Schools are often in need of low-cost, high-impact strategies to improve student behavior in school common areas. While many behavior management programs exist, there are few resources available to guide the implementation of these programs and ensure they are grounded in evidence-based strategies. Therefore, the current study had two primary purposes: first, to demonstrate the effectiveness of a simple behavior management system, and second, to begin the process of providing some guidance for the application of similar systems. The study used a differential reinforcement of incompatible behavior (DRI) procedure in a multiple-baseline design across three target behaviors to decrease inappropriate and increase appropriate behaviors in an elementary school lunchroom. The intervention consisted of 1) teaching specific appropriate behaviors 2) providing opportunities for students to practice skills, and 3) implementing a Praise Note system to reward students for behaving appropriately. Students were taught appropriate behaviors, and the school staff was trained to recognize and reward students who kept the lunchroom clean, sat appropriately in their seats, and walked in the lunchroom. Data show significant decreases for each of three target behaviors. The average amount of litter left in the lunchroom decreased by 96%, the average number of instances of sitting inappropriately decreased by 64%, and the average number of instances of running in the lunchroom decreased by 75%. Beyond contributing to the effective intervention strategies available to reduce problem behaviors in common areas, this research also provide much needed guidance for effectively implementing the necessary components of a Praise Note system, namely, program intensity, and delivery.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 551-571
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Archive Status
Archived 2020
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