Date of Award

Spring 4-2-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

PHD - Doctor of Philosophy


Expressive Therapies

First Advisor

Robyn Cruz

Second Advisor

Michaela Kirby

Third Advisor

Nisha Sajnani


This study was conducted to test the validity of a theoretical framework in developmental psychology of body movement analysis, the Kestenberg Movement Profile (KMP). Motor patterns associated with needs and foundations for affect expression, the tension flow rhythms (TFRs), were examined. Recent research examined the validity of the TFRs in nonclinical adults and found preliminary support for some of the KMP’s assumptions associating smooth (indulging) rhythms with indulgent affects and sharp (fighting) movements with assertive or aggressive affects. This study aimed to test the TFRs associated with the first two years of development—the sucking, biting, twisting, and strain/release rhythms. The sucking and biting rhythms are associated with the first year of life and the twisting rhythms are associated with the second year of life. The guiding hypotheses for this study were that adults embodying four different TFRs (two smooth- and two sharp-quality) different affects between each of the four TFRs; and would experience different affects within the two categories, indulging and fighting. Fifty-three adults, ages 18-80 participated in the study. Each person enacted four TFRs and completed a survey after each movement to indicate how they felt after enacting that movement. Six of the participants were interviewed about their experiences. Each participant also completed an electronic test of emotional self-awareness. Statistical analyses showed support for both hypotheses. Participants reported different qualities of indulgent affects when engaging in the indulging TFRs and different qualities of assertive affects when engaging in the fighting TFRs (pp

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



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