The Relationship Between Recess and the Behavior of 5th Grade Students

Author/Creator ORCID
Masters of Education
Citation of Original Publication
Collection may be protected under Title 17 of the U.S. Copyright Law. To obtain information or permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Goucher Special Collections & Archives at 410-337-6347 or email
The purpose of this study was to determine whether 5th grade students exhibit fewer inappropriate behaviors, as measured by the number of behavior levels they are assigned for inappropriate behaviors, before or after recess. According to the school behavior plan, levels are assigned based on behavioral infractions. Three 5th grade teachers recorded times when levels were given for each individual student (n=65) on the Weekly Behavior Logs. The average number of levels received per student in the 90 minutes before recess was compared to the average number of levels received per student in the 90 minutes after recess. Data was collected over a 10-day period. The difference in the average number of behavior levels assigned before recess (Mean = .52, SD = .90) and after recess (Mean = .29, SD = .70) was statistically significant [t (64) = 2.07, p<.05], with a greater number of levels assigned before recess. Results were affected by various factors including a shortened duration of the study and variability in indoor and outdoor recess due to inclement weather. In addition to a longer study, more research on the relationship between recess and behavior is needed to increase the validity of findings in this study.