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.


48th Annual Convention; Boston, MA; 2022

Event Details

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Symposium #225
CE Offered: BACB
Group Contingency Reviews: Exploring the Literature and Examining Clinical Trends
Sunday, May 29, 2022
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Meeting Level 2; Room 205A
Area: EDC/CSS; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: P. Raymond Joslyn (Utah State University)
Discussant: Jeanne M. Donaldson (Louisiana State University)
CE Instructor: Jeanne M. Donaldson, Ph.D.

Group contingencies account for a wide range of interventions and have amassed a substantial literature base. In this symposium, researchers will present reviews of the group contingency literature, including reviews of randomization in group contingencies, group contingency interventions in alternative education environments, ecological and social validity components in the Good Behavior Game, and reinforcer preference assessments and contingencies in the Good Behavior Game. Presenters will discuss clinical implications and future directions for research.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): group contingencies
Target Audience:

Intermediate. Attendees should have a general understanding of group contingencies.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: 1. Discuss the current clinical trends in group contingency-based interventions in schools and alternative education environments 2. Describe the prevalence of social and ecological validity measures in Good Behavior Game research. 3. Discuss trends in the use of reinforcer preference assessment and reinforcers in Good Behavior Game research.

More Than Just a Game: A User Guide to Randomized Group Contingencies in Schools

VERONICA ROSE DISTASI (Caldwell University ), Meghan Deshais (Rutgers University), Jason C. Vladescu (Caldwell University), Ruth M. DeBar (Caldwell University)

Group contingencies are an evidence-based practice for producing behavior change in groups of individuals and have been widely used in educational settings. Despite the documented effectiveness of group contingencies in schools, traditional group contingencies (i.e., when components of the group contingency are known to students prior to the session) have a number of limitations. Randomized GCs (i.e., when one or more components of the group contingency are selected from a pool and are unknown to students prior to the session) are frequently used by researchers to address the limitations posed by traditional group contingencies and improve usability and contextual fit. In this presentation we will identify several of the limitations associated with traditional group contingencies and describe how randomized group contingencies can be used to overcome those limitations and improve usability or contextual fit. We will also outline recommendations, based on the existing literature, for using randomized group contingencies in educational settings.


Systematic Review of Group Contingencies in Alternative Education Settings With Students With Challenging Behavior

Emily Groves (University of South Wales), MILAD NAJAFICHAGHABOURI (Utah State University), Christopher Seel (University of South Wales), Sara Melanie Fischer (University of South Wales), Carys Thomas (University of South Wales), P. Raymond Joslyn (Utah State University)

Previous reviews show that group contingencies (GC) are an effective intervention for improving student outcomes in school settings. However, those reviews do not specifically examine the effects of GCs in alternative education settings. Given that these settings typically support individuals who are displaying severe challenging behaviors or are diagnosed with specific behavior disorders, synthesizing the evidence for GCs will be a useful contribution to the literature on how effective these procedures are in reducing problematic student behavior. In addition, this review will assess how relevant stakeholders in these settings rate the social validity of GCs. The quality of the studies included in this review were assessed using an adapted version of the Evaluative Method for Evaluating and Determining Evidence-Based Practices in Autism (Reichow et al., 2008). Twenty-one articles met final exclusion criteria and were individually coded during data extraction and quality assessment. Results suggest that GC interventions are effective in improving various student behavioral outcomes in alternative education settings. The majority of teachers assessed for social validity of GCs reported liking the intervention. Implications and future directions will be discussed.

The Good Behavior Game and Reinforcer Information: A Review of the Literature
KAYLA CROOK (University of Mississippi), Joel Eric Ringdahl (University of Georgia), Rosie Cooper (Louisiana State University, Shreveport), Karla Zabala-Snow (University of Georgia), Kadijah Quinland (University of Georgia)
Abstract: To date, there have been two literature reviews (Flower, McKenna, Bunuan, Muthing, & Vega, 2014; Tankersley, 1995) and two meta-analyses (Bowman-Perrott et al., 2016; Tingstrom, Sterling-Turner, & Wilczynski, 2006) of the research related to the GBG. The reviews and meta-analyses reviewed a range of variables including: (a) classroom organization, (b) when and how long to play the GBG, (c) game variations, (d) populations, (e) increasing and decreasing classroom behaviors, and (f) teacher/consumer satisfaction (i.e., social validity). The purpose of the current review was to assess the GBG literature published during the 5-year period of 2014-2018 (i.e., post Bowman-Perrott et al., 2016), with particular attention paid to two specific areas of interest: (a) inclusion of preference assessments and (b) inclusion of information regarding specific reinforcers used (i.e., magnitude of reinforcers). This review found researchers often do not include information regarding the inclusion of a preference assessment prior to implementation of the GBG. Despite the lack of preference assessments, GBG researchers do include some information regarding what types of reinforcers they used to reward students for winning the GBG. The information, when provided, regarding the reinforcers used is helpful for replication purposes, but even more information would be beneficial.
Examining the Social and Ecological Validity of the Good Behavior Game
DYLAN MURPHY ZIMMERMAN (Utah State University), Milad Najafichaghabouri (Utah State University), Sarah E. Pinkelman (Utah State University), P. Raymond Joslyn (Utah State University)
Abstract: The Good Behavior Game (GBG) has been established as an effective classroom behavior management strategy, but the degree to which the GBG is implemented in a socially and ecologically valid manner is relatively unknown. We conducted a systematic review of the GBG literature from 1990-2021 using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines and coded each article for key components of social and ecological validity. Results indicate that 92% of studies included some assessment of social validity, yet the measure used varied significantly. The degree to which studies measured each of the key components of social validity (i.e., goals, procedures, and outcomes; Wolf, 1978) was variable. Related to ecological validity, we found that the GBG is often researched in naturally occurring settings, with natural change agents, and with behaviors relevant to participants, yet very few studies assessed generalization or maintenance. In this session, a further analysis of these data as well as participant demographics, settings, dependent variables, and stakeholder involvement in GBG studies will be described. Directions for future research and clinical application will also be discussed.



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