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Governing Procedure and Experimental Outline

We recognize that the link between physical activity and psychological well-

being in children adolescents is not a new concept and has been studied thoroughly

for many years (Ryan 2008, Raustorp et al. 2005, Kirkaldy et al. 2002, Boyd and

Hrycaiko 1997). However, most if not all of these studies are limited in the sense

that they have a very narrow temporal ordemographical focus. This study seeks to

avoid these limitations by monitoring the self-esteem and physical activity levels of

an ethnically and economically diverse group of children during all major stages of

development (from six to eighteen years of age). In doing this we will add a critical

piece of literature to the overall body of knowledge about the effects of physical

activity on psychological well-being.

Sample Selection


The initial sample population for this experiment will be young children living

in the United States, not including those living in US territories. It is our intent to

select children no younger than six years and no older than seven years of age. Six

years of age, the lower bound of our age requirement, is that at which at least some

children have acquired basic reading skills and will be able to independently

complete the written assessments given to them as a part of this experiment

(National Institue of Child Health 2000). The upper age limit of seven years will be

observed to ensure general developmental uniformity in the sample population and

to guarantee that this study encompasses all stages of childhood. It should also be

noted that we intentionally selected this particular age group because it includes

the average ages at which compulsory education is mandated by the vast majority
of states (U.S. Department of Education 2008). Entry into a school environment

marks one of the key stages of a child’s development (Sameroff and Haith 1996).


For the purposes of this study, we divided the United States into the nine

primary geographical divisions designated by the US census bureau. These nine

divisions are contained within the four primary regions of the US: the Northeast,

Midwest, South, and West (United States Census Bureau 2009). Within each

division, the state that best matched the ethnic distribution of the entire division

was selected as one of those from which children would be drawn (see table 1).

Finally, we examined the 2007 economic statistics of individual counties within each

target state and grouped the counties according to the percentage of individuals

below the poverty line, defined as an annual income of $10,210 in 2007 by the

Department of Health and Human Services (National Archives and Records 2007).

Each county was categorized as “low”, “middle”, or “high” according to their

reported poverty statistics, with “low” indicating a low, “middle” indicating an

average, and “high” indicating a highpoverty level relative to the average poverty

level of the state as a whole. One county in each economic category was randomly

selected from each state, giving a total of three counties per state. Children from

these counties will be selected to participate in this study. This selection process

will produce a sample population that is both ethnically and economically

representative of the entire country.

The majority of children ages six to seven are entering their first year of

primary school, where they will spend, on average, more than six hours of each day

(U.S. Department of Education 2006). Therefore, rather than intentionally selecting

specific children, we will recruit children on a voluntary basis from public primary
schools within the chosen counties. The ultimate goal of the recruitment will be to

obtain a total sample size between 750 and 1000 children to maintain the statistical

significance of this study over the twelve to thirteen year period that it will be

conducted. However, if there is an overwhelmingly positive response to our study,

we will accommodate as many as we have resources for while maintaining the

economic and ethnic diversity of the study.

White Black American Asian Native Hawaiian Of

Indian and and Pacific Hispanic/Latino
Alaska Native Islander
New England 88.4 6.4% 0.4% 3.6% 0.1% 7.7%
Rhode Island 88.7 6.3% 0.6% 2.8% 0.1% 11.2%
Mid-Atlantic 77.9 14.9 0.4% 5.6% 0.1% 12.6%
% %
New Jersey 76.3 14.5 0.3% 7.5% 0.1% 15.9%
% %
East North 83.6 12.2 0.4% 2.5% Z 6.9%
Central % %
Ohio 84.9 12% 0.2% 1.6% Z 2.5%
West North 89% 6.2% 1.2% 2.1% 0.1% 4.5%
Minnesota 89.3 4.5% 1.2% 3.5% 0.1% 4%
South Atlantic 73.4 22.1 0.5% 2.8% 0.1% 10.9%
% %
Delaware 74.5 20.9 0.4% 2.8% 0.1% 6.5%
% %
East South 77% 20.5 0.4% 1.1% Z 2.8%
Central %
Tennessee 80.4 16.9 0.3% 1.3% 0.1% 3.5%
% %
West South 79.8 14.3 1.5% 2.9% 0.1% 26.4%
Central % %
Texas 82.6 12% 0.7% 3.4% 0.1% 36%
Mountain 88.4 3.6% 3.3% 2.6% 0.3% 22.9%
Colorado 89.9 4.2% 1.2% 2.7% 0.1% 19.9%
Pacific 77.5 5.8% 1.4% 11.6 0.6% 29.5%
% %
California 76.8 6.7% 1.2% 12.4 0.4% 36.2%
% %
Table 1. Shows the ethnic composition in each of the nine divisions designated by the U.S.
census bureau in 2007. The states listed beneath the division names (in bold) belong to that
division and most closely model the ethnic trends seen in the divisions as a whole. These
are the states that we drew from in this study. The symbol “Z” indicates that the percent
composition was less than 0.05%. All data was provided by the United States census


