Title

An Investigation to Determine the Relationship Between Reading Achievement and Physical Fitness

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D)

Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Date of Award

Summer 2020

Abstract

This quantitative, correlational study utilized a non-experimental design in order to determine the relationship between physical fitness and academic achievement for 208 fourth and fifth grade students. FitnessGram® and ISIP data were provided to the researcher and analyzed in order to determine the relationship, if any, between tested components of FitnessGram® (one-mile run which measures aerobic capacity, body mass index (BMI) which measures body composition, push-up which measures upper body strength and endurance, curlup which measures abdominal strength and endurance, trunk lift which measures back strength and flexibility, and back-saver sit and reach (BSSR) which measures hamstring flexibility) and components of ISIP (overall reading, word analysis, text fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension) for fourth grade students, fifth grade students, and any gender-specific relationships among each grade level. Data were input into the statistical software program, Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). Data were analyzed using both descriptive statistics and a Pearson’s r correlation. Correlation matrices were produced in order to determine relationships among reading components from ISIP data and fitness components from v FitnessGram®. Fourth grade data for both genders showed significant relationships between aerobic capacity as assessed by the one-mile run and the overall reading scores (r=-.236, p<.05), word analysis (r=-.207, p<.05), and vocabulary (r=-.210, p<.05), between body composition as assessed by Body Mass Index (BMI) and word analysis (r=-.253, p<.05), and between hamstring flexibility assessed by the back-saver sit and reach left and right and vocabulary (r=-.210, p<.05). For fourth grade boys, significant relationships were found between overall reading score and aerobic capacity as measured by the one-mile run (r=-.294, p<.05), between text fluency as measured by the fluency component of ISIP and aerobic capacity as measured by the one-mile run (r=-.311, p<.05), between word analysis and BMI (r=-.298, p<.05), and between vocabulary and both aerobic capacity as measured by the one-mile run (r=-.305, p<.05) and the back-saver-sit and reach (r=-.288, p<.05). No significant relationships were found for girls in the fourth grade. Fifth grade data for both genders showed only one significant relationship between abdominal strength and endurance as tested by the curl-up and comprehension (r=-.233, p<.05) at p<0.05 level. For fifth grade girls, there was a relationship between vocabulary knowledge as tested by the vocabulary component of ISIP and abdominal strength and endurance as measured by the push-up (r=-.286, p<.05), and a relationship between comprehension as measured by the comprehension component of ISIP and abdominal strength and endurance as measured by the curl-up (r=-.385, p<.01). No other significant relationships were found for fifth grade. The findings from this study have significant implications for physical fitness, academic achievement, and benefits for the whole child within educational policies.

Advisor

Susan Szabo

Subject Categories

Education | Elementary Education

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