TitleParents' perceptions of school recess policies and practices.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsOzenbaugh, I, Thalken, J, Logan, S, Stellino, MB, Massey, WV
JournalBMC Public Health
Date Published08/2022
KeywordsAdult, Child, Disabled Children, Family, Humans, Parents, Policy, Schools

BACKGROUND: Previous research has shown that school recess can provide children with physical, social and cognitive benefits; yet, recess opportunities and experiences may be different for different groups of children, specifically for children living in lower income environments, children of different racial groups other than white, and for children with disabilities. Parent perceptions of recess are important to consider as they serve as advocates for their children's access and opportunities at school as well as an additional informant for children's experiences at recess that may be useful for policymakers and school boards to consider.

OBJECTIVE: To examine parent perceptions of recess by children's disability status, children's race and ethnicity, and family household income.

METHOD: Participants included 473 parents from the U.S.A. stratified across six household income levels. Data were collected through an online survey using Prolific in May of 2020]. Confirmatory factor analyses were run for measures assessing parents' perception of belonging and victimization at recess, recess policies, and recess procedures. Regression analyses were run to examine if parents' perception of recess were predicted by race, income, or child disability status.

RESULTS: Results revealed that parents' perceptions of recess were predicted by child disability status but not race or income. Specifically, parents' perceptions were significantly predicted by child disability status regarding victimization (b = .13, SE = .06, p = .05), recess policies about withholding recess (b = .171, SE = .07, p = .01), and finally, student engagement at recess (b = .165, SE = .07, p = .02).

CONCLUSION: Results show that parents of children with a disability perceive a different recess experience for their child that involves more instances of victimization compared to parents of typically developing children. Based on these findings, school, district, and state policy makers could consider ensuring that recess includes multiple activities, is supervised by adults, and is a space where conflict resolution occurs, for creating a more inclusive environment for children with disabilities.

Alternate JournalBMC Public Health
PubMed ID35986261
PubMed Central IDPMC9388988