The purpose of this study was to explore alternative treatment options to stimulant medication in reducing symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in elementary aged children. The goal was to understand whether implementing physical activity programs into elementary schools reduces characteristic symptoms of ADHD including, but not limited to hyperactivity, inattentiveness and impulsivity. Secondary data was used in this research to analyze the symptoms of ADHD and the benefits of physical activity as a behavior modification intervention for this disorder with children. The study addressed the research question, what are the most effective types of physical activity for children with ADHD to reduce their symptoms of ADHD? The goal of the study was to analyze the advantages and limitations of implementing more physical activity programs within schools across the United States to treat symptoms of ADHD.
The findings of the study indicated that physical activity improved ADHD symptoms in children. Yoga and meditation reduced symptoms such as hyperactivity, social disorders, oppositional defiant disorder and reductions in peer behaviors for children with ADHD. The major findings of the study discovered that a combination of stimulant medication, therapy and physical activity had the greatest improvements with ADHD symptoms in children. It is important for health educators to have an understanding of the characteristic symptoms of ADHD, and types of physical activities are most effective in reducing ADHD symptoms within elementary school children, to create effective health behavior change interventions.
Date of Degree
Master of Science (MS)
Allied Health and Nursing
Wilcox, J. (2017). ADHD in Elementary School Students: Impact of Physical Activity on ADHD Symptoms [Master’s alternative plan paper, Minnesota State University, Mankato]. Cornerstone: A Collection of Scholarly and Creative Works for Minnesota State University, Mankato. https://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/etds/706/
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