The effects of short -term relaxation training on high -achieving eighth grade students' test anxiety and self -esteem

John P. Kacprowicz, Tennessee State University


This research examined the effects of a relaxation training regimen on test anxiety and self-esteem among high-achieving eighth grade students. Using a quasi-experimental pretest-posttest control group design, 24 students in the treatment group were exposed to 15 relaxation training sessions on 15 consecutive school days, while the control group received no intervention. Each relaxation training session lasted 6-7 minutes and included progressive muscle relaxation, cue-controlled relaxation, and positive suggestion phrases encapsulated in a succinct, research-based narrative. Two self-reporting instruments, the Friedben Test Anxiety Scale (FTA) and the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (SES), measured the outcome variables of test anxiety and self-esteem. Inferential statistics found that the relaxation training regimen led to a significant decrease in test anxiety among the treatment group participants, though it had no effect on self-esteem. Correlational statistics determined that test anxiety was a significant predictor of standardized test scores, though self-esteem was not. Finally, there was no interaction effect found between test anxiety and self-esteem and test scores, indicating that the relaxation training regimen had no significant effect on test performance. These results indicate that relaxation training may reduce test anxiety in high-achieving eighth grade students, and that lower test anxiety is associated with higher test scores.

Subject Area

School counseling|Educational psychology|Curriculum development

Recommended Citation

John P. Kacprowicz, "The effects of short -term relaxation training on high -achieving eighth grade students' test anxiety and self -esteem" (2008). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3341911.