Date of Graduation

Fall 2009


Master of Science in Education in Secondary Education in Physical Education



Committee Chair

Rebecca Woodard


motor, at-risk, competence, start, skills

Subject Categories

Health and Physical Education


Head Start is a comprehensive early childhood development program primarily for low-income children and their families. Initiated in 1965, Head Start is federally funded by the United States Department of Health and Human Services and currently serves over 900,000 children of various racial and cultural backgrounds. The national curriculum promotes school readiness by focusing on the enhancement of social and cognitive development by providing educational, health, nutritional, and social services. Currently, gross motor development is not included in their curriculum. The purpose of this project is to investigate the relationship between fundamental gross motor development and perceived competence of children enrolled in the Ozarks Area Head Start program. Results indicate that there does exist a significant relationship between locomotor skills and cognitive and physical competence. Females expressed greater perceived competence in all four domains (physical, cognitive, maternal, and peer) than their male counterparts. These differences were all statistically significant with the exception of physical competence. In addition, there is a gap in the literature that links these two variables. A formal movement curriculum in Head Start has not been established. It is projected that the outcomes of this project will provide evidence to support the importance of including a movement program within the Head Start curriculum.


© Philip M. Esposito

Campus Only