Author

Seckinger

Date of Award

6-2005

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. R. Wayne Fuqua

Second Advisor

Dr. Mark Alavosius

Third Advisor

Dr. Linda LeBlanc

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access

Abstract

Each year, over 200,000 people receive emergency room care for injuries sustained on recreational equipment, and a vast majority of these injuries involve children under the age of 15 who have been hurt on school playground equipment. To date, a single empirical study has been conducted applying behavioral technology to decrease children's risky behavior on playground equipment (Heck, Collins, & Peterson, 2001 ), and showed reductions in risk-taking behavior when programmed consequences were in place. The purposes of the current investigation were to replicate and extend previous research though a component analysis of an injury prevention package designed to decrease unsafe use of playground recreational equipment among elementary school children. Results demonstrated that consistent behavioral contingencies for risky behavior produced the greatest reduction in students' unsafe behavior on the tube slide while a decline in students' play on this piece of play equipment was also revealed in two classes. No differences in play behavior of students serving in a peer leadership role were observed. Implications of these findings and further areas for research are discussed.

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