Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Child and Family Studies

Major Professor

Kwang-Sun Cho Blair, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Heather Peshak George, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Donald Kincaid, Ph.D.


Class-wide intervention, Group contingencies, Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS), Teacher preference


Disruptive behavior within classrooms is a major concern for teachers and parents. Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) provides a multi-tiered framework for schools to provide supports to students, which are matched to each student's needs. Whereas most students are successful with the school-wide supports provided to all students, approximately 20% of students are likely to require additional supports. Group contingencies have an established basis of support as effective Tier 2 interventions; however, these contingencies vary in a variety of dimensions that may influence their efficacy and acceptability. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relative impact of four different group contingency types (independent, interdependent, dependent, and randomized) on class-wide appropriate and disruptive student behaviors as well as how implementation of a teacher's preferred contingency may enhance student behavioral outcomes. Three general education teachers and their students participated in the study. All four group contingency types resulted in reduced disruption and increased appropriate behavior across all three classrooms. No patterns of differentiation were observed in any classroom. Teacher preference was assessed with two teachers selecting independent and two teachers selecting dependent contingencies as their preferred reward system. Implementation of the preferred contingency resulted in further improvements in both class-wide behaviors. Some evidence of generalization and maintenance was noted in all three classrooms.