Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Special Education, MA

First Advisor

Donna Habenicht


Problem Passive relaxation techniques require no intellectual or physical effort from the receiver. This study examined effects of three passive relaxation techniques on galvanic skin resistance (GSR), pulse rate (PR), and peripheral skin temperature (PST) of 3 profoundly (PMR) and severely (SMR) mentally retarded children. Method Twenty-four PMR and SMR children under twelve years were randomly assigned among four groups. The first group received slow stroking of the midline back; the second slow rocking; the third lay quietly; and the fourth was a control group. At the beginning and end of twelve ten-minute sessions, the subjects' GSR, PR, and PST were measured. Results Ancova and anova analyses showed significant differences among groups on several days. Stroking and rocking produced similar relaxation levels ; lying quietly was less effective; lack of treatment was ineffective. Conclusions Passive relaxation techniques with this population seem plausible. Techniques applied directly to the body appear most effective.

Subject Area

Children with mental disabilities.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License.