REARRANGING NATURALLY OCCURRING CONTINGENCIES TO INCREASE DESIRABLE BEHAVIOR IN A TODDLER CLASSROOM

Authors

  • Nicole M. Rodriguez,

    Corresponding author
    1. University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, USA
    2. Munroe Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE, USA
    • Correspondence to: Nicole M. Rodriguez, Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center, 985450 Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198, USA. E-mail: nicole.rodriguez@unmc.edu

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  • Rachel H. Thompson,

    1. University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, USA
    2. Department of Psychology, Western New England University, Springfield, MA, USA
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  • Jessica L. Haremza

    1. University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, USA
    2. Educare of Kansas City, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS, USA
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  • This research is based on a thesis submitted by the first author to the University of Kansas in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Master's degree.

Abstract

Toddlers often display problem behavior during transitions. We rearranged naturally occurring events in a toddler classroom to promote more desirable classroom behavior during transitions to meals. In the intervention condition, teachers transitioned each child to meals only when that child was seated on a play mat (a requisite for engagement in teacher-led play activities). In the reversal condition, teachers selected each child to transition when that child was by the barrier to the meal area (a practice commonly observed under natural conditions). The intervention increased the mean percentage of intervals when children were on the play mat and decreased the percentage of intervals when children were by the barrier. Individual child data show positive outcomes for five of six children. Results are discussed in terms of the positive effects of small manipulations to existing contingencies on classroom behavior as well as their potential influence on the adoptability of classroom interventions. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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