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Date of Award
Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted
Master of Arts (M.A.)
First Committee Member
J. Roseann Hannon
Second Committee Member
Gary N. Howells
The physiological and subjective effects of touch on individuals confronted with a physical stressor were investigated in a mixed two-factor study of 57 college-age women. Peak values and time course of several indices of autonomic nervous system activity (heart rate, frontalis EMG, and skin conductance) were monitored before, during, and after a 30-sec cold pressor task under three different touch conditions: no touch, touch-during, and touch-after the stressor. Experimental group members received a light stroking touch to their shoulder by the female experimenter for 30-sec. No touch (control) group members were guided through a 30-sec visualization exercise. Data analysis failed to support a theory of attenuated stress responding or facilitated recovery under either touch condition. However, equipment error and large within-subject variability may have masked the touch effects. Touch-during group members reported finding the stressor less aversive. Suggestions for future research contrasting static versus dynamic touch are discussed.
Zavis, Doreen. (1994). The effect of touch on recovery following a physical stressor. University of the Pacific, Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted. https://scholarlycommons.pacific.edu/uop_etds/2806
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