Campus Access Only
All rights reserved. This publication is intended for use solely by faculty, students, and staff of University of the Pacific. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, now known or later developed, including but not limited to photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author or the publisher.
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
To access this thesis/dissertation you must have a valid pacific.edu email address and log-in to Scholarly Commons.Find in PacificSearch Find in ProQuest
If you are the author and would like to grant permission to make your work openly accessible, please email