Award Date


Degree Type



Sports Education Leadership

First Committee Member

Shiri Ayvazo, Chair

Second Committee Member

Doris Watson

Third Committee Member

Nancy Lough

Graduate Faculty Representative

David Grant

Number of Pages



Maintaining students' on-task behavior and engagement with learning materials is difficult due to factors such as a large number of students and the increasing occurrences of disruptive behaviors in class. Students' acquisition of appropriate social skills can increase the teacher's ability to effectively teach in class and facilitate students' academic success. Self-management (SM) interventions in which students manage their own behaviors can serve as socially and ecologically-valid strategies for enhancing students' social skills in the classroom. Self-management programs have wide empirical support that demonstrates their merit for students' learning of social and academic skills. In school settings, self-management interventions were implemented in various disciplines such as math, reading, writing, social studies and science.

Despite the strong empirical support for SM interventions in general and special education settings and the increasing need for empirically-based behavior-change programs to improve classroom management and instruction, there are no studies of SM interventions in physical education. There is a clear need to validate SM in these settings.

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of Classwide self-management (CWSM) program on social skills' learning of second grade students in physical education. The study was conducted in a K-12 charter school and consisted of 22 lessons of martial arts content. Four target students of two boys and two girls were selected by the classroom and the physical education teachers based on their behavioral deficits. The study concluded with three students due to the withdrawal of one boy from the school.

A multiple baseline across behavior design was employed to examine the effects of CWSM on students' social skills. The dependent variables were (a) students' self-control response class, (b) students' cooperation response class, (c) students' persistency during challenging task, (d) target students and entire class on-task behavior and (e) students' accurate self-assessment. Social validity of the study was examined via the students' and the teacher's evaluation of the intervention's goals, procedures, and outcomes. The baseline condition involved the teacher's typical physical education instruction. The intervention condition included the following CWSM components: students' self-evaluations of their behavior, public posting of performance and matching with the teacher's evaluation.

Results show students' cooperation and persistency behaviors improved from an average of 53% (range, 56-65%) and 33% (range, 32-35%) respectively, to an average of 82% (range, 75-92%) and 84% (range, 78-88%) when the CWSM was in effect. Students' on-task behavior increased to an average of 84% (range, 79-92%) as well. Social validity reports indicate the students' and the teacher's acceptability of the CWSM intervention.

In conclusion, a functional relation was demonstrated between the CWSM intervention and the second grade students' social skills. The on-task data also suggested some relation between students' display of social skills and a collateral improvement in academic performance.

This study extended the literature by: (a) strengthening the validity of CWSM as an effective behavior-change program in an ecologically valid setting, (b) extending the generality of CWSM to physical education settings, (c) establishing an empirically-based intervention for enhancing social skills in physical education, and (d) extending the social validity of CWSM interventions in school settings and in physical education in particular.


Karate; Martial arts; Physical education and training; School children; Self-management; Social skills – Study and teaching (Elementary); Students at-risk; Youth with social disabilities


Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Education | Elementary Education and Teaching | Sports Sciences

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




2011 Outstanding Thesis Award from the Graduate Council Student Awards Committee


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