As of the creation of this document we have obtained all of the necessary

permissions from the ethics committees of each chosen state to conduct this

research and have received tentative commitments from school representatives of

twenty seven different primary schools to cooperate with us. They in turn have

notified all parents of six and seven year old students at their institutions about the

intent and purpose of this study. In addition, parental consent forms have also been

distributed so that we can obtain an estimate for our sample population.

Judging Self-Esteem

Written Assessments Children Ages 6 to 10

For this study, we will be judging the self-esteem of young children using the

Children’s Inventory of Self-Esteem (CISE) scale and the Self-Esteem Index (SEI)

scale (Anon 2001, Brown and Alexander 1991). The former scale is an assessment

designed for the child’s teacher that seeks to reveal his or her perception of the

child’s personality and behavior, both of which are inherently linked to the child’s

self-esteem. The latter scale, the Self-Esteem Index, will beused to complement the

findings of the CISE and will be completed by the child independently of others.

This measure quantifies self-esteem by examining the child’s perception of familial

acceptance, academic competence, peer popularity, and personal security (Brooke

We will follow the practice of Maxwell and Chmielewski in administering the

80 item Self-EsteemIndex scale. This includes having a representative of our

research team sit with the children during the assessment to answer any questions

that the children may have about the meaning of any item. If requested, the

researcher will read each item of the SEI aloud to the child. The children will be told

that there are “no correct answers” to the assessment and that none of their

responses will be judged or graded. The results of both the CISE and the SEI scale

for each child will then be compiled and examined at a later time by our research


During these first five years of this study we feel that it would be most

efficient to conduct all written assessments within a quiet classroom environment.

Although a home environment would likely be more comfortable for children and

reduce test anxiety (if any), it would be extremely difficult to provide the necessary

support required for them to complete the assessment (Weber 1983). After five

years we expect that children will gradually disperse into potentially different

middle and then high schools, at which time this method is no longer practical.

Written Assessments Ages 11 to 18

Here we assume that all adolescents are proficient in their ability to read and

understand the material presented in the written assessments. The self-esteem of

adolescents in this age range will be judged entirely by the Self-Esteem Index scale

and the assessment will be completed independently by each child. It will be

mailed to the child’s address in a prepaid envelope that the child (or the parent of

the child) can use to return the completed assessment form at any time without any

cost to his/her family.

Face to Face Psychological Assessments

We realize that written assessments may not be able to capture a complete

picture of individual’s self-esteem. As a result, we will randomly select two children

from each primary school in our original sample to undergo personal evaluations by

one of the lead researchers in this study. For consistency, the evaluation will be

guided by the items included in the Self-Esteem Index scale but the children will be

allowed to explain their views and opinions more thoroughly. These psychiatric

evaluations, like the written assessments, will be conducted annually and ideally will

involve the same children each time. Evaluations for each child will be reviewed

and analyzed for important trends after the first five years of the study and then

every two years thereafter. In this case, the frequency of evaluation review

increases after the first five years so that we will be able to more closely monitor

the children as they make the critical transition from childhood to adolescence.

Physical Activity Levels

In order to accurately gauge the physical activity levels of the children in our

sample, we propose two different measurement techniques. The first technique will

rely on self-reported physical activity (a questionnaire), while the second will involve

the use of accelerometers to measure physical activity directly.


During the first eight years of this study, we will make use of the Physical

Activity Questionnaire for Older Children (PAQ-C) (Kowlaski, Crocker, Faulkner 1997).

This assessment was designed for children ages eight to fourteen and studies

patterns of moderate to vigorous physical activity undertaken by the child during

the seven days prior to the assessment (Janz et al. 2008). Because our initial

sample could potentially include children as young as six years old, it would be in

our best interest to administer the PAQ-C within a classroom setting for the first two
years of this study. Representatives of our research team will be directly available

to answer any questions that the children may have regarding the content of the

assessment during this time period. In this way we hope to make the PAQ-C

accessible to all children in this study. After the first two years the PAQ-C will be

mailed to the child’s household during the school year and returned by mail in a

prepaid envelope.

