Senior Honors Projects, 2000-2009

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation

Spring 2001

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)


Department of Psychology


Jacqueline Williams

Steve Evans

Michael Saunders


The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of physical education class on the behavior of children diagnosed with Attention- Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Fourteen male and six female students in grades three through five were observed by their classroom teacher. Of the twenty students, then were diagnosed with ADHD and ten were not. Classroom teachers rated their students' behavior using the Iowa Connors Teacher's Rating Scale at two different time during the day for nineteen days (Pelham, W.E., Milch R., & Murphy, D.A., 1989). A higher score indicated greater inattention, hyperactivity, and impassivity while a score of zero indicated "good" behavior. On seven of the nineteen days, students participated in an organized physical education class between the two observation times. IT was hypothesized that students diagnosed with ADHD would receive lower scores on the rating scale during the hour following physical education classes compared to scores during the hour prior to physical education class. It was also hypothesized that the results would reveal a reduction in teacher rating scores following physical education (PE) and this effect would be larger for youth with ADHD than for youth without ADHD. Results supported this hypothesis. First, children with ADHD score significantly higher than children without ADHD, regardless of the PE condition. Furthermore, a marginally significant interaction was found between time, PE, and ADHD. In the nonPE condition, rating scores increased significantly from pre to post for students with ADHD. under the PE condition, scores of the non-ADHD children increased from pre to post while scores of children with ADHD decreased from pre to post. Overall, involvement in PE class had a positive effect on the behavior of children with ADHD and no effect on children without ADHD.



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