Oregon State University Study Finds High-Quality Recess Positively Impacts Student Behaviors

  1. Updates

A recent study by the Oregon State University College of Public Health and Human Services found that high-quality recess contributes to the executive function, emotional self-control, resilience, and positive classroom behavior in elementary school children. While past studies explored the benefits related to the amount of recess time, this is the first study to address the benefits based on the overall quality of recess. As a result, the primary purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between recess quality and social, emotional, and behavioral outcomes in children.

Researchers found that high-quality recess significantly predicted the following student behaviors:
  • Executive functioning: the cognitive skills that help a child focus attention, remember details, solve problems, and make plans.
  • Resilience: the ability to overcome adversity, quickly recover from mistakes, cope with change, and solve problems.
  • Emotional self-control: the ability to resist immediate temptations and avoid acting on impulse in response to environmental changes.
  • Positive classroom behavior: adaptability, functional communication, leadership, social skills, and study skills.

By gaining a better understanding of the value of a high-quality recess, this study highlighted the importance of an increased focus on how to support students so that they engage in beneficial and meaningful ways on the playground.

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