Effects of vibroacoustic music on challenging behaviors

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      Title of study:

      Effects of vibroacoustic music on challenging behaviors in individuals with autism and developmental disabilities

      Journal name:

      Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders (2009), 3(2), 390–400


      Vibroacoustic music has been proposed to be an effective treatment for individuals with developmental disorders and challenging behaviors. The present study experimentally tested the effects of vibroacoustic music on self-injurious, stereotypical, and aggressive destructive behaviors in 20 individuals with autism spectrum disorders and developmental disabilities. The participants were randomized into two groups in a randomized controlled trial evaluation. The first group received 10–20 min sessions with vibroacoustic music treatment for 5 weeks. Then the second group received the same treatment during the next 5 weeks. Behavior was assessed using the Behavior Problems Inventory in all participants before the treatment, after the first group had completed their treatment, and again after the second group had completed their treatment. In order to evaluate each session, the accompanying assistants assessed behavior on different scales after each session. In addition, the sessions were videotaped and analyzed minute by minute for challenging behaviors. The results revealed that vibroacoustic music reduced self-injurious, stereotypic, and aggressive destructive behaviors in the participants. In addition, the results indicated that the effect of vibroacoustic music was to some extent dependent on the participants’ diagnosis. Implications for vibroacoustic music theory and practice are discussed.

      Authors and affiliation:

      Lundqvist, Lars-Olov (1,2); Andersson, Gunilla (1,3); Viding, Jane (1,3)

      (1) Centre for Rehabilitation Research, Örebro University Hospital, Örebro, Sweden

      (2) Department of Behavioural, Social, and Legal Sciences, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden

      (3) Centre for Adult Habilitation, Örebro County Council, Örebro, Sweden

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