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The effect of Progressive Muscular Relaxation and EFT on test anxiety in high school students: A randomized controlled trial

Nilhan Sezgin, PhD, & Bahar Özcan, MA, Ankara University

Citation (APA Style): Sezgin, N., & Özcan, B. (2009). The effect of Progressive Muscular Relaxation and EFT on test anxiety in high school students: A randomized controlled trial. Energy Psychology: Theory, Research, & Treatment, 1(1), 23-30.

Abstract

This study investigated the effect of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) and Progressive Muscular Relaxation (PMR) on test anxiety. A group of 312 high school students enrolled at a private academy were evaluated using the Test Anxiety Inventory (TAI), which contains Worry and Emotionality subscales. Scores for 70 students demonstrated high levels of test anxiety; these students were randomized into control and experimental groups.

During a single treatment session, the control group received instruction in PMR and the experimental group in EFT, which was followed by self-treatment at home. After 2 months, subjects were retested using the TAI. Repeated covariance analysis was performed to determine the effects of EFT and PMR on the mean TAI score, as well as the 2 subscale scores. Each group completed a sample examination at the beginning and end of the study, and their mean scores were computed.

Thirty-two of the initial 70 subjects completed all the study’s requirements, and all statistical analyses were done on this group. A statistically significant decrease occurred in the test anxiety scores of both the experimental and control groups. The EFT group had a significantly greater decrease than the PMR group (p < .05). The scores of the EFT group were lower on the Emotionality and Worry subscales (p < .05). Both groups scored higher on the test examinations after treatment. Although the improvement was greater for the EFT group, the difference was not statistically significant.

Keywords: test anxiety, academic performance, high school students, worry, emotionality, Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), Progressive Muscular Relaxation (PMR).

If you wish to purchase the full text of the study, click here to jump to the appropriate page on the Energy Psychology journal web site.

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