Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Graduate School

First Advisor

Douglas W. Matheson

First Committee Member

Martin T. Gipson

Second Committee Member

Simalee Smith


The purpose of the present study was to test the use of visually displayed EMG biofeedback as a means for training hearing impaired adolescents to reduce anterior temporalis or frontalis muscle tension . Five male and four female hearing impaired students between the ages of 13 and 15 were chosen from the California School for the Deaf, Fremont, CA to serve as participants. Each participant was randomly assigned to either an experimental or control condition. Participants in the experimental groups were given five 15 minute EMG biofeedback training sessions. An additional group of 4 adolescents with normal hearing from Marshall Junior High School, Stockton, CA served as a hearing control group. The dependent measure was a 5 minute pretest and post-test measurement of muscle tension (in microvolts).

Split-plot analyses were performed to determine if there were significant differences between a ) the .hearing impaired experimental and the hearing impaired control groups, b) the hearing impaired control and the hearing control groups, and c) the hearing impaired experimental group and the hearing control group.

Results of the analyses showed that at post-test both the hearing impaired experimental group and the hearing control group showed a significant decrease in muscle tension F(1,7)=5.85 p< .05. The interaction was nonsignificant. Comparison of the two control groups showed that at post-test the two groups were not significantly different in levels of muscle tension. The comparison between the hearing impaired experimental and the hearing control groups resulted in a significant interaction (Group X Time of Testing) F( 1,6)=9.47, p=.02, and the main effect for time of testing approached significance.