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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)



First Advisor

Douglas W. Matheson

First Committee Member

Kenneth L. Beauchamp

Second Committee Member

Roger C. Katz


The Hyperventilation Syndrome (HVS) is characterized by episodic or sustained overbreathing (e.g., in excess of the body's needs). This can lead to a state of respiratory alkalosis causing both physiological and psychological disturbances, including cerebral and peripheral vasoconstriction, increased excitability of neurons, and anxiety. Clinically, HVS rarely is exhibited in the extreme form of tetany or syncopy. Participants in this study completed the State/Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) and the Nijmegen Questionnaire for Hyperventilation. Respiration was assessed in terms of rate and mode (e.g., diaphragmatic versus thoracic) while the participant sat at rest. There was found to be no significant correlation between the scores on the STAI and the Nijmegen Questionnaire. Respiration rate for the participants averaged higher than the normal rate for the non-clinical population at large. Age did not affect the degree of hyperventilation symptoms, but females were more likely than males to have hyperventilation symptoms.



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