Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Mary Lou Kelley


Research suggests that homework has favorable effects on learning and student achievement. However, research directed at improving homework completion and accuracy has been limited in scope. The present study examined the effects of goal setting and contingency contracting on children's homework performance. Subjects were four parent-child dyads in which the child exhibited clinically significant homework problems. Dependent variables of primary interest included direct observation of children's on-task behavior, work accuracy, and Homework Problem Checklist scores (Anesko, Schoiock, Ramirez, & Levine, 1987). Using a combination of multiple baseline and withdrawal (ABAB) designs, goal setting and contingency contracting produced significant improvements in children's homework accuracy. Results concerning the effects of treatment on percent of on-task behavior were less clear although two of four subjects evidenced significant improvements in on-task behavior. Homework Problem Checklist scores improved significantly for two of four subjects. Social validity of the procedures was supported by parent ratings on standardized questionnaires. Methodological contributions and limitations are discussed as are suggestions for further research.