Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Music (MM)


Music Education and Music Therapy (Music)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Teresa L. Lesiuk

Second Committee Member

Shannon K. de l'Etoile

Third Committee Member

Jennifer C. Britton


The purpose of this study was to determine whether veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) perceive emotions in music differently than veterans without PTSD. Thirty-five veterans participated in this study, 18 with PTSD and 17 without PTSD. Each participant took part in one 45-minute music listening task to identify the type of emotion and emotion intensity of 25 musical excerpts. Excerpts were selected from a previous study and came from film scores. A measure of state mood was used to control for mood effects on music-emotion perception. Music-emotion categorization was analyzed by chi-square tests. A between-subjects analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was completed to determine any main effects or interactions amongst the perception of music-emotion category and intensity between veterans with PTSD and veterans without PTSD, while controlling for the effect of mood. Results indicated that no statistically significant difference existed between veterans with and without PTSD in how they categorized music-emotions (all p>.137). Results also showed no statistically significant main effect of music-emotion intensity (F(2.97,80.21) =5.10, p=.674). Finally, no statistically significant interactions were found, however, the interaction between music-emotion intensity and category had a medium effect size (Partial η2=.091). The results gathered from the study elucidate the differences in perception between veterans with PTSD and veterans without PTSD. The results will then determine whether or not music is an appropriate stimulus for veterans with PTSD.


Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder; Perception; Music-Emotion; Veterans