Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)



First Advisor

Helmut H. Reimer

First Committee Member

Gary N. Howells

Second Committee Member

Heath Lowry

Third Committee Member

Walter Nyberg

Fourth Committee Member

Hugh J. McBride


The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of Rational-Emotive Therapy (RET), Progressive Relaxation (PR), Attention Placebo (AP), and a no-treatment group in reducing levels of trait anxiety in undergraduate students who participated in anxiety reduction workshops. The subjects in this study were fifty-one volunteer male and female undergraduate students from the University of the Pacific, Stockton, California, who chose to participate in a seven session anxiety reduction workshop. The subjects were randomly assigned to one of the four treatment groups. The Attention Placebo procedure consisted of a discussion of learning styles, and the effects that the learning styles have on adjustments in the classroom. The no-control group served as a control with no treatment being administered. Two self-report measures, the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) (A-State), and the Multiple Affect Adjective Checklist (MAACL) ("In General"), as well as a behavioral measure, the Anxiety Rating Scale (ARS), were used to assess the effectiveness of each treatment on anxiety. It was hypothesized that the self-report scales would reflect a decrease in anxiety which would be greatest for the RET treatment. The second hypothesis was that the students in the RET treatment would report the greatest amount of anxiety reduction according to the behavioral measure. The third hypothesis stated that there would be no sex differentiation in relation to anxiety reduction within any of the treatments. An analysis of variance (ANOVA) on the difference scores from pre-test to post-test, and an analysis of co-variance (ANCOVA) of the difference scores from pre-test to post-test by group and sex with pre-test scores as the co-variant, were the methods for each measure, with alpha set at .05 for all analyses. Results showed that there was a significant difference, in the effectiveness of anxiety reduction of the RET group, according to the STAI. The MAACL failed to reveal any significant differences between treatments. The RET group was more effective than the other treatments in anxiety reduction, and the PR group was more effective than the NT group, according to the ARS. All instruments revealed no difference between sexes in anxiety reduction within any of the treatments.

Included in

Psychology Commons



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