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Behavioral Science Lab

 The laboratory focuses on physical activity behavior, primarily in the pediatric population.  Recent studies have focused on identifying and better understanding several factors that influence physical activity behavior in children such as; peer relationships, physically interactive gamming and manipulating the variety of exercise options.  These studies combine aspects of exercise science, psychology and physiology in an effort to elucidate the complex nature of why some children are very active while others are sedentary.  The lab is presently equipped to perform a wide array of measures including, but not limited to; exercise tests, anthropometric measures, and assessments of relative reinforcing (motivating) value.  Nearby gymnasium space is also regularly utilized to re-create a naturalistic physical activity environment for participants.

Current projects are focused on assessing the impact of ostracism on physical activity behavior in eight to 12 year old children as well as determining the effect the presence of a friend has on physical activity behavior in young children (four to six years of age). 


Recent publications;

  1. Barkley, J.E., J.N. Roemmich, E.J. Ryan, D. Bellar and M.V. Bliss. (2010) Variety of Exercise Equipment and Physical Activity Participation in Children.  Journal of Sport Behavior. In-press.  Accepted for publication (2-23-2010).


  1. Penko, A., and J.E. Barkley.  (2010) Motivation and Physiologic Responses of Playing a Physically Interactive Video Game Relative to a Sedentary Alternative in Children. Annals of Behavioral Medicine.  DOI 10.1007/s12160-010-9164-x.
  1.  Barkley, J.E., J.N. Roemmich and L.H. Epstein. (2009) Reinforcing Value of Interval and Continuous Physical Activity in Children.  Physiology and Behavior. 98: 31-36.


  1. Rittenhouse, M.A., and J.E. Barkley. (2009) The Effect of Peer Influence on the Amount of Physical Activity Performed in 8-12 Year Old Boys.  Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise, 41(5) Supplement: S92-93, May 2009. 


  1. Barkley, J.E., A. Penko. (2009) Physiologic Responses, Perceived Exertion and Hedonics of Playing a Physically Interactive Video Game Relative to a Sedentary Alternative and Treadmill Walking in Adults.  Journal of Exercise Physiology online.  12(3):12-23.


  1. Barkley, J.E., and J.N. Roemmich. (2008)  Validity of the CALER and OMNI-Bike Ratings of Perceived Exertion. Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise. 40(4): 760-66.