Date of Award

2018

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Physical Education

Sub-Department

College of Education

First Advisor

Ali Brian

Abstract

This dissertation consists of two studies that examine the effects of a school-based universally designed integrative intervention on the gross motor, fine motor, and health-related fitness skills of preschool and kindergarten with and without disabilities. Both studies focused on the effects of a school-based universally designed integrative intervention across general, inclusion and self-contained early childhood classroom settings. Study 1 examined the effects of the universally designed integrative intervention in general and inclusion classrooms in children without disabilities, and children with mild to moderate disabilities. Study 2 examined the effects of the universally designed integrative intervention in self-contained classrooms for children with moderate to severe disabilities. Study 1 used a pre/post/control experimental design, while Study 2 featured a descriptive analytic design.

The purpose of Study 1 was to examine the effects of an integrative intervention on gross motor, fine motor, and health-related fitness skills for young children with and without disabilities. I randomly selected children (general = 30; inclusion = 28) to participate in a universally-designed integrative motor intervention and children (general = 25; inclusion = 28) to participate in the control condition. I conducted two separate 2 group (intervention and control) x 2 time (pretest and posttest) repeated measures ANCOVAs controlling for sex for raw TGMD-2 scores to determine the effectiveness of the intervention on children’s gross motor skills. To account for within-group differential effects of the intervention between children with and without disabilities, I conducted a subsequent 2 group (disability and no disability) x 2 time (pretest and posttest) repeated measures ANCOVA controlling for sex. Next, to determine the effects of the intervention on children’s gross motor, fine motor and health-related fitness skills I conducted two separate 2 group (intervention and control) x 2 time (pretest and posttest) repeated measures ANOVA using BOT2-BF raw point scores. Our main findings suggest young children both with and without disabilities demonstrated low competencies in motor skills regardless of disability according to multiple assessments. Findings from this study suggest young children both with and without disabilities can benefit from an integrative intervention targeting multiple facets of basic motor skills when using an appropriate curriculum framework such as universal design for learning.

The purpose of Study 2 was to examine the effects of an integrative universally designed intervention on gross motor, fine motor, and health-related fitness skills of young children with moderate to severe disabilities. Furthermore, I measured both process and product characteristics of children’s gross motor, fine motor, and health-related fitness skills to critically examine the programmatic effectiveness of the intervention. I randomly selected children (n = 11) to participate in a universally-designed integrative motor intervention and children (n = 9) to participate in the control condition. I measured all children prior to the study on the Test of Gross Motor Development (TGMD-2) and the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency-Second Edition Brief Form (BOT2-BF). I examined group (e.g., intervention and control) mean differences through paired sampled t-tests for BOT2-BF and TGMD-2 scores. I also examined the individual change in BOT-2 and TGMD-2 scores on all children from pretest to posttest. Findings from this study suggest young children with moderate to severe disabilities can improve gross motor, fine motor, and health-related fitness skills through a universally designed motor skill curriculum, however children must be provided the appropriate support (e.g., paraprofessionals) and be placed in their “least restrictive” environment.

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