Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Health and Rehabilitation Sciences


Dr. Patricia Tucker

Second Advisor

Dr. Shauna M. Burke


The primary purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of physical activity interventions among preschool-aged children. A secondary purpose was to investigate the influence of several moderator variables (e.g., location of intervention, intervention type, intervention leadership) on physical activity and body composition outcomes. Nine databases were systematically searched; a total of 19 studies meet the inclusion criteria. Effect sizes (i.e., Hedges g values) were calculated using Comprehensive Meta-Analysis software. SPSS software was used to analyze the data. Results indicated that interventions had moderate effects on preschoolers’ engagement in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (g = 0.51;/? < .05; n = 39 ES) and small or small- to-moderate effects on: body composition (g = 0.28;p < .05; n = 39 ES); light intensity physical activity (g = 0.27; p > .05; n= 11 ES); physical activity counts (g = 0.40; p > .05; n = 14 ES); and proxy-reported physical activity (g = 0.31,;? > .05; n = 19 ES). These results are discussed in terms of implications for future research and interventions.



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