Date of Award
Master of Science
Food Science and Human Nutrition
Diet and Exercise
The purpose of this study was to assess the Move For Thought PreK-K Program (M4T) activities on inhibitory control via response time and accuracy, as well as the level of feasibility, engagement, and program satisfaction. Eight preschool (3-5 years old) classes participated with four classrooms being randomly assigned to the early implementation group (intervention, N=52) and four classrooms to the late implementation group (control, N=51), whom would get to participate once the study was complete.
Prior to and following the cessation of the eight-week intervention, all children participated in the computerized day/night executive function task to assess their inhibitory control. The children’s response times and accuracy were recorded on a program called audacity. During the intervention, teachers recorded the frequency, duration, and experience from the implementation of the activities with a daily teacher log. A sample of the lessons were also observed for fidelity purposes.
Results showed that over the eight-week intervention, the implementation of the Move For Thought Prek-K activities improved response time in children. After the completion of an ANCOVA on the post-test with the pretest as a covariate, there was a significant main group effect (F= 7.20, p= .009, ƞ2= .08). This signifies that the children in the intervention group were significantly faster during the post-test than the control group when controlling for the pre-test scores. The average duration of participation was 10 minutes, meaning that in a short 10-minute bout of physical activity, children’s response times can significantly improve.
Further research should assess the effect of the Move For Thought activities on children’s inhibitory control via response time and accuracy over a longer intervention period. Given that the current intervention was eight-weeks, this may not be long enough to see all possible effects the activities have on executive functioning skills. Another limitation is that the fidelity checklists were completed by research participants in only a sample of the classroom activities among the intervention groups, rather than daily.
Morgan Nichole Morse
Morse, Morgan Nichole, "Physical activity in the preschool classroom: An approach to enhance executive functioning through the Move for thought prek-k program" (2017). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 16179.