Music therapy implications of music and background noise on the social eating skills training of developmentally disabled adults
The purposes of this study were to investigate the effects of background music on the level of noise in a cafeteria environment and to investigate the training staff's perceptions of the cafeteria environment with and without background music as a factor in training clients in social eating skills. The subjects were 111 developmentally disabled adults and 26 staff members of an Intermediate Care Facility for the Mentally Retarded. The study consisted of a no music and a music condition. Each day peak sound levels were taken, the lunch room was video tape recorded, and staff answered a questionnaire dealing with their perceptions of the environment. The results of at-test comparing the peak sound levels from baseline to the peak levels during background music showed a significant decrease under the · music condition (t· = 3.91, df = 7, p = .01). There was no significance found between the staff's perception of the environment from baseline to treatment. Although not significant, there was a decrease in inappropriate behaviors of the clients during the background music condition.