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Contingency Contracting in the Elementary General Education Classroom

Selfridge, Kaleena (2014) Contingency Contracting in the Elementary General Education Classroom. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Elementary teachers educating both students with and without disabilities require access to effective, easily implemented classroom management techniques to address challenging behaviors. One such intervention is a contingency contract. A review of literature suggests that contracts are implemented for students experiencing challenges with academic and social behaviors both with and without formally diagnosed disabilities in general and special education settings. However, there was little consideration of the social significance of behaviors, and contract goals were not often set according to behaviors of comparison peers. The purpose of the current study examined the effects of contingency contracts on engagement for three students in an elementary general education classroom for three participants exhibiting high rates of disengaged behavior during instruction. Contingency contracts were written with consideration of social significance and function of behavior, preference surveys, observation of comparison peers to set goals, and reinforcement for desired behaviors. Using an ABAB withdrawal design, duration of engagement and frequency of instances of engagement were both recorded. Experimental effects were observed when participants’ duration of engagement increased and frequency of engagements decreased while under contract. The results suggest that contingency contracts can successfully be implemented to increase a desired behavior (engagement) with students in the general education classroom. Implications and future research directions immediately follow a discussion of the results.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Selfridge, Kaleenakas257@pitt.eduKAS257
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairKostewicz, Douglasdekost@pitt.eduDEKOST
Committee MemberLyon, Stevensrlyon@pitt.eduSRLYON
Committee MemberRobertson, Rachelrachelr@pitt.eduRACHELR
Committee MemberConway, Sheilasjconway@pitt.eduSJCONWAY
Committee MemberHanden, Benjaminbhanden@pitt.eduBHANDEN
Date: 30 September 2014
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 8 July 2014
Approval Date: 30 September 2014
Submission Date: 21 August 2014
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 145
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Instruction and Learning
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Contingency Contract, Behavior Contract, Elementary, General Education
Date Deposited: 30 Sep 2014 15:10
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:23


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