Graduation Year


Graduation Month


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science – Health and Human Performance

School or Department

Health and Human Performance


Health and Human Performance – Community Health

Faculty Mentor

Linda Green

Subject Categories

Alternative and Complementary Medicine | Community Health


Stress is one of the most common psychological conditions college students suffer. Stress is associated with anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, heart disease, disordered eating, irritability, decreased academic performance, and decreased life satisfaction. Intervention is needed. Essential oils are non-invasive and simple to use and were chosen for this study based on their potential ability to reduce stress. The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of aromatherapy as a stress reduction tool for college students. This study took place in Aber Hall and involved residents of floors 6 and 7, as assigned by the residence life director. All residents residing on these floors were informed of the study. 10 subjects completed the study. All of the subjects were freshman females. Both groups were administered a pre-survey during the first week of the semester. The outcome measures were rated on a 1-10 scale, with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest level of stress, anxiety, energy, sleep quality, and muscle tension, aches, or stiffness. The treatment group received a two-part aroma inhalation intervention. Subjects in the treatment group were educated on aromatherapy and then picked a dram of chamomile, clary sage, or lavender. Drams were pre-mixed with jojoba oil at a 10% dilution rate. Subjects were guided through the application and usage of their essential oil. Subjects were instructed to use their essential oil two times daily via aroma inhalation throughout the duration of the study. Both groups were administered a post-survey during the sixth week of the semester, with the same outcome measures discussed above. The treatment group reported lower levels of anxiety and stress, and increased levels of sleep quality and energy. The control group, in contrast, reported higher levels of anxiety and stress, and decreased levels of sleep quality and energy. The results suggest aroma inhalation may reduce stress among college students. Further research is warranted.

Honors College Research Project




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