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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/31750

Title: The Effects of Antecendent Exercise on Students’ Disruptive Behaviours: An Exploratory Analysis of Temporal Effects and Mechanism of Action
Authors: Folino, Anthony
Advisor: Ducharme, Joseph
Department: Human Development and Applied Psychology
Keywords: Antecedent exercise
disruptive behaviours
Childhood aggression
Issue Date: 6-Jan-2012
Abstract: Low autonomic arousal, as measured through resting heart rate, has been shown to be one of the best-replicated biological correlates of antisocial and aggressive behaviour. According to the stimulation seeking theory, low arousal represents an unpleasant physiological state. In line with this theory, antisocial individuals purposely engage in antisocial and aggressive acts in an attempt to increase stimulation and achieve more agreeable arousal levels. If, as the stimulation seeking theory suggests, the function of antisocial behaviour is to increase physiological arousal levels, exposing antisocial individuals to functionally equivalent forms of arousing situations (e.g., aerobic exercise) should result in a reduction in aberrant conduct. Although a growing body of literature indicates that antecedent exercise is effective at reducing antisocial and aggressive behaviours, the present investigation sets out to explore two fundamental questions about this approach that remain unclear. First, there is a paucity of research examining the temporal effects of antecedent exercise. Secondly, little is known about the mechanism of action accounting for behavioural improvements following exercise. The present investigation involved 4 students (age range 11-14) enrolled in a closed behavioural classroom due to severe aggressive, disruptive, and oppositional behaviours. Through the use of an alternating treatment design with baseline, students were first exposed to baseline conditions and then to two experimental conditions, (i.e., an antecedent exercise condition and a control condition) in a randomized fashion. Results indicated that 30 minutes of moderate to intense aerobic exercise resulted in approximately 90 minutes of behavioural improvements. In addition, results suggest an inverse relationship between arousal levels and behavioural difficulties. The potential utility of antecedent exercise as a treatment alternative in schools for students with severe antisocial behaviours is discussed.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/31750
Appears in Collections:Doctoral

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