Date of Award

Summer 8-2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair

Brad Dufrene

Committee Chair Department


Committee Member 2

Keith Radley

Committee Member 2 Department


Committee Member 3

Daniel Tingstrom

Committee Member 3 Department


Committee Member 4

Evan Dart

Committee Member 4 Department



Praise has been shown to be an effective intervention for decreasing problem behaviors in the classroom when there is a hypothesized attention function. Unfortunately, studies have shown that teachers generally provide low rates of praise even after didactic instruction. Praise training consisting of didactic and direct training have been used to increase praise rates but few studies have examined the individual components within praise training to determine if didactic training is necessary. Additionally, while some studies have examined the maintenance of praise rate following praise training, few studies have focused on the generalization of praise towards other students. This study replicated and extended upon Dufrene et al. (2012) and Dufrene et al. (2014), by testing the efficacy of a direct teacher training procedure to increase praise while evaluating maintenance and generalization of praise. Four elementary school students and their teachers participated in the study due to referrals for problem behavior within the classroom with a hypothesized attention function. All teachers were trained to increase BSP through the use of a bug-in-the-ear radio. Praise directed towards the target student as well as other students in the classroom were recorded along with occurrence of problem behavior by the target student. Teachers who did not demonstrate maintenance and/or generalization were provided additional training. Results of this study showed that direct training resulted in increase in praise towards all target students but maintenance was not stable following withdrawal for all teachers. Of the four teachers, only one generalized praise towards other students. Additional training was required for three of the four teachers to generalize praise, which maintained during follow-up.