Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Effects of Physical Exercise on Stereotypic Behaviors in Autism: A Meta-Analysis
by Tarr, Christopher W., Ed.D., Slippery Rock University, 2018, 272; 10984780
Abstract (Summary)

The prevalence rate of children with autism has been on the rise for the past 20 years. A hallmark characteristic of this disorder is the presence of stereotypic behaviors. Children who engage in stereotypic behaviors experience difficulties in effectively interacting with their surrounding environment. Both consequence-based and antecedent based interventions have been successful in decreasing these interfering behaviors. The performance of physical exercise has shown positive results as both a consequence based and antecedent based intervention in reducing stereotypic behaviors. The current investigation conducted a meta-analysis on the effects of physical exercise on stereotypic behaviors in individuals with autism. This study was able to run this meta-analysis using both aggregate score studies and single subject design studies. This study identified 10 research articles that met all of the inclusion criteria. The 10 articles were coded according to sixteen primary moderators and four peripheral moderators. The 10 articles produced an overall large effect size of d = -.456. This large effect size demonstrated that physical exercise is effective in decreasing stereotypic behaviors in individuals with autism. However, no significant statistical difference was observed within any of the primary and peripheral moderators. The lack of significant statistical difference within any of the moderators lead the current investigator to conclude that the effect of physical exercise on stereotypic behaviors in individuals with autism may not be impacted by external factors. Further research is needed to determine the internal neurobiological effects of physical exercise on stereotypic behaviors in individuals with autism.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Rineer-Hershey, Ashlea
Commitee: Johnson, Virginia, Liu, Wenhao
School: Slippery Rock University
Department: Special Education
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 80/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Disability studies, Special education, Behavioral Sciences
Keywords: physical activity, repetitive behaviors, restrictive behaviors, self stimulation, self stimulatory behaviors
Publication Number: 10984780
ISBN: 9780438373754
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