Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

EdD Educational Leadership


Educational Services and Leadership


College of Education


Purcell Cone, Theresa

Committee Member 1

McCall, James A.

Committee Member 2

Rattigan, Peter J.


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, before school program, case study, physical activity


Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder; Exercise


Elementary Education and Teaching


This case study examined the relationship of elementary age students' participation in a before-school physical activity program and their adherence to the behavioral expectations in the morning homeroom period. Students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) demonstrate behaviors such as impulsivity, hyperactivity, and inattention. One theory that as to the cause of these behaviors is the lack of a synaptic connection in the Executive Functioning brain area, which is caused by the lack of dopamine and norepinephrine which increase during physical activity.

This case study was conducted using three student participants diagnosed with ADHD and their classroom teacher. Data collection included an observation checklist and description, student and teacher interviews and a field journal. As a result of reading and coding the data, three major themes emerged related to the research questions along with sub themes connected to each major theme. This study found that when the students participated in the before-school physical activity program they were able to demonstrate an adherence to the behavior expectations set by the teachers in each classroom. Teacher philosophy towards education also played a role in the students' ability to adhere. This study showed that each child moved with joy and purpose, and offered a perspective into the mindset of these highly creative students.