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.


50th Annual Convention; Philadelphia, PA; 2024

Event Details

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Symposium #125
CE Offered: BACB
Recent Applications of Group Contingencies in School Settings
Saturday, May 25, 2024
3:00 PM–4:50 PM
Convention Center, 100 Level, 104 AB
Area: EDC/TBA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Milad Najafichaghabouri (Utah State University )
Discussant: Jennifer L. Austin (Georgia State University)
CE Instructor: Jennifer L. Austin, M.S.

This symposium features four research presentations that will focus on applications of group contingencies in school settings. The first presentation will demonstrate the use of synchronous delivery of music within an interdependent group contingency to increase toy clean up behavior of small groups of preschoolers. The second presentation will discuss the effects of and student preference for different forms of feedback delivery (i.e., vocal, visual and no feedback) during the Good Behavior Game (GBG) with three, fifth grade classrooms. The third study will discuss the effects of the GBG with rule statements only (i.e., no reward) and GBG with a reinforcement contingency (i.e., winners get a reward) with four classrooms. The fourth study will discuss the effects of the GBG under different reward contingencies (i.e., immediate, delayed, and no reward) on behavior of individual students in three classrooms. Presenters will discuss clinical implications and future direction in each of the discussed areas.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): classroom management, group contingency, procedural modifications, synchronous reinforcement
Target Audience:

Researchers and practitioners working in school settings.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the symposium, participants will be able to: 1) Define synchronous reinforcement and describe how it can be used with group contingencies. 2)Discuss the effects of different forms of feedback during the GBG. 3) Discuss the role of rewards and reinforcement contingencies in the GBG.

Effects of Synchronous Reinforcement Within a Group Contingency for Increasing Toy Cleanup in Preschoolers

ELIZABETH HARDESTY (University of Kansas), Claudia L. Dozier (The University of Kansas), KY Clifton KANAMAN (University of Kansas), Thomas Freetly (University of Kansas)

Instructions to clean up may evoke problem behavior or noncompliance (Wilder et al., 2007). Although individualized treatment procedures for increasing clean-up are available to clinicians (e.g., differential reinforcement, token economies, response cost procedures), a group contingency may be more manageable in environments where one-on-one intervention is not feasible (e.g., classroom, group homes, day service providers, etc.). Group contingencies are often used in classroom management systems (Groves & Austin, 2017) and are relatively easy for teachers to implement (Hine et al., 2015). One schedule of reinforcement that may lend itself particularly useful within a group contingency is synchronous reinforcement (SSR; Diaz de Villegas, 2020). In the current evaluation, we extended research on SSR by evaluating the efficacy of synchronous music delivery within an interdependent group contingency for increasing toy cleanup behavior after play of small groups of preschool children. Additionally, we analyzed peer-directed vocal side effects (i.e., positive vocal interactions, negative vocal interactions, and prompts to clean up) that occurred during the evaluation. Results demonstrated that SSR within the group contingency successfully increased cleanup for all participants; however, additional modifications (i.e., SSR contingency training and an individualized SSR contingency with preferred videos) were needed for two participants.


The Effects of and Preference for Feedback During the Good Behavior Game in Elementary Classes

ELIZABETH KAY LINTON (Louisiana State University ), Jensen Chotto (Louisiana State University), Jeanne M. Donaldson (Louisiana State University)

The Good Behavior Game (GBG) is an effective procedure for reducing disruptive classroom behavior. In Experiment 1, students in 3 fifth grade classes selected the rules of the GBG and then experienced the GBG with different forms of feedback delivery for rule violations (i.e., vocal and visual, vocal only, visual only, no feedback) on disruptive classroom behavior in a multielement design. All versions of the GBG substantially reduced disruptive behavior below baseline levels. Additionally, in 1 of 3 classes, losing the GBG produced an increase in negative peer interactions immediately following the GBG. In Experiment 2, students selected which condition from Experiment 1 they would experience each session in a group arrangement concurrent chains preference assessment. The condition nominated most often by students in all classes at all opportunities was the GBG version that included both visual and vocal feedback. Implications of findings and future directions will be further discussed.


An Evaluation of Reinforcement Contingencies and Rule Statements Within the Good Behavior Game

ROSIE NICOLE COOPER-NEARY (Louisiana State University at Shreveport), Margaret Rachel Gifford (Louisiana State University Shreveport), Kayla Crook (University of Mississippi), Joel Eric Ringdahl (University of Georgia), Dan Rowland Mangum (Georgia Department of Education)

The Good Behavior Game (GBG) is an evidence-based classroom management packaged intervention that has been shown to reduce disruptive classroom behavior in a variety of academic settings. In typical application, the GBG utilizes an interdependent group contingency, and the teacher explains to the students which contingencies are in place and how they relate to behavior (i.e., a rule statement is provided). This approach provides at least two potential explanations for resultant behavior change: (a) contact with a reinforcement contingency or (b) students behaving in accordance with rule statements. To address this question, the current study evaluated the efficacy of GBG in the presence and absence of a reinforcement contingency (i.e., rule statement plus contingency or rule statement only) across four classrooms. Results of the study indicated that the reinforcement contingency was a necessary component to yield maximum behavior change. Results are discussed as they relate to implementation of GBG and its component parts.

Procedural Modifications to the Good Behavior Game: A Comparison of Reward Delivery Strategies
DYLAN MURPHY ZIMMERMAN (Utah State University ), Milad Najafichaghabouri (Utah State University ), Ray Joslyn (West Virginia University)
Abstract: The Good Behavior Game (GBG) is a highly effective classroom management strategy with a large body of empirical support (Bowman-Perrot et al., 2016; Joslyn et al., 2019a). Despite its widespread effectiveness, previous research has identified barriers to implementation in classrooms such as the cost and time required to delivery rewards immediately following each session (Joslyn et al., 2019b). Some evidence suggests that delaying the reward until later in the day or week may still be effective. This schedule of reinforcement may be more feasible for teachers. The current study extends this line of research by comparing immediate, delayed, and no reward during the GBG. Results indicated that all nine preschool and early elementary participants showed immediate decreases in disruptive behavior with the introduction of the GBG, and no differentiation between the three variations of the game when they followed the standard GBG arrangement. This suggests that rewards may be periodically delayed or skipped all together while maintaining effectiveness of the GBG. Social validity results were overall positive. Teachers highlighted some concerns (e.g., students being unnaturally quiet or cautious), and procedures they found challenging (e.g., point delivery and feedback).



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