Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Dunn, J. Hubert

Degree Name

M.S. Ed. (Master of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Physical Education


Physical education for mentally handicapped persons; Motivation (Psychology); Running--Psychological aspects


This study examined the effect of music and teacher verbal praise, given separately or in combination, on the running performance of mentally retarded adults. Fifteen subjects were selected from the Special Physical Education Teaching-Research Clinic at Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois. Included in the group were seven males and eight females, with ages ranging from 21 to 38 years. The task was to run as far as possible in a 2-minute time period. Each subject was tested three separate times under the following conditions of motivation: music, teacher verbal praise, and music/teacher verbal praise combination. The subjects ran around an oval-shaped track, measuring a total of 50 yards. Cones were placed 5 yards apart for the distance of the track. Laps run were counted, multiplied by 50, and recorded to the nearest 5 yards. Analysis of variance for repeated measures was used to analyze the differences in the distances run under the three treatment conditions. Results revealed that there were no significant differences in the distances run under the three different kinds of treatment conditions. This was also true when data were analyzed by classification (mild and moderate mental retardation) and by gender. Although there were no significant differences in the distances run under the three types of motivation, 75% of the moderately mentally retarded subjects ran farther when running with teacher verbal praise than with music only. Similar results were not found with any of the other subgroups. One recommendation for future study in this area includes testing a larger number of subjects so that the sample of subjects will be more truly representative of its population. Another recommendation is to examine the effects of music, tempo, and/or volume on the physical performance of mentally retarded individuals.


Bibliography: pages [30]-33.


v, 41 pages




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