This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

The Impact of a Motor Skill Intervention on Executive Function in Preschoolers from Low Socioeconomic Backgrounds




Montagner Sassi, Julia

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis




Changes in motor abilities lead to changes in cognition including executive function, which may reduce the impact of poverty on cognitive outcomes. The first study examined changes in cognitive function in preschool children from a local Head Start program resulting from a motor skill intervention. Cognitive function was assessed before and after 13 sessions of the motor skill intervention, where the children participated in a mastery motivational climate with three different conditions and a control group (n = 75). The motor skill group showed consistent and greater improvement in cognitive flexibility, inhibitory control and attention compared to the other groups. The second study focused on the changes in executive function and consisted of 12 sessions,151 children were assigned to either a mastery motivational climate motor skill intervention group or a comparison group. We verified that the intervention based on Mastery Motivational Climate showed consistent and greater improvement in attention and inhibitory control.