Date of Award

8-1974

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Kinesiology, Sport Studies and Physical Education

Abstract

The present investigation was conducted to study the effects of extrinsic reinforcement upon the motor performance of learning disabled children on a selected motor task. Subjects selected were sixty-eight learning disabled children.

The sample was randomly divided into a Reinforcement, Non-Reinforcement, and Control group and administered a pretest and posttest on a specific motor task. A five week physical education program was provided to the Reinforcement and Non-Reinforcement groups, with no treatment provided to the Control group. Only the Reinforcement group received the experimental treatment of tangible items such as candy bars, balls, and frisbees.

It was the contention of the experimenter that the inclusion of extrinsic reinforcement would improve the motor performance by learning disabled children on a selected motor task. The subjects were administered a softball throw test to measure the variables Distance, Accuracy, and Total Score. The Total Score was measured by taking the highest value of the three trials when the Accuracy score was subtracted from the Distance score. The scores were subjected to a two-way Analysis of Variance with repeated measurements. The Reinforcement group made improvements on all variables over testings. On the same variables, the Non-Reinforcement and Control groups decreased over testings. The improvements made over testings by the Reinforcement group was attributed to the inclusion of extrinsic reinforcement and/or the physical education program.

No significant relationship was found between the amount of check marks a subject received and the improvements made over testings on all three variables. The check mark system approach was based on the quality of each individual's task accomplishment and appropriate functioning. The amount of check marks a subject received was not the essential factor of this approach. While the findings may indicate that extrinsic reinforcement and/or the physical education program improved the motor performance of learning disabled children, it can only be generalized to a male population and a specific motor task. Caution should be used in generalizing the findings.

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