Date of Award

Summer 1979

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Kipfmueller, Mark K.

Second Advisor

Modell, Craig A.

Third Advisor

Wilson, Arthur S.


Conflictual findings have been reported as to the effects of biofeedback and other forms of relaxation training on reduction of frontalis muscle activity as measured by an electromyograph (EMG). Also related to the utility of relaxation procedures is the question regarding how to effectively discriminate the effects of one method over another. The present study investigated the effects of EMG biofeedback, progressive muscle relaxation and passive self-control on resting level EMG and on a stress-recovery and tension awareness task, the latter having been noted in prior research as potential discriminating measures in relaxation training. Subjects were 24 (8 per group) undergraduate females with approximately average levels of self-reported trait anxiety across groups. Results showed no statistically significant difference among groups in reducing resting-level and stress-recovery level EMG although a significant difference was shown across the short duration of time from pre- to post-training with the means for groups showing the greatest change occurring in the biofeedback and passive self-control groups while the progressive muscle relaxation group showed the least change. Also, no significant difference was shown in the effects of training on the tension awareness task. However, better than chance estimates of changes in tension awareness were noted across groups prior to training. Implications for future research were discussed.



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