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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

Jessica Grady

Second Committee Member

Carolynn Kohn


Consistent high levels of physical activity are necessary for improved health in fitness in all individuals. Children are expected to engage in 60+ minutes a day of physical activity, but most do not meet this level (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016). Methods to increase physical activity in these populations via social consequences and environmental manipulations have demonstrated efficacy in the past (Larson, Normand, Morley, and Miller, 2013) though primarily in a one-on-one setting. As most children’s opportunities for physical activity occur in group settings (i.e., recess) this study evaluates a possible observational learning approach to increasing physical activity among small play groups of young children via contingent delivery of praise. This study will evaluate the effects of contingent delivery of praise to one child on the physical activity of the entire group. The information obtained may be useful for the development of more effective methods of increasing physical activity in recess settings. Results, their implications, and potential future directions of research are discussed.





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