Date of Award

Summer 6-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair

Dr. Brad Dufrene

Committee Chair School


Committee Member 2

Dr. D. Joe Olmi

Committee Member 2 School


Committee Member 3

Dr. Zachary LaBrot

Committee Member 3 School


Committee Member 4

Dr. R. Alexander Smith

Committee Member 4 School



The current study evaluated the effects of the Mystery Student Intervention (MSI) in university and community-based preschool settings on the appropriate and disruptive behaviors in the classroom utilizing a randomized independent group contingency. This study extended the literature base of the MSI, which was previously conducted in Head Start classrooms by Pasqua (2019), and Pasqua and colleagues (2021) which determined the MSI to be effective at reducing disruptive behaviors in the classroom setting. A nonconcurrent multiple baseline design across three classrooms was used. This study also sought to further extend the literature by evaluating programmed maintenance using a partial sequential withdrawal method. The results of this study indicate that the MSI may be effective, consistent with Pasqua (2019) and Pasqua and colleagues (2021), but issues with baseline data limits internal validity. Based on the results, the effects of the MSI also generalized to other classroom activities in which the intervention was not being implemented for all classrooms. Additionally, in regards to maintenance, the results suggest that partial sequential withdrawal of the intervention may maintain the effects of the intervention over time. All classroom teachers found the MSI to be an acceptable and effective classroom intervention to a degree. This study adds to the literature base for group contingency interventions that are at least moderately effective in the preschool setting. Additionally, this study also contributes to the literature surrounding the maintenance of interventions and effective withdrawal methods.