A comparison of self-instruction training and progressive muscle relaxation in the treatment of hyperactivity

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This study involved the treatment of children with hyperactivity who attend a school designated for the learning disabled in Calgary, Alberta. The purpose was to compare cognitive self-instruction (SI) training with progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) training as methods of enhancing concentration and self-control. Thirty subjects (28 boys and 2 girls) aged 8.0 to 12.5 years were randomly assigned to an SI training group, a PMR training group and a no-treatment group so that there were 10 subjects in each group. Measuring instruments consisted of two rating scales completed by parents, viz., Conners' Parents' Questionnaire and the Kendall-Wilcox Self- Control Rating Scale (SCRS), two rating scales completed by teachers, viz., Conners' Teachers' Rating Scale and SCRS, a self-evaluation form, viz., the Sutton-Smith Impulsivity Scale-3, and five psychological tests, viz., Matching Familiar Figures Test (MFFT), Porteus Mazes, and the Digit Span, Coding and Block Design subtests from the WISC(R). Testing took place on three occasions: before training, after training and at one month follow-up. Training sessions and procedures followed standard practices and conditions described in current literature. Testing and training were completed during twelve (30 minute) sessions which took place at the school. Children attended outside school hours and received no material reward for their efforts. Training was conducted three times a week on alternate week days. The effects of treatment on the dependent variables were analyzed by means of repeated measures ANOVAs. On three of these variables, MFFT-errors, Porteus Mazes and Digit Span there was a significant group X trial interaction effect suggesting the superiority of treatment over no-treatment. (The treatment effect was maintained after the effect of initial level had been partialled out (p <.05).) There was no evidence, however, that one form of treatment was better than the other when they were compared directly. Nevertheless, SI was better than no-treatment on Digit Span while PMR was not, and on the Porteus Mazes PMR was better than notreatment while SI was not. These latter findings are not always consistant with other research. It was concluded that when appropriate cognitive skills are possessed, PMR may be the treatment of choice. Implications of this conclusion are discussed.
Bibliography: p. 71-80.
Zieffle, T. H. (1983). A comparison of self-instruction training and progressive muscle relaxation in the treatment of hyperactivity (Unpublished master's thesis). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB. doi:10.11575/PRISM/24372