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.

Read more

More Updates


smiling coaches
smiling coaches

November 29, 2022

Welcome back to the Joy Series ›

As we enter the last month of the year, we are thrilled to bring back the Joy Series. After a year full of transitions, growth, and exciting new changes for us, we’re looking forward to spending the next five weeks focused on joy. Here’s how you can follow along with the Joy Series:    …

November 16, 2022

Meet Renee, our new Executive Director! ›

Born and raised in Watertown, Massachusetts, Renee Gaudette has worked for youth development organizations in New England since graduating college and now joins us as New England’s new Executive Director. Her favorite recess game is 4-square (“I get really competitive… I can’t help it,” she admits), and she has a dog named California Sunshine Epps…

November 15, 2022

Building skills through play: developing youth leaders on the playground ›

What does youth empowerment look like at recess and why is it important? Every kid deserves the opportunity to shine. The playground is the perfect place to empower students and build their confidence by giving them opportunities to lead, whether it be with their own classmates or students in younger grades. Play is such a…