An Evaluation of the Effects of Antecedent Exercise Type on Stereotypic Behaviors

  • Jihyun Lee
  • Kristina K. Vargo
  • David L. Porretta


This study examined the effects of two types of physical activities on stereotypic behaviors (SBs) and task engagement of young children with autism spectrum disorder. Locomotor activities and object manipulation activities were applied to three preschoolers with autism spectrum disorder. A multi-element design with a three-component test sequence (Morrison et al. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 44, 523–541, 2011) was used to identify changes in SBs and task engagement in the following three consecutive 5-min phases: pre-physical activity (pre-PA), physical activity (PA), and post-physical activity (post-PA). For the locomotor activity condition, all participants engaged in less SBs in post-PA compared to pre-PA, while increased SBs were observed in post-PA compared to pre-PA for the object manipulation activity condition. Positive effects of locomotor activities on task engagement were found, but the effects were clear to only one of the three participants.


Autism Stereotypic behaviors Young children Physical activity 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendment or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from the participants’ parents/legal guardians in the study and pseudonyms were used in order to maintain anonymity.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest to declare.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jihyun Lee
    • 1
  • Kristina K. Vargo
    • 2
  • David L. Porretta
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of KinesiologySan Jose State UniversitySan JoseUSA
  2. 2.Department of Language, Literacy, and Special PopulationsSam Houston State UniversityHuntsvilleUSA
  3. 3.Faculty Emeritus, Department of Human SciencesThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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