Date of Graduation

Fall 2015

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Major

Exercise Science - PrePhysical Therapy

Research Sponsor

Rachele Kappler

First Reader

Laura Richardson

Second Reader

Ronald Otterstetter

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate whether or not different instructional techniques (written material versus teacher demonstration and feedback) have an affect on the improvements in flexibility, adherence to a stretching program, and the quality at which stretches are performed. Thirty one college students were recruited from The University of Akron to follow a four week stretching routine designed for the quadriceps musculature. This was a randomized experimental study with three groups. Quadriceps flexibility was assessed during the pretest and posttest using the modified Thomas test. The control group (n= 15) completed a pretest and posttest, but did no stretching during the four weeks. The written material group (n= 9) received a packet with instruction on how to complete the stretching routine on their own time. The demonstrational group (n= 7) met with the researchers twice a week for the four weeks and were instructed and given feedback concerning execution of the stretches. Paired T-tests comparing the pretest and posttest data for the control group resulted in a p-value = 0.034, written group p-value = 0.004, and demonstrational group p-value = 0.0001. The average adherence rate between the written and demonstrational groups did not significantly differ. An R2 = 0.075 indicates a very weak correlation between adherence rate and flexibility improvements for the written group. An R2 = 0.61 indicates a much stronger, but still a weak correlation between adherence rate and flexibility improvements for the demonstrational group. With the current population studied, the results imply that demonstrating the stretches and providing feedback is more effective for improving quadriceps flexibility and possibly quality of stretching than providing written material alone. With limitations such as a small sample size and reliance on self-reports, this study has acted as a pilot test for future larger scale studies in this area.

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