Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor's Name

Tonette Rocco

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee chair

Second Advisor's Name

Thomas G. Reio Jr.

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Charmaine DeFrancesco

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Charles Bleiker

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member


Curriculum and Instruction, Education

Date of Defense



This non-experimental design, cross-sectional and retrospective study (N=79) examined the relationship among aerobic fitness, gross motor skills, fine motor skills and academic achievement; aerobic fitness and reaction time; relative age effect and aerobic fitness, gross motor skills, and academic achievement. The Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency (BOT-2), Yo-Yo Aerobic Test, Diery Liewald Reaction Time Task, and Stanford Achievement Test 10 were administered to heterogeneous, non-randomized, first grade students. Hypotheses were examined using correlational analysis and independent T-test analysis.

The results indicated that aerobic fitness and academic achievement were not correlated with mathematics scores, not reading scores. Regarding gross motor skills and their correlation to academic achievement, only manual dexterity and bilateral coordination were statistically significant with academic achievement. On the other hand, all fine motor skills correlated with academic achievement. When analyzing reaction time and aerobic fitness, only simple reaction time correlated with aerobic fitness.

With regards to the relative age effect and aerobic fitness, no relationship was identified. However, a relative age effect was identified in the gross motor subcategories of upper limb coordination, bilateral coordination, and strength. Furthermore, there was a relative age effect observed with academic achievement. When taking gender into account, males demonstrated a higher mean difference in several subcategories of gross motor skills, specifically, upper limb coordination, manual coordination, body coordination and strength and agility. In addition, there was no group mean difference between males and females in fine motor skills. Lastly, with regards to handedness and footedness, right handedness demonstrated a relationship with the gross motor skill subcategories of upper limb coordination, manual coordination, running speed and agility, strength and strength and agility. However, footedness did not reveal a relationship with gross motor skills.





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