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Prior Research

Research and Funding

Mothers and Girls dancing together Trial (Magnet Trial)
Funding Source: NIH-NIDDK K01
PI: Alhassan
Purpose: To examine the feasibility of a 12-week randomized control daughter-mother afterschool afro-centric dance physical activity intervention and explore its impact on the physical levels of African-American girls.

Short Bouts of Exercise for Preschoolers
Funding Source: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Active Living Research
PI: Alhassan
Purpose: To examine the effects of short bouts of structured physical activity incorporated into the academic classroom on preschoolers’ total daily physical activity. We are also examining the impact of the intervention on preschool classroom teachers physical activity level and psychosocial variables

Additional Outdoor Playtime Study
Funding Source: University of Massachusetts Amherst, Faculty Research Grant
PI: Alhassan
Purpose: To examine the effects of additional outdoor structured physical activity program on total daily physical activity in preschool-age children

The Preschoolers skilL-based Activity studY (Project PLAY)
Funding Source: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Active Living Research
PI: Alhassan
Purpose: To examine the effects of classroom-teacher taught skill-based outdoor playtime physical activity program on overall daily physical activity levels of low socioeconomic status minority preschool-aged children.

Novel Analytic Techniques to Assess Physical Activity in Children and Youth
Founding Source: NIH:NCI
PI: Alhassan & Freedson
Purpose: To develop and validate the novel classification methods (artificial neural networks and hidden Markov models) to process accelerometer data to better estimate energy expenditure and identify activity type in children and adolescents.

Funding Source: Boston Children’s Hospital
PI: Freedson
Purpose: Our lab collaborated with Dr. Freedson lab to examine the effect of a 100 kcal/day recess based activity intervention to reduce weight gain in 2nd and 3rd grade children.

TAP- Toddler Activity Pilot Program

PI: Alhassan

Purpose: Investigate the feasability and primary efficacy of a physical activity intervention in toddler aged children. 



Prior Publications 


1.     St. Laurent, C.W., Burkart, S., Alhassan, S. Feasibility, Acceptability, and Preliminary Efficacy of a Recess-Based Fitness Intervention in Elementary School Children. International Journal of Exercise Science (In Press).

2.     Alhassan S, St Laurent CW, Burkart S, Greever CJ, Ahmadi MN. Feasibility of Integrating Physical Activity Into Early Education Learning Standards on Preschooler's Physical Activity Levels. J Phys Act Health. 2019;16(2):101-107.

3.     Alhassan, S., Nwaokelemeh, O., Greever, C.J., Burkart, S.A., Ahmadi, M, St. Laurent, C.W., Barr-Anderson, D.J. Effect of a culturally-tailored mother-daughter physical activity intervention on pre-adolescent African-American girls’ physical activity levels. Preventive Medicine Reporter. 2018;11:7-14

4.     Alhassan S, St. Laurent CW, Burkart S. Preschool-Based Physical Activity Interventions in African-American and Latino Preschoolers: A Literature Review. Kinesiology Reviews. 2018;7(2): 142-50.

5.     Barr-Anderson DJ, Adams-Wynn AW, Orekoya O, Alhassan S. Socio-Cultural and Environmental Factors that Influence Weight-Related Behaviors: Focus Group Results from African-American Girls and Their Mothers. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018;15(7):E1354