For the remaining years of this study we will use a modified form of the PAQ-C

designed for adolescents and high-school age individuals known as the Physical

Activity Questionnaire for Adolescents (PAQ-A) (Kowlaski, Crocker, Kowlaski 1997).

It is nearly identical to the PAQ-C but includes only those questions appropriate for

the age group (Janz et al. 2008). The PAQ-A will be mailed directly to the child’s

address and completed at his or her leisure.


A relatively small subset (n=200) of our initial population will be randomly

selected to participate in a direct quantification of physical activity using an

accelerometer. For this study we have chosen to use the RT3 accelerometer

(Stayhealthy Inc.) because of its ability to correctly identify different levels of

physical activity (light, moderate, vigorous) in laboratory and in free-living

conditions as well as accurately measure periods of inactivity (Hussey et al. 2009,

Sun et al. 2008). Furthermore, the device is generally unobtrusive and can be worn

during most activities.

The accelerometers will be used every four years, beginning with the first

year,in order to capture a clear picture of the physical activity levels of children at

once during elementary, middle, and high school. They will be distributed locally to

selected children and their parents after watching a brief presentation concerning
safety and the proper use of the device. Children will be instructed to wear the

accelerometer at all times except in situations where the device is under

considerable risk for damage (high-contact activities). At the end of a seven day

period following the distribution of the RT3 the devices will be collected and the

data uploaded into a computer database for further analysis. The combined data

from the accelerometers and the questionnaires will allow us to gain a much more

comprehensive view of childhood physical activity than we could obtain from either

method alone.


One of the greatest concerns for this study given its extensive longitudinal

nature is attrition. Therefore, we feel that it would be appropriate to award small

cash prizes to the parents of the children after each confirmed instance of

participation in this study. A larger sum will be given to those participating in

accelerometer studies and face to face psychological assessments due to the

greater involvement required by both activities. See the proposed budget for

further details.

Tentative Procedural Timeline

Years 1-2

Frequency Time of Year Procedure

Annual Fall Administer SEI and CISE in
Annual Spring Perform face-to-face
psychological evaluations.
Once (Year 1) Spring Evaluate physical activity
using accelerometers.
Annual Fall Administer PAQ-C in

Years 3-5

Frequency Time of Year Procedure

Annual Fall Administer SEI and CISE
in classrooms.
Annual Spring Perform face-to-face
Once (Year 4) Spring Evaluate physical activity
using accelerometers.
Annual Fall Mail PAQ-C to

Years 6-8

Frequency Time of Year Procedure

Annual Fall Mail SEI to participants.
Annual Spring Perform face-to-face
Once (Year 8) Spring Evaluate physical activity
using accelerometers.
Annual Fall Mail PAQ-C to

Years 9-12

Frequency Time of Year Procedure

Annual Fall Mail SEI to participants.
Annual Spring Perform face-to-face
psychological evaluations.
Once (Year 12) Spring Evaluate physical activity
using accelerometers.
Annual Fall Mail PAQ-A to participants.
Budget Justification

The total estimated cost for the successful completion of this study is $2,199,754, a

fraction of which will be provided by Stanford University. This figure includes all

personnel salaries, equipment costs, travel expenses, participant compensation

totals, and publication costs that will be incurred over the duration of the study. It is

extremely important to recognize that the total cost listed above will finance this

project for the twelve years that it is scheduled to proceed, producing a modest

average yearly cost of $183,313.

The salaries of various personnel involved in this research account for the

greatest percent of the overall total. Within this category, the salaries of the

principal researchers are easily the largest, especially on a per person basis. Here

we made a reasonable assumption that each of the principal researchers

willdedicate approximately four months of each year gathering and analyzing data.

During each of these months they will receive $10,000, a reasonable price for the

skills and abilities of these individuals, generating the twelve year total seen in the

budget below. The cost to enlist research representatives will be significantly lower

because their services will be required for much shorter periods of time (during

assessment administration, for instance) and require less skill. Like the research

representatives, the accelerometer technicians willalso spend relatively little time

performing services for this study. However, their work clearly requires a great deal

of skill and as a result they will be paid significantly more per person than the

research representatives.
Participant compensation follows personnel in total cost but nevertheless is

significantly lower. We feel that this category will be our most important budgetary

need for this study. The unusual length of this study makes it a prime candidate for

excessive and statistically damaging participant dropout rates. Therefore, they will

be awarded with small sums of money for each confirmed, verifiable instance of

participation in the study. For all surveys, including the SEI and both versions of the

PAQ, we decided that ten dollars was a reasonable amount of “reward” money,

especiallyconsidering that these surveys will be given on an annual basis. Face-to-

face psychological evaluations, which will require a greater time commitment from

participants than will surveys, will generate a fifty dollar cash reward for each

completed evaluation. Using a similar line of logic we decided that accelerometer

participants would receive thirty dollars for each seven day period of use. We hope

that these measures will help to prevent a loss of participants over time.

