A classroom intervention increasing in popularity is the use of stability balls in lieu of traditional classroom seating. Stability balls are promoted as an effective alternative to chairs at a classwide level, yet there are no published studies documenting classwide outcomes. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate classwide effects of stability balls and attempt to provide empirical support for their use. Using an A-B-A-B reversal design, this study examined the effectiveness of stability balls in comparison to classroom chairs in a second grade classroom. Student on-task and out-of-seat behavior was measured using direct observation and teacher direct behavior ratings. Academic productivity was measured using curriculum-based measures of written expression. Stability balls did not show marked improvements over baseline for either on-task or out-of-seat behavior. However, stability balls were as effective as chairs with greater variability. Teacher direct behavior ratings did not demonstrate clear improvement in behavior while students were seated on stability balls. Results demonstrated slight improvement in writing fluency over the course of the study. However, results were comparable for both types of seating. Overall, teacher and student social validity measures indicated high levels of acceptability of stability balls in the classroom.


Carlos J. Panahon

Committee Member

Kathy Bertsch

Committee Member

Daniel Houlihan

Committee Member

Alexandra Hilt-Panahon

Date of Degree




Document Type



Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)




Social and Behavioral Sciences

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License



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