Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)

Degree Granting Department

Child and Family Studies

Major Professor

Catia Cividini-Motta, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Committee Member

Kwang-Sun Blair, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Committee Member

Kimberly Crosland, Ph.D., BCBA-D


Academic engagement, antecedent interventions, choice, classroom, disruptive behavior, physical activity


Disruptive behaviors in the classroom have a negative impact on academic engagement and are related to teacher burnout (Abel & Sewell, 1999). Antecedent-based interventions have been shown to be effective in reducing disruptive behaviors (Watson, Timperio, Brown, Best, & Hesketh, 2017) without the need to interrupt academic instruction (Rosenthal-Malek & Mitchell, 1997). Physical activity is an example of an effective antecedent intervention (Lang, et al., 2010), however its efficacy may be related to the type of physical activity (Kern, Koegel, & Dunlap, 1984). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of pre-class physical activity on disruptive classroom behaviors and assess whether choice of physical activity increases the efficacy of this intervention. A multiple-baseline with an embedded alternating treatments design was used. Results indicate pre-class physical activity was effective in reducing disruptive behavior and increasing academic engagement for two out three participants. Therefore, teachers should consider providing students with access to physical activity prior to academic instruction.