Current Projects

A PATH (Promoting Activity and Trajectories of Health) for Children

​Physical inactivity in children is a major public health risk factor and national health objective. Ethnic-minorities and low income children engage in less physical activity and experience an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. There is a need for pediatric interventions to increase physical activity in preschoolers. This NIH funded project, “A PATH (Promoting Activity and Trajectories of Health) for Children” will investigate the immediate (pre-post) and long-term (3-year follow-up) effects of a motor skill intervention - the Children’s Health Activity Motor Program (CHAMP) - on motor competence, perceived motor competence, and physical activity in preschool-age children.  The Investigators for the project (1R01HL132979) are: Leah E. Robinson (PI), Natalie Colabianchi (Co-I), Lu Wang (Co-I), Dale Ulrich (Co-I), and David Stodden (Co-I). This project will commence in September 2017.

Science for Behavior Change (SOBC)

During the early childhood years, there are dramatic changes in self-regulation (SR), such as the ability to control behavioral impulses, manage emotions, and maintain focus and attention. The Children’s Health Activity Motor Program (CHAMP) provides a mastery climate wherein children choose motor skill goals and monitor their progress toward those goals by making decisions regarding their engagement, managing their emotions, focusing attention, and planning strategies in order to achieve their chosen goals. We posit that the CHAMP intervention achieves positive outcomes by improving SR in children through enabling them to select and monitor their goals, thus increasing their motor skill competence, perceived competence, and ultimately physical activity. This project  will examine the immediate (pre- to post-test) effects of the CHAMP intervention on SR and associations between SR and changes in motor competence, perceived motor competence, and physical activity. The Investigators on this  project (3R01HL132979 - 02W1) are  Leah E. Robinson (PI) and Alison Miller (Co-I). This project will commence in  September 2017. 

Self-Regulation and Obesity Risk in Young Children 
This study will address limitations in the current literature by providing vital estimates of the links between self-regulation (i.e., inhibitory control, impulsivity, emotion regulation, delay of gratification, attention focus) and behavioral (physical activity/sedentary behavior) variables shown to be especially salient in obesity.
Due to the role that motor skill competence and perceived motor competence have on children’s physical activity behaviors, these confounding variables will also be examined. Identifying such mechanisms will guide the development of more effective obesity prevention interventions.
We will address the following aims in a sample of 150 children between 3 to 6.11 years of age.
This project is funded by the Momentum Center. 
 Scale to Assess Perceived Fundamental Motor Skill Competence in Children 
Further instrument development (Phase 3 and 4) of a scale to assess perceived fundamental motor skill competence in children. This includes developing an animated format of a pre-existing video-based assessment (Robinson & Palmer, in preparation) and establishing face validity (Phase 3). Conducting test-retest and internal reliability testing of the new scale (Phase 4) in preparation for large-scale use. 

Ongoing Projects