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PRESCHOOLERS' COMPLIANCE WITH SIMPLE INSTRUCTIONS: A DESCRIPTIVE AND EXPERIMENTAL EVALUATION

Authors


  • The research presented in this article was completed in partial fulfillment of MA requirements by the first author at the University of Kansas. Kasey Stephenson is now at the Munroe Meyer Institute. We thank Kelsey Collins and Jeffrey Gordon for their assistance with data collection and analysis.

Address correspondence to Gregory P. Hanley, who is now at Western New England College, 1215 Wilbraham Road, Springfield, Massachusetts 01119 (e-mail: ghanley@wnec.edu).

Abstract

Compliance is often used to describe a situation in which a child completes instructions from adults, and low levels of compliance are a common teacher concern. We conducted a descriptive assessment that showed that compliance was relatively stable for individual children, variable across children, and positively correlated with age. The impact of six antecedent variables (proximity, position, physical contact, eye contact, vocal attention, and play interruption) on compliance was assessed for 4 children. Next, the effects of three-step prompting were assessed alone, in combination with the antecedent variables, and at different integrity levels for 2 children. Results of the experimental analyses showed that compliance gradually increased with the addition of each antecedent variable for 2 of the 4 children. Three-step prompting in combination with the six antecedent variables increased compliance for the remaining 2 children, and high compliance levels were maintained until treatment integrity was decreased to 20% of full strength. The utility of this naturalistic compliance assessment is discussed, as are the relevant experiences that give rise to acceptable levels of compliance in preschool classrooms.

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