Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development


The purpose of this study was to determine whether the techniques of Deep Muscle Relaxation (DMR) and Guided Fantasy (GF) could reduce the level of anxiety in highly anxious children. It was also the intent of this investigation to observe whether reduction of anxiety would result in improved reading achievement and elimination of various problematic reading behaviors. Finally, the study was to indicate whether a significant relationship exists between anxiety level and reading achievement. Statistical analysis of pre and post anxiety reading scores of the control and treatment groups consisting of highly anxious third graders revealed the following results. The relaxation techniques proved effective in significantly reducing anxiety. Although no statistically significant change in reading achievement occurred, a definite trend towards improvement was apparent. Problematic behaviors indicative of anxiety and inhibiting fluent efficient reading performance were still present at the conclusion of the treatment program. This could be an indication that a longer relaxation instruction period was necessary. Finally, no significant relationship between reading achievement and anxiety was discovered. This unexpected conclusion conflicts with the majority of research to date. Further investigation in this area is warranted.