Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Child and Family Studies

Major Professor

Raymond Miltenberger, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kimberly Crosland, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Bryon Miller, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Amanda Keating, Ph.D.


Children, Pedometers, Peer Competition, Physical Activity, Applied Behavior Analysis


With an increase in childhood obesity, engagement in regular physical activity is an important health-related behavior. In addition to being overweight or obese, a lack of physical activity can lead to other serious health risks. With children spending a majority of their weekdays at school, this environment should be used to promote physical activity. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the effects of peer competition and feedback on children’s step counts. During baseline, participants wore a sealed pedometer during recess and physical education (PE). During intervention, participants with higher step counts were paired with participants with lower step counts. Teams were encouraged to compete for the highest step count each day, and feedback on their performance was provided during each recess session. Results showed a large mean increase in step count from baseline to intervention. These results suggest that children’s steps can be increased with a simple and cost-effective intervention during times of the day already allotted for physical activity.