Date of Graduation

Summer 8-15-2021

Document Type

Restricted Dissertation - USF access only

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (PsyD)


Clinical Psychology (PsyD)

First Advisor

Dhara T. Meghani, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Brent Ferm, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

William Bosl, Ph.D.


A non-experimental within-subjects research design was utilized to study the effect of an online 8-week prenatal yoga program on prenatal depression, prenatal anxiety and maternal-fetal attachment among pregnant participants who identified as Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC). The program took place on Zoom during the COVID-19 pandemic and at a time of increased sociopolitical unrest due to publicized events of police brutality against BIPOC individuals across the United States. 24 participants completed three online surveys: one at baseline (time 1), one at week 4 (time 2) and one at week 8 of the study (time 3). The number of classes attended by participants ranged from 2 classes to 8 classes. Results revealed statistically significant differences in prenatal anxiety between time 1 and time 3 and statistically significant differences in maternal-fetal attachment between time 1 and time 2 and time 1 and time 3. Exploratory analyses were conducted to explore differences in outcome variables based on class attendance; compared to participants who attended four or fewer sessions, participants who attended five or more sessions had lower depressive symptomatology at the end of the program and lower anxiety and higher maternal-fetal attachment midway through and at the end of the program. Two participants were interviewed after the end of the yoga program to explore perceived benefits of the practice, barriers to participation, including the influence of the current sociopolitical climate, and value of participating in prenatal yoga classes within an affinity space for BIPOC. Implications and recommendations for research and clinical practice are offered.

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