Date of Award

12-2016

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Public Health

Major Professor

Clea McNeely

Committee Members

Dawn Coe, Paul Erwin, Paul Terry

Abstract

This study was designed to answer three questions: 1) What is the impact of stability ball seating on the behavior of students in grades 1 through 4? 2) What is the impact of stability ball seating on the mathematics scores of students in grades 1 through 4? and 3) What is the impact of stability ball seating on the reading scores of students in grades 1 through 4? Research has shown that stability ball seating is linked to behavior and academic achievement among students diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and/or autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This study examines the effect of stability ball seating on behavior and academic achievement among students in mainstream classrooms in grades 1-4 who do not have a diagnosis of ADHD or ASD and was conducted in one elementary school in Lenoir City, Tennessee through a group randomized design. All classes in grades 1 through 4 agreed to participate. Data were collected from 136 students in first grade, 140 students in second grade, 141 in third grade and 80 in fourth grade, for an overall response rate of 99.9%. There were a total of 229 males and 268 females in this 16-week group randomized trial. Changes in classroom conduct, aggressive and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder behavior was monitored by teachers and identified through the Achenbach’s Teacher Report Form which was completed as a pre and post intervention assessment with every student in the study. The Discovery Educational Assessment was also regularly implemented school-wide and scores for all students were monitored for any changes in academic achievement. Stability ball seating did not improve behavior or academic achievement in this sample. Any changes that occurred in student behavior or reading and math scores cannot be attributed to the stability ball seating but are probably the result of other influences such as teacher involvement, curricula, or other possible environmental factors excluding stability ball seating. It would not be recommended that teachers replace seating as an intervention in effort to improve behaviors as outlined in this research nor to improve reading or math scores.

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