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Phillip Ward and Tim Barrett

This article provides an overview of behavior analysis, reviewing its history and the experimental research conducted in physical education settings. Articles were selected from five journals by looking through each issue to identify those that used a single-subject design to assess the effects of behavioral interventions in P–12 or teacher preparation settings. Thirty-four studies met the inclusion criteria. Studies were categorized according to their focus: (a) preservice or inservice teacher behavior; (b) student learning; (c) class management; or (d) student learning specifically focused on students with disabilities in adapted or inclusive settings. The review describes the scope of the behavioral interventions and examines the research designs used. A methodological critique suggests that while findings have been robust and the designs used were typically rigorous, researchers have not assessed generality, maintenance, or social validity as well as they might. The article closes with recommendations for reviewers and authors.

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Justin A. Haegele and Samuel Russell Hodge

There are basic philosophical and paradigmatic assumptions that guide scholarly research endeavors, including the methods used and the types of questions asked. Through this article, kinesiology faculty and students with interests in adapted physical activity are encouraged to understand the basic assumptions of applied behavior analysis (ABA) methodology for conducting, analyzing, and presenting research of high quality in this paradigm. The purposes of this viewpoint paper are to present information fundamental to understanding the assumptions undergirding research methodology in ABA, describe key aspects of single-subject research designs, and discuss common research designs and data-analysis strategies used in single-subject studies.

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Steven A. Denhup Jr., Michelle A. Sandrey and Andrew H. Hawkins

Column-editor : Malissa Martin

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Andrew E. Alstot

Token economies have a long research and applied history within clinical settings and classroom education (Kazdin, 1982). However, despite reported successes in improving physical activity behaviors (Alstot, 2012), research examining token reinforcement implemented specifically in physical education is virtually nonexistent. Therefore, the purpose of the current study was to examine the effects of a peer-administered token economy on the jump rope behaviors of elementary physical education students. An alternating treatments design was used to assess the effects of the intervention. Participants were alternated between five baseline and five token economy sessions while response differentiation between the two phases was assessed. Results indicated that nine out of ten participants showed an increase in the number of successful jump rope practice trials during token reinforcement sessions as compared with baseline sessions. Based on the results of the study, it was concluded that peer-administered token economies can be useful tools for physical educators.

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Thomas L. McKenzie, Barbara Baquero, Noe C. Crespo, Elva M. Arredondo, Nadia R. Campbell and John P. Elder


Understanding home environments might shed light on factors contributing to reduced physical activity (PA) in children, particularly minorities. Few studies have used microlevel observations to simultaneously assess children’s PA and associated conditions in homes.


Trained observers assessed PA and associated physical and social environmental variables in the homes of 139 Mexican American children (69 boys, 70 girls; mean age = 6 years) after school.


Children spent most time indoors (77%) and being sedentary (74%). Reduced PA was associated with viewing media, being indoors, and parents being present. Increased PA was associated with prompts for PA and other children being present. PA prompts differed by child gender and location and prompter age status.


Children are frequently sedentary at home. Microlevel observations showed PA is associated with potentially modifiable social and physical factors, including spending time outdoors. Studies to determine whether interventions on these correlates can improve children’s PA are needed.

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Kimberly Place and Samuel R. Hodge

The purpose was to describe the behaviors of eighth-grade students with and without physical disabilities relative to social inclusion in a general physical education program. Participants were 3 girls with physical disabilities and 19 classmates (11 females, 8 males) without disabilities. The method was case study. Data for a 6-week softball unit were collected using videotapes, live observations, and interviews. Findings indicated that students with and without disabilities infrequently engaged in social interactions. Average percentage of time that classmates gave to students with disabilities was 2% social talk and less than 1% in each category for praise, use of first name, feedback, and physical contact. Two themes emerged in this regard: segregated inclusion and social isolation. Students with disabilities interacted with each other to a greater degree than with classmates without disabilities. Analysis of use of academic learning time revealed different percentages for students with and without disabilities.

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Garry Martin and Dennis Hrycaiko

A number of experiments have demonstrated the considerable potential of behavior modification techniques for improving performance of beginners in sport and physical education. Several books have presented a consistent behavioral analysis of factors that influence the development and maintenance of athletic behavior. From these sources, an approach is beginning to emerge that might be called "effective behavioral coaching." This paper discusses six characteristics that appear to make this approach distinctive and potentially valuable for coaches.

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Wayne W. Munson, Stanley B. Baker and Herberta M. Lundegren

A systematic strength training and structured leisure counseling program was investigated to determine the effects on self-esteem, leisure attitudes, leisure behaviors, and muscular fitness of institutionalized juvenile delinquents. Subjects were randomly assigned to one of three groups: strength training and leisure counseling (STLC), strength training and informal discussion (STD), or a no-treatment control group (NT). The experimental groups met 3 times a week, 90 minutes per session for 7 weeks. A multivariate analysis of variance revealed that there were no significant differences among the three groups on measures of self-esteem, leisure attitudes, or leisure behaviors. Analysis of variance with repeated measures indicated that there were no significant differences between the STLC and STD groups on muscular fitness, although both had significant pre- to posttest gains. The STLC and STD groups rated their treatments high on an attitude toward treatment measure, but neither group was significantly more positive about it than the other.

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Steven M. Nesbit, Terry A. Hartzell, John C. Nalevanko, Ryan M. Starr, Mathew G. White, Jesse R. Anderson and James N. Gerlacki

This paper discusses the inertia tensors of iron golf club heads and their influence on the swing of a golfer and the behavior of the golf club. Inertia tensors of various five-iron club head configurations were determined using solid modeling and were compared with equivalent solid ellipsoids. A golf swing and club behavior analysis was performed using a computer model comprised of a 3D parametric flexible model of a golf club driven with data from a recorded golf swing, and an impact function. The impact results were verified experimentally. The analysis without impact determined that altering club head inertia had a minor effect on the torque required to swing the club and the deflections of the club head at the time of impact. The analysis with an eccentric impact found that altering club head inertia had a major effect on transmitted forces and torques and a moderate effect on deflection of the club head.