Comment should alsobe made about the travel expenses listed in the budget.

The final total for travel to and within the selected state was generated on the

assumption that each primary researcher will visit the state once per year for twelve

years. No other personnel, including the research representatives, will require

significant transportation due to the fact that these individuals will be recruited

locally. Travel to each state was assumed to be by plane and travel within the state

was assumed to be by car. Airfares and gasoline prices were based on current

(March 2009) values.

One final item of budgetary interest not discussed thus far is postage. As

mentioned in the experimental design, one of the aims of this study is to minimize

the cost of participation in order to encourage participation in the long-term.

Therefore we believe it necessary to cover postage costs of surveys both sent by

our research team and returned by participants. To calculate these costs, we

assumed a one-way shipment cost of $0.42 (the present base cost of United States

Postal Service first-class postage) and a roundtrip total of $0.84. This figure,

combined with the approximate number of surveys mailed per year and the

duration of this study, was used to calculate the final cost of postage listed in the


Research Budget

Personnel Sponsor Portion Outside Funding Total Cost

Principal $420,000 $60,000 $480,000

Investigator #1
Principal $420,000 $60,000 $480,000
Investigator #2
Principal $420,000 $60,000 $480,000
Investigator #3
Representatives $200,000 $2,500 $202,500
Technicians/Data $70,000 $10,000 $80,000
Analysis (2)
Research $24,000 ------- $24,000
Assistants (24)


Accelerometers $59,000 $7,000 $66,000
RT3 Docking
$200 ------- $200
Station, Software

(Includes Estimated
Transportation Costs to
and within the State)
California $10,200 $400 $10,600
Colorado $9,300 $276 $9,576
Delaware $10,400 $148 $10,548
Minnesota $14,100 $444 $14,544
New Jersey $11,300 $256 $11,556
Ohio $12,500 $280 $12,780
Rhode Island $13,200 $552 $13,752
Tennessee $15,200 $568 $15,768
Texas $15,000 $480 $15,480



Completion (est. $140,000 $10,000 $150,000
1250 per year)
Evaluation (est. 54 $32,400 ------- $32,400
per year)
Participation (est.
$19,500 $4,500 $24,000
200 per year, 4


Postage (1250
envelopes per $10,250 ------ $10,250
$72,000 $3,000 $75,000
Dissemination of
Final Report

Total Cost $1,998,550 $201,204 $2,199,754


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Biographical Sketch-Kenneth Earl

Professor, Lead Researcher Tel: (777) 777-7777

Stanford University Fax: (111) 111-1111
Department of Psychology E-mail:
Jordan Hall, Building 420 Room 282

Stanford, CA 94305


B.A. Psychology – University of California, Davis 1980

Minor in Exercise Biology
M.D. – University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 1982

Ph.D. Developmental Psychology – University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 1987


Psi Chi Fraternity, University of Michigan Chapter, 1981

National Society of Leadership and Success, 1981
Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, 1991-present
American Psychological Association, Division 7, 1988-present

National Institute of Mental Health, Review Panel 1995-1998


Assistant Professor of Psychology, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, 1988-1996

Private Practice, 1990-present
Research Grant Reviewer: National Institute of Mental Health, National Science
Foundation (2002-2005)
Professor of Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University, 1997-1999
Professor of Psychology, Stanford University, 2000-present
Chair, Department of Psychology, Stanford University, 2005-present

President, American Psychological Association, 2007


Dissertation Award in Developmental Psychology, American Psychological

Association, 1988
Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology, American
Psychological Association, 1990
Honorary Degree, Cornell University, 2005
Honorary Doctorate, University of Illinois—Urbana-Champaign, 2008

Alumni Achievement Award, University of Michigan—Ann Arbor, 2007

Dickenson, D., K.S. Earl, and Jones, D. (1995). True Wishes: The philosophy and
developmental psychology of children’s informed consent. Philosophy, Psychiatry,
& Psychology, 2(4), 287-303.
Earl, K.S., T. Kishimoto, Y. Shizawa, J. Yasuda, T. Hinobayashi, and T. Minami (2007).
Do pointing gestures by infants provoke comments from adults? Infant Behavior &
Development, 30(4), 562-567.