scale ranges from not much or not at all, with a value of 1, to a lot with a value of 5. The PANAS-C has been used successfully on large studies of children and exhibits high reliability and good convergent and discriminant validity. Study revealed that 12-item PA and 15-item NA scale scores demonstrated support for convergent and divergent validity and yielded internal consistency (PA 0.89, NA 0.92).[32] Laurent et al. (1999)[32] reported alpha coefficients of 0.94 for NA, and 0.90 for PA in the scale development sample.[33]

 Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale

A 10-item scales that measures global self-worth by measuring both positive and negative feelings about the self. The scale is believed to be uni-dimensional. All items are answered using a four-point Likert scale format ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree. Items 2, 5, 6, 8, 9 are reverse scored. Give “Strongly Disagree” 1 point, “Disagree” 2 points, “Agree” 3 points, and “Strongly Agree” 4 points. Higher scores indicate higher self-esteem.[34] RSE scale is of high internal reliability (alpha 0.92). Reliability is high in all age groups and in diverse population. Convergent validity is proven by research studies.[35]


Intervention was given for two weeks (14 days) for experimental group, in two sessions in a day. Sixty minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening. Program included breathing, loosening practices, sun salutation, asanas, pranayama, japa, and trataka. Pre and post data was collected from both the groups before and after intervention.


The data was not normally distributed, hence we have conducted non-parametric test, in within group and between groups. Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test shows highly significant improvement in positive affect in yoga group 12.60% (P< 0.01) and significant reduction in negative affect 7.77% (P< 0.05) and self-esteem in not significant 0.97% (P > 0.05). In control group positive affect increased 3.77% (P > 0.05), negative affect increased 6.40% (P > 0.05), and of self-esteem 0.019% (P< 0.05) [Table 1]. In between group analysis using Mann–Whitney test showed no significant result in positive–negative affect and self-esteem [Table 2].{Table 1}{Table 2}

The mechanism behind the result could be because of the pranayama, japa and trataka practices. Previous studies shows on adolescents shows there is a sharp decline in self-esteem during middle school years.[36] A study conducted by [37] on ninth grades students by giving yoga as an intervention found no change in yoga group as well as in control group. Directions for the future study are discussed.


This study is a pilot randomized control study on tribal adolescents measuring positive–negative affect and self-esteem after giving yoga practices. Experimental group shows significant improvement in the variables positive–negative affect. Between groups analysis did not give any significant result. In future effect of yoga can be examined with larger sample size and longer duration of intervention.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


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