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Article
Behavior Change and Perceptions of Change: Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Token Economy
Child and Family Behavior Therapy
  • David Reitman, Nova Southeastern University
  • Stephen D. A. Hupp
  • Patrick M. O'Callaghan
  • Molly A. Murphy
Document Type
Article
Publication Date
4-1-2004
Keywords
  • Program Effectiveness,
  • Disadvantaged Youth,
  • Student Behavior,
  • Observation,
  • Child Behavior,
  • Contingency Management,
  • Behavior Change,
  • Token Economy
Disciplines
Peer Reviewed
1
Abstract
Token economies often reduce problematic classroom behavior in preschool settings. In the present study, direct observation and teacher ratings of child behavior and treatment acceptability were utilized to evaluate the effectiveness of a token economy in a Head Start classroom. Because many teachers express concerns about the effort required to implement and maintain token systems, this study compared the relative efficacies of group and individualized contingency management programs. Direct observation data for three children revealed that both the individual and group contingency were superior to a baseline condition in which no systematic behavior management program was utilized. In addition, the whole group contingency was generally as effective as the individual contingency. However, despite reductions in classroom rule violations for the three target children, the acceptability of the token program was variable and little change was observed in the teacher's ratings of their behavior. The results suggest the ongoing need for multiple measures of treatment outcome (e.g., teacher and student ratings of acceptability and effectiveness, direct observation) even for empirically supported school-based interventions.
DOI
10.1300/J019v26n02_02
Citation Information
David Reitman, Stephen D. A. Hupp, Patrick M. O'Callaghan and Molly A. Murphy. "Behavior Change and Perceptions of Change: Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Token Economy" Child and Family Behavior Therapy Vol. 26 Iss. 2 (2004) p. 17 - 36 ISSN: 0731-7107
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/david-reitman/160/