Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Sebastian Striefel


Two studies were undertaken to assess the relative effects of videotape progressive relaxation and EMG feedback. During both studies EMG levels of the frontalis muscles were recorded. Ten subjects referred by the University Counseling Center, as high anxiety individuals, were exposed to one of the above two methods. A single subject multiple baseline design, including reversals, was used. Each subject was given four or six baseline sessions, one, four or seven exposures to the videotape and three return to baseline sessions. In the second study, using the same design, each subject was given four or six baseline sessions, four or seven EMG feedback sessions and four return to baseline sessions. No relaxation in frontalis EMG occurred during the initial baseline condition for any of the subjects in either study. Only those subjects given seven exposures to either relaxation training method produced significant decreases in frontalis EMG. The videotape subjects showed decreases during both the modeling and return to baseline conditions. The EMG feedback subjects produced systematic decreases in frontalis EMG during the feedback condition but increases occurred during the return to baseline condition. The clinical utility of both relaxation procedures might be increased by: increasing the number of training sessions, programming for generalization to real life situations, and developing other versions of the videotape relaxation program. The suitability of frontalis EMG as an overall indicator of body relaxation is questionable.



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