Date of Award
Master of Arts
The purpose of this study was to assess the affect of experimenter chosen 50 beat per minute music composed especially for stress and anxiety reduction on a select group of college students, and to examine its usefulness in promoting relaxation. The rationale for the study was based on research done in the area of using music to promote relaxation, and on the composer's claims that this music has been effective on a variety of populations for such purposes. Thirty subjects comprised of 17 males and 13 females ranging in age from 18 to 25 years participated in the study. This was a sample of convenience consisting of health class students from a small midwestern college who were interested in maintaining wellness. The music used for the study consisted of a specially designed 50 beat per minute composition created to slow heart rate and to decrease present or state anxiety. Psychological data were assessed through the Spielberger State Anxiety Inventory (STAI). Subjects were given pre and posttests, and also recorded their heart rates before and after listening to the music. The study was done on a one time basis with the entire session lasting one hour. The results of the study showed a lowering of state anxiety scores for all participants. Analysis of the data indicated that the differences in state scores between pre and post-testing were statistically significant. Overall, the results showed that listening to selected music may be of some benefit to persons dealing with stress and anxiety.
Burnell, Laura E., "The Effects of 50 Beat Per Minute Music to Decrease Anxiety and Lower Heart Rates in a Select Group of College Students" (1997). Theses. 482.
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