Effects of Behavior Specific Praise on Disruptive Behaviors
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Masters of Education
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This research examines how the use of a positive reinforcement strategy, behavior specific praise, affects the frequency of disruptions in a virtual classroom of fifteen pre-kindergarten students. ,This study used a single variable pre-experimental design that involved a group pretest and a posttest design. Both the baseline period and intervention period were three days long. The intervention increased the use of behavior specific praise used by the teacher. The teacher used behavior specific praise each time a student properly used their microphone to participate. A non-independent samples t-test was conducted with the independent variable being behavior specific praise and the dependent variable being frequency of disruptions. The number of disruptive behaviors per child was prorated to adjust for absences. The mean frequency of disruptive behaviors per child during baseline (Mean = 3.53, SD = 3.60) was significantly higher than the mean frequency of disruptive behaviors per child during the intervention (Mean = 1.47, SD = 1.55) [t(14) = 2.49, p = .026]. Consequently, the null hypothesis that there would be no statistically significant difference in the frequency of disruptive student behaviors between baseline and during an intervention phase implementing behavior specific praise among pre-kindergarten students was rejected. Implications and ideas for future research are discussed.