Date of Conferral





Public Health


John Nemecek


Students with disabilities may experience more anxiety when taking a test than do students without a disability. The purpose of this study was to assess whether a technique called 1-minute of silence reduces anxiety and improves test scores among students with disabilities. The theoretical framework for this study was the theory of planned behavior/reasoned action and the health belief model. Two research questions were used, one to determine the difference in anxiety levels in students with special needs and the other to determine the difference in New York State (NYS) Math posttest scores in children with special needs (no silence, 1minute of silence). This study was a secondary quantitative data analysis. Convenience sampling rendered data to address 6 variables: dependent variables were (post) anxiety and NYS Math posttest scores; independent variables were intervention type (experimental and control); 2 covariates specified were pre-anxiety levels and NYS Math pretest. ANCOVA was used to assess each research question. Key results revealed that students with special needs who were given the 1-minute of silence technique (N = 27) over 4 weeks had lower levels of anxiety (p 0.001) and higher test scores (p < 0.001), while students with special needs who were not given the 1-minute of silence technique (N = 28) had higher or stable levels of anxiety and lower or similar test scores. This study recommended that all educators use specialized teaching techniques for students with special needs, which can help to ensure their emotional and academic success. This study contributes to positive social change by demonstrating to educators that specialized teaching techniques are useful for students with disabilities and can help them to be as successful as their counterparts who are not disabled.