A Comparison of Two Group Contingencies On Teachers' Use of Behavior-Specific Praise

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The present study evaluated the effects of two reinforcement contingencies on teacher use of behavior-specific praise (BSP) in the classroom. An alternating treatments design was used to compare the implementation of both an independent and interdependent contingency to increase frequency of BSP delivery. Four general education elementary school teachers and their students participated. Teachers’ use of BSP and general praise, as well as, behavior-specific and general reprimands were evaluated. Data were also collected on students’ levels of academically engaged and disruptive behaviors. Both the independent and interdependent conditions resulted in higher frequencies of BSP and reduced the use of both general and behavior-specific reprimands. Student levels of academic engagement increased while disruption decreased across both contingencies. Results of the present study are discussed in terms of related literature and implications for applied practice.

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Journal of Behavioral Education

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