Master of Arts (MA)



Document Type



Disruptive behavior in the classroom negatively affects all students’ academic engagement, achievement, and behavior. Group contingencies have been proven effective in reducing disruptive behavior as part of behavior interventions in the classroom. The Good Behavior Game is a classwide intervention that employs an interdependent group contingency to diminish disruptive behavior. Previous research comparing the effects of the different group contingencies has been inconclusive, inconsistent or unable to rule out sequence effects. This study employed an alternating treatments design across 3 elementary classrooms to compare the effectiveness of interdependent and dependent group contingencies in decreasing disruptive behavior. Results showed that the Good Behavior Game was effective overall in reducing disruptive behavior, and teachers found the intervention to be acceptable and effective. Additionally, improvements in teachers’ global ratings of students’ social skills and academic behaviors were associated with the intervention. Effects of the group contingencies varied across classrooms. In 2 third-grade classrooms, superior effects were found for the interdependent group contingency over time, while in a kindergarten classroom, the group contingencies were similarly effective. In summary, both interdependent and dependent group contingencies may reduce disruptive behavior in the classroom, and their selection for use by educators may depend upon preference, goals for behavior change, student characteristics, and practical considerations.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Gresham, Frank M

Included in

Psychology Commons