Gadberry (2011) Steady Beat and State Anxiety

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journal article


Anita L. Gadberry. Journal of Music Therapy. 2011; Vol. 48, No. 3: pp 346-356.


Daily life in today's society is filled with moments of high state anxiety. State
anxiety is the amount of anxiety one is experiencing in the present moment; it is not a personality trait. Many people need simple, cost-effective ways to self regulate themselves so they can sleep, be more productive, and attend to their activities of daily life. Therefore, the present study questioned whether listening to a steady
beat will decrease feelings of state anxiety in healthy subjects. Participants (N =36) between the ages of 20 and 50 volunteered for the study. During this study, experimental anxiety was induced and measurement tool for both tests. Subjects in the control group sat in silence, while subjects in the experimental group listened to a steady beat of 66 beats per minute. The results of an independent-samples t test indicated significant differences between the groups on the posttest measure, t (34) - 2.41, p = .02. Subjects who listened to the steady beat reported less anxiety than subjects who sat in silence. This study suggests that steady beat alone can reduce state anxiety, thus providing a cost-effective and accessible means for self-regulation in the midst of high state anxiety.


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