Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


42nd Annual Convention; Downtown Chicago, IL; 2016

Event Details

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Symposium #25
CE Offered: BACB
Extensions of Research on Common Classroom Behavior Management Procedures
Sunday, May 29, 2016
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Regency Ballroom B, Hyatt Regency, Gold West
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Claudia L. Dozier (The University of Kansas)
CE Instructor: Claudia L. Dozier, Ph.D.

Previous research has suggested the efficacy of various classroom behavior management procedures for decreasing disruptive behavior and increasing appropriate behavior in classroom environments. In this symposium, three research studies will be presented that extend research on some of these common classroom procedures including the Good Behavior Game, descriptive praise, and token economies. Christopher Rubow will present research on procedural variations of the Good Behavior Game to increase intervention efficacy, treatment integrity, student engagement, and acceptability of the intervention. Bertilde Kamana will present research comparing the efficacy of and preference for descriptive and general praise for teaching new skills to young children. Erica Jowett Hirst will present research evaluating the influence of net token opportunity within the context of differential reinforcement versus response cost token economy procedures.

Keyword(s): classroom management, descriptive praise, GBG, token economy

Using ClassDojo and Merits to Improve Implementation and Outcomes of the Good Behavior Game

CHRISTOPHER RUBOW (University of Florida), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida)

The Good Behavior Game is an effective classroom behavior management procedure, and procedural variations may make it more feasible and effective. In five second- to sixth-grade classrooms in an alternative school for students with emotional/behavioral disorders, we investigated the effects of the standard Good Behavior Game (Barrish, Saunders, & Wolf, 1969) and the Good Behavior Game with procedural variations that involved training staff to implement the Game using a free online/mobile classroom behavior management platform, ClassDojo. Additionally, we added a merits component to the Game to increase student engagement. Results indicated the Good Behavior Game reduced disruption, increased teacher praise, and reduced teacher reprimands, but had little impact on student engagement; however, engagement increased when we added merits to the Game. For teachers using the standard Good Behavior Game, implementing the Game via ClassDojo significantly improved treatment integrity and outcomes. Treatment effects maintained throughout the entire school year for both classrooms that participated from September through May. Social validity measures from both teachers and students indicated strong preferences for ClassDojo and merits over the standard Good Behavior Game. Data from all classrooms strongly suggested the Good Behavior Game plus merits, implemented via ClassDojo, was the most effective and preferred intervention.


A Comparison of the Effects of Descriptive Praise and General Praise for Acquisition in Preschool-Age Children

BERTILDE U KAMANA (University of Kansas), Claudia L. Dozier (The University of Kansas), Jessica Foster Juanico (The University of Kansas), Elizabeth Foley (University of Kansas)

Delivering praise for correct responding is common practice in behavioral instructional programs (e.g., Gable & Shores, 1980; Goetz & Bear, 1973). Descriptive praise refers to praise in which the individuals behavior is explicitly identified (Polick, Carr, & Hanney, 2012), whereas general praise refers to the mere affirmation of correctness in an individuals responding (Brophy, 1981). Descriptive praise is often recommended over general praise with teaching both typically developing children (National Association for Education of Young Children [NEAYC], 2009) and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD; Sandall, Hemmeter, Smith, & McLean, 2005). Therefore, we extended research by isolating the type of praise delivered in the context of acquisition of novel tacts in preschool-age children and comparing the effects of these different types of praise. Results showed that descriptive praise was somewhat more effective for several participants; however, for the majority of participants, similar rates of acquisition occurred across the two types of praise. In these latter cases, results suggest that mere exposure to the correct response may have influenced acquisition. Finally, we assessed child preference for the different types of praise; preliminary results suggest no different preference for the two types of praise.


Evaluation of the Influence of Net Token Opportunity on the Efficacy of and Preference for Reinforcement and Response Cost in Token Economies

ERICA JOWETT HIRST (Southern Illinois University), Claudia L. Dozier (The University of Kansas), Jessica Foster Juanico (The University of Kansas), Bertilde U Kamana (University of Kansas), Amy M. Harper (Trumpet Behavioral Health)

Results regarding the efficacy of and preference for differential reinforcement (DR) and response cost (RC) within token economies have been inconsistent (e.g., Brent & Routh, 1978; Donaldson et al., 2014; Tanol et al., 2010). Therefore, it is possible that certain variables may influence the efficacy of and preference for the two procedures. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate whether varying the opportunity for net tokens influences the effectiveness of or preference for these procedures. Results showed that when the opportunity for net tokens was equal, DRA and RC were similarly effective for increasing on-task behavior for the majority of preschool-age participants, and preference was idiosyncratic. When the opportunity for net tokens was unequal, all participants engaged in similar increases in on-task behavior. However, when DRA resulted in more opportunity for net tokens, all participants preferred DRA; whereas, when RC resulted in the opportunity for net tokens, preferences were idiosyncratic.




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