Behavior Interventions - Proficiency (Gets Something) Interventions: The child gains something (e.g. attention) when they engage in the problem behavior.



Although there is a wealth of existing behavioral interventions, many rely solely on teacher implementation, require significant attention, and may be difficult to apply consistently (Briesch & Chafouleas, 2009).  In contrast, self-management interventions make students responsible for tracking their own behavior.  At the core of self-management, is self-monitoring where students are provide with the definitions of target behaviors and prompted to record their performance during instruction.  By becoming aware of their own behavior, students are given the opportunity to recruit naturally occurring reinforcers.  Several components are often used in addition to self-monitoring including goal setting, self-charting, and self-evaluation paired with reinforcement (Briesch & Chafouleas, 2009).

Noncontingent Reinforcement

Noncontingent reinforcement (NCR) is a powerful method to reduce problematic behavior. NCR involves giving the student access to a reinforcer frequently enough that they are no longer motivated to exhibit disruptive behavior to obtain that same reinforcer. A classic example of NCR is a teacher placing a child on his or her lap during group instruction such that the child has no motivation to seek the teacher’s attention while the teacher is conducting story time with the class. There have been many empirical demonstrations of the effectiveness of the NCR interventions with a comprehensive demonstration of the evidence base by Carr, Severtson, and Lepper in 2008.

Differential Reinforcement of an Incompatible or Alternative Behavior

Children will continue to engage in problem behaviors that are reinforced. Therefore, it is important to minimize reinforcement for disruptive behavior to reduce disruptive behavior.  Unfortunately, simply removing reinforcement often results in an “extinction burst”.  DR interventions have been developed to concurrently remove or reduce reinforcement for the problem behavior while reinforcing a functionally similar replacement behavior.  Thus, the problem behavior diminishes while the child is provided with an alternative (more acceptable) means to access the desired reinforcement. There have been many empirical demonstrations of the effectiveness of differential reinforcement (DR) interventions (Cooper, Heron, & Heward, 2008).

Behavioral Contracts

To lower the incidence of inappropriate behaviors, including escape behaviors, the child, teacher and parent will write a contract of appropriate behavior goals. Reinforcements will be given at different stages according to the contract.


Mystery Motivator

Motivating students to do certain tasks may be difficult. The mystery component in this intervention is based on offering an unknown reinforcer. The mystery will engage students in the academic task, even when the task is difficult.


Response Cards

Students receive immediate corrective feedback after the information has been provided during whole group instruction. Students respond to questions by holding up cards, rather than waiting to be called on individually.

Full Intervention Brief: Response Cards

Evidence Brief: Response Cards EB

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