Christine Abrahams

Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

Ed.D. Educational Leadership


Educational Leadership


College of Education

First Advisor

Purcell-Cone, Theresa


Problem youth--Behavior modification


Elementary and Middle and Secondary Education Administration


This study explores whether introducing autokinetics (self-movement) to at-risk sophomore and junior high school students would increase their self-concept, school connectedness, perception of their academic performance, and GPA. In this study, at-risk' students are defined as students who have possible drug and alcohol problems, come from single parent households, have social issues at school, and/or come from difficult family situations. The research was conducted in small groups of eight to ten students over a six-month period. The two experimental and two control groups were randomly selected. All four groups attended a forty-minute weekly group session while autokinesis was used only in the experimental groups. The format of the control groups was as follows: the group started with a version of the Native American Talking Stick which was used as a check-in device. After check-in, the remainder of the forty-minute session was a regular group session where students discussed topics that were on their minds. The experimental groups followed the same format, but during the last five to ten minutes of group work, they engaged in autokinesis (self-movement) to music. The experimental groups were provided a CD of music and asked to perform autokinesis daily for 10 minutes and to log their results. They were required to list the music they used other than the music I provided them. There was no penalty for not engaging in daily autokinesis. The results of the surveys indicated there was no statistically significant difference between the groups; however, the means of the experimental groups showed a slight increase in grade point average (GPA) and although both the control and experimental groups had an increase in discipline referrals, the experimental groups' referrals increased less than half of the control groups'. Additionally, there was a 50% increase in the students' overall self-concept score in the experimental groups as compared to a 33% increase in the control groups' overall self-concept score.