Research Article  |   February 2015
Effects of Stability Balls on Children’s On-Task Behavior, Academic Achievement, and Discipline Referrals: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Author Affiliations
  • Alicia Fedewa, PhD, NCSP, is Associate Professor, Department of Counseling, School, and Educational Psychology, University of Kentucky, Lexington; alicia.fedewa@uky.edu
  • Matthew A. C. Davis, MA, is Doctoral Student, University of Kentucky, Department of Counseling, School, and Educational Psychology, University of Kentucky, Lexington
  • Soyeon Ahn, PhD, is Assistant Professor, Department of Educational and Psychological Studies, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida
Article Information
School-Based Practice / Children and Youth
Research Article   |   February 2015
Effects of Stability Balls on Children’s On-Task Behavior, Academic Achievement, and Discipline Referrals: A Randomized Controlled Trial
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, February 2015, Vol. 69, 6902220020p1-6902220020p9. doi:10.5014/ajot.2015.014829
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, February 2015, Vol. 69, 6902220020p1-6902220020p9. doi:10.5014/ajot.2015.014829
Abstract

OBJECTIVE. We used a randomized controlled design to investigate whether using stability balls during the school day was associated with higher levels of on-task behavior and academic achievement and fewer discipline referrals.

METHOD. Over 9 mo, students in 2 second-grade classrooms in a southeastern rural elementary school used stability balls as chairs while students in 2 control classrooms used chairs as usual. We collected measures of on-task behavior, standardized measures of literacy and mathematics achievement, and discipline referrals.

RESULTS. We found similar levels of on-task behavior and achievement in treatment and control classrooms and a downward trend in disruptive behaviors in treatment classrooms.

CONCLUSION. This study did not find use of stability balls for entire general education classrooms to be a practical use of resources for schools. More research with rigorous controlled designs is needed to support the use of stability balls for the general education population.