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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)



First Advisor

Matthew Normand

First Committee Member

Carolynn Kohn

Second Committee Member

Holly White


The CDC (2016) recommends children engage in 60 min of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily to achieve health benefits. Recess in school settings can provide opportunities for children to try and meet these guidelines. However, research suggests that recess alone does not increase physical activity levels. To combat this problem, antecedent manipulations (e.g., manipulating the physical environment or introducing planned activities) are commonly implemented as an intervention to increase physical activity. These interventions, however, do not provide salient consequences for physical activity to ensure the likelihood that these behaviors will occur again in the future. A more promising approach might be to develop interventions that assess the use of group contingencies in an effort to increase physical activity during recess time. The purpose of the current study was to implement the Step it UP! game (a modified version of the good behavior game) in three different classrooms during their recess periods and to evaluate the effect of group contingencies on physical activity levels in elementary school-aged children. The Step it UP! game was compared to traditional recess periods (i.e., without the game) in an alternating treatment design. The overall results of the study indicated that the Step it UP! game engendered higher mean step counts than traditional recess periods. These results suggest that schools should provide contingent reinforcement for children’s increased physical activity during recess.





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