Problem behavior can be reduced through choice making and use of preferred instructional activities. However, the opportunity to choose does not imply students are more engaged with instructional activities. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of differential consequences on the on-task behavior of students within the context of teacher versus student selection of instructional activities. Students were exposed to two contingencies (i.e., escape + differential attention vs. escape + physical proximity) across two stimulus events (i.e., teacher vs. student choice of preferred instructional activities) using an alternating- treatments design within an A-B-A-B design. Choice of instructional activities increased on-task behavior during student-choice conditions compared to the teacher-choice conditions, but only when differential attention was provided. Differential attention was also more effective than physical proximity at increasing on-task behavior. Implications for practice and future research are discussed. . . . . Keywords Students On-task Choice Differential reinforcement Instructional activities Problem behavior compromises educational experiences of reinforcement following a behavior selected for reduction school-aged children. For example, off-task behavior results (i.e., target behavior) while simultaneously delivering rein- in poor academic engagement and can negatively affect aca- forcement contingent on a behavior selected as an alternative demic achievement
Behavior Analysis in Practice – Springer Journals
Published: May 31, 2018
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