Study Summary

The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of teacher praise in reducing the physical and verbal aggression of two elementary school students enrolled in general education classrooms. For Irwin, a class-wide DRA procedure successfully reduced the attention-maintained problem behavior exhibited during teacher instruction. For Victor, two additional intervention phases, both including increased amounts of teacher praise, resulted in marked decreases in physical and verbal aggression and increases in on-task behavior.

The interventions with both students were based on functional behavioral assessments. Classroom teachers were instructed to deliver specific contingent praise in lieu of verbal reprimands and encouraged to use an electronic device providing a timed prompt. The study extends previous research supporting the use of differential reinforcement to improve the quality of student-teacher interactions.


To view these presentations as they took place at the conferences, click on the links below.

  • Darlene Anderson, Jana Lindberg, K. Richard Young, Michelle Marchant, and Adam Fisher made this presentation at the 2004 ABA conference. Praise_Poster.pdf
  • Heidi Castle, Lee Anne Larsen, K. Richard Young, Michelle Marchant, Adam Fisher, Brock Solano, and Darlene Anderson presented on teacher praise at the 27th annual TECBD National Conference. TECBD2002Prereferral-Praise.pdf