Date Written

4-28-2019

Document Type

Distinction Paper

Degree Name

Allied Health-BS

Department

Health & Sport Sciences

Advisor

Dr. Cynthia Laurie-Rose, Ph.D.

First Committee Member

Dr. Shelley Payne, Ph.D.

Second Committee Member

Dr. Meredith Meyer, Ph.D.

Keywords

Executive Function, Cognition, Motor Skills, Physical Activity, Preschool, Early Childhood

Subject Categories

Child Psychology | Occupational Therapy | Physical Therapy

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of a short-term motor program on the executive function and motor skills in preschool children utilizing a Pretest and Post test design. The present study was designed with two periods of program intervention- once in the fall and once in the spring. It was hypothesized that a 10-week motor intervention would demonstrate positive motor and executive function gains in the experimental (motor) group. Children ranging from 4 to 6 years of age participated in this study. Baseline motor and executive function scores were obtained during the Pretest phase. Subsequently, two Posttests were employed – one after the first five weeks of intervention, and again at the end of ten weeks of intervention. I predicted that participants in the 10-week motor group intervention would demonstrate greater improvements on both motor and executive function. Counter to my predictions, the findings revealed that both the motor group and the control group performed similarly on both motor skills and executive function at weeks five and ten. Although I did not find an effect for the motor intervention, the current findings support previous research establishing a relationship between motor and cognitive skills. Future studies examining motor skills and executive function in preschool children should focus on a continuous intervention with fewer skills assessments.

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