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Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Kinesiology

Year Degree Awarded

2018

Month Degree Awarded

September

First Advisor

John R. Sirard

Second Advisor

Sofiya Alhassan

Third Advisor

Marquis Hawkins

Subject Categories

Kinesiology

Abstract

Recent initiatives have focused on exploring the relationship between fitness, fundamental movement skills, psychosocial mediators, and physical activity in children to help design better interventions to improve these behaviors. FUNdamental Integrative Training (FIT) is an approach to physical education that uses age-appropriate exercises to improve physical fitness in youth, with the longer-term goal to physically prepare children for an active lifestyle beyond childhood. We evaluated the feasibility and efficacy of a 12-week, FIT program on physical fitness, fundamental movement skills, psychosocial mediators (self-efficacy, enjoyment and social support), and physical activity, among third and fourth grade students. Seven classrooms in one school were randomly assigned to the intervention (4; INT) or control (3; CON) group. The INT group received a 12-week, teacher-led FIT intervention during the first 15 minutes of their physical education class and an additional session once per week during the before school time period. The CON group continued participating in their regular physical education program. Process evaluation data were collected throughout the 12 weeks to assess feasibility of delivering the intervention. Preliminary efficacy was measured at three time points to assess changes in fitness, fundamental movement skills, psychosocial mediators, and physical activity. Overall, the intervention was enjoyable for the participants and well-accepted by the teacher. However, there were minimal improvements seen in fitness, fundamental movements skills, and physical activity. The results from this study can be used to improve the feasibility and potential efficacy of future interventions seeking to improve fitness, movement skills, psychosocial variables, and physical activity in third and fourth grade students.

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