The role of Tai Chi Chuan in reducing state anxiety and enhancing mood of children with special needs

Lois J. Barona and Christine Faubertb 

a Department of Education, Concordia University, 1455 de Maisonneuve West, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3G 1M8

b School of Human Kinetics, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Received 4 March 2004; Revised 22 March 2004; accepted 25 March 2004. Available online 24 June 2004.


This paper reports the findings of a single-case research design which examined the effects of 1-h, twice-weekly Tai Chi Chuan sessions on state anxiety and mood of children with severe learning disabilities. The participants were three upper elementary children (mean AGE=13.3 years). The intervention lasted 10 weeks. The State-Trait Anxiety Inventory for Children (STAIC) A-State Scale, a 28-item mood inventory, and Conners’ Teacher Rating Scales-39 (CTRS-39), a scale used to assess whether a child has attention deficits and/or hyperactivity, were given at intervals during the pre-treatment baseline (A1), treatment (B), and post-treatment baseline (A2). Individual scores were the unit of analysis in this exploratory piece of work. Mean state anxiety and mood scores and the split-middle technique were used to analyze the data. Results suggest that the intervention had the strongest effect on the participant who presented with hyperactivity and heightened anxiety. The findings support the benefits of using a single-case research design with this population.