Date of Award

Fall 12-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Human Movement Sciences


Physical Education

Committee Director

Xihe Zhu

Committee Member

Justin Haegele

Committee Member

Shannan Moots


There is currently limited research on virtual physical activity (PA) programs and their relationship on social emotional competency (SEC). Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the effect of a virtual after-school PA program has on SEC among elementary school students. The participants of this study are 122 elementary school students (Mean Age=11.69) enrolled in grades 2-6 from six elementary schools. Children registered and participated in the virtual after-school PA program Move 60!, that was offered four times per week during the pandemic (Fall 2021 from October to December). SEC was measured using the Washoe County School District (WCSD) Social and Emotional Competency Assessments-Short Form (SECAs) at the beginning and end of the Move 60! program. Data analysis included descriptive analysis of demographic variables and SEC. A dependent sample t test was used to examine changes in SEC from pre to post Move60! and Cohen’s d was computed as the effect size. Independent sample t test was used to determine changes (Δ) between boys and girls. Additionally, a chi-squared test was conducted to examine the potential association between student sex and whether the composite scores were improved (i.e., Δ > 0). No differences between girls and boys were found based on premeasures of SEC. Student’s SEC significantly improved from pre to post measure. The average SEC improvement did not differ between boys and girls, although girls did report greater gains. A statistically significant association between sex and SEC improvement was found, with about 60% of girls improving SEC compared to about 40% of boys. These findings suggest that a virtual after-school PA program may enhance the SEC of elementary children. Further, girls seemed to have experienced even a greater benefit than boys by participating in such a program.


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