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.


46th Annual Convention; Washington DC; 2020

Event Details

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Symposium #129
CE Offered: BACB
Applications of The Good Behavior Game Across Procedural Variations and Student Populations
Saturday, May 23, 2020
3:00 PM–4:50 PM
Marriott Marquis, Level M4, Independence D
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Katie Wiskow (California State University Stanislaus)
Discussant: Jeanne M. Donaldson (Louisiana State University)
CE Instructor: Jeanne M. Donaldson, Ph.D.

The Good Behavior Game (GBG) is a multicomponent intervention consisting of rules, teams, feedback, and rewards. The GBG has repeatedly demonstrated reductions in problem behaviors and increases in appropriate behaviors across various populations of students and settings. There are many potential variations to the GBG; however, not all variations have been directly explored. In addition, the GBG is most frequently implemented in general education classrooms, but there is less research on the GBG with other populations. This symposium includes four papers evaluating components of the GBG across several populations of students. The first paper compared positive and negative punishment components during the GBG in a general education elementary school classroom. The second paper compared different magnitudes of reinforcement within the GBG in three general education elementary school classrooms. The third paper evaluated the GBG during two social skills groups with children with autism. The fourth paper evaluated the effect of observation and rules to reduce problem behaviors displayed by adolescents in a juvenile residential treatment setting.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): Classroom management, GBG, Group contingency, Rules
Target Audience:

BCBA's, BCBA'D's, especially those who work or consult in schools.

Learning Objectives: 1. Be able to list and describe the main components of the GBG. 2. Describe effective GBG variations. 3. Understand behavior analytic principles influencing the effectiveness of the GBG.
The Effects of and Preference for Positive and Negative Punishment in the Good Behavior Game
ERIKA RUBY SILVA (California State University Stanislaus; Synergy Behavior Consultants), Katie Wiskow (California State University Stanislaus)
Abstract: The Good Behavior Game (GBG) is an effective intervention to reduce disruptive behavior in classrooms. One component of the GBG typically involves immediate positive punishment (e.g.., delivery of a hatch mark) following disruptions; however, researchers have also used response cost procedures (e.g., removal of a token). In the present study, we compared the effects of the GBG and GBG-Response Cost on levels of disruptions in a second-grade general education classroom. In addition, we measured student prompts, teacher praise, and teacher correctives. In the final phase of the study we asked students which game variation they favored. We also implemented a concurrent chains procedure to evaluate teacher preference. Results demonstrated that the GBG-Response Cost initially reduced disruptions to lower levels than the GBG, but both versions of the game were effective in reducing disruptive behavior. We also found that the teacher and majority of students preferred to play the GBG-Response Cost.

An Evaluation of Different Magnitudes of Reinforcement Within the Context of the Good Behavior Game

KAYLA CROOK (University of Georgia; University of Mississippi), Joel Eric Ringdahl (University of Georgia), Karla Zabala (University of Georgia), Dan Mangum (University of Georgia), Kadijah Quinland (University of Georgia)

The Good Behavior Game (GBG) is an evidence-based practice used in classrooms to reduce disruptive classroom behavior. The GBG has been implemented and demonstrated effectiveness across grade levels, disruptive behaviors, and teachers report that it is an easy classroom management strategy to implement. In the current study, magnitude of reinforcement was manipulated to determine if this parameter of reinforcement had an impact on the effectiveness of the GBG. Appropriate classroom behavior increased across three elementary classrooms. The impact of magnitude of reinforcement was idiosyncratic across the three classrooms. Reasons why magnitude of reinforcement may not have impacted the effectiveness of the GBG are discussed.

Evaluating the Good Behavior Game in Autism-Only Social Skills Groups
SAVANNAH TATE (University of Florida), SungWoo Kahng (Rutgers University)
Abstract: The good behavior game (GBG) is an interdependent group contingency used to decrease target behaviors across a group of participants (Barrish, Saunders, & Wolf, 1969). We evaluated the GBG in a non-concurrent multiple baseline design. Participants included two groups of children with autism diagnoses. The first group included five children ranging in age from 5-6 years old. The second group included four children ranging in age from 9-10 years old. Target behaviors included disruptive behavior, inappropriate attention, and refusal to follow instructions. The groups participated in the game across three activities. The groups were divided into two teams. At the beginning of the session, the teams picked their “team name” and their earned activity. If a child engaged in a target behavior, his or her team received a “strike” on a visual board. If the team ended the day with fewer than 10 strikes, they received access to a pre-determined activity (e.g., iPad, dance party). For both groups, implementation of the GBG resulted in decreases in problem behavior.

Effects of Obtrusive Observation and Rules on Classroom Behavior of Adolescents in a Juvenile Residential Treatment Setting

Sally Hamrick (Auburn University), Sarah M. Richling (Auburn University), KRISTEN BROGAN (Auburn University), John T. Rapp (Auburn University), William Tirey Davis (Auburn University)

Several studies have used interdependent group contingencies to decrease disruptive behavior and increase appropriate behavior for groups of adolescents. In addition, one study demonstrated that rules plus feedback about rule violations, without additional group contingencies, decreased problem behavior and increased appropriate behavior for adolescents in three classrooms within a residential juvenile facility. Given the rapid behavior change observed in the aforementioned study, it is possible behavior changes were produced by reactivity to obtrusive observation from program implementers. To address this question, we used two A-B designs in conjunction with the conservative dual-criterion (CDC) method to evaluate the extent to which obtrusive observation alone and rules, without systematic consequences, decreased problem behaviors in two classrooms within a residential juvenile facility. Results from visual and CDC analyses indicate that (a) obtrusive observation did not affect problem behavior in either classroom and (b) rules decreased problem behavior in both classrooms and increased appropriate behavior in one classroom. In addition, a measure of social validity indicated that the procedures and outcomes were acceptable to the classroom teacher.




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