Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

The effects of physical activity on academic achievement in kindergarten aged children

Shannonhouse, Amy K. (2012) The effects of physical activity on academic achievement in kindergarten aged children. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

Primary Text

Download (1MB) | Preview


Amy Kathleen Shannonhouse, PhD
University of Pittsburgh, 2012

Increasing time in physical activity could help combat childhood obesity. In addition to physical health, daily physical activity’s benefits on the brain and cognitive functioning have been extensively researched and provide support for incorporating more physical activity into physical education and the school day. This research investigated the effects of physical activity on academic achievement in kindergarten children across the 2008/09 school year. The main hypothesis examined in the study was whether children who participated in the Interactive Physical Activity Center (IPAC) would perform better academically than the control group on the Dibels Oral Reading Fluency, Retell Fluency, and Group Mathematics Assessment and Diagnostic Evaluation (G-Made) achievement tests. To ensure that children in the experimental group were physically active, participation, changes in heart rate, activity scores and perceived exertion were examined across the year. Third, school attendance was examined to determine if the experimental group had fewer school absences than the control group. A longitudinal non-equivalent control group design was used to investigate the relationship between physical activity and academic achievement. To determine if the children were active in the IPAC, a one-way ANOVA examined changes in fitness variables. For the main question of the study concerning physical activity and academic achievement a two-way (Group X Time) ANOVA was used to compare academic progress of the experimental and control group. To assess school attendance of the two groups, a one-tailed independent samples t-test was used. Results demonstrated that kindergarten children who received the IPAC program increased their physical activity and reached the academic performance level of the control group by the end of the school year. The experimental group experienced a greater rate of improvement over time in three out of four of the Dibels subtests compared to the control group, and improved the same as the controls in the Growth Scale Value of the G-Made. These results expand previous research on the relationship between physical activity and academic performance in kindergarten children. Results of this study are important for administrators and teachers because quality physical activity experiences have the potential to impact cognitive, physical and academic outcomes in our schools.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Shannonhouse, Amy
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Thesis AdvisorGallagher, Jere
Committee MemberBachman, Heather J.hbachman@pitt.eduHBACHMAN
Committee MemberDuquin, Mary E.mduquin@pitt.eduMDUQUIN
Committee MemberRobertson, Robert J.rrobert@pitt.eduRROBERT
Committee MemberSayre,
Date: 29 August 2012
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 22 March 2012
Approval Date: 29 August 2012
Submission Date: 13 August 2012
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 116
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Health and Physical Activity
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: kindergarten physical activity academic achievement children
Date Deposited: 29 Aug 2012 19:01
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:01


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item