Spring 2017

Document Type

Master's Thesis (Open Access)

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Teacher Education


Challenging and disruptive behaviors in the middle school classroom have been identified as an area affecting student performance and reducing teacher directed instructional time. This study used Behavior-Specific Praising (BSP) and School Dollars as a form of incentive to aid the teacher in reducing the amount of strikes for off-task behavior among middle school students in a math classroom. A single case A-B-C-BC design was used with three middle school students to determine if BSPs and incentives (School Dollars) reduced the amount of strikes (i.e., off-task behavior) they received each class period. The results indicated that all three participants responded favorably to the implementation of School Dollars as an incentive. There were no overlapping data points with School Dollars and baseline, indicating a functional relationship between School Dollars and a reduction in disruptive behavior. The use of BSP revealed variable results indicating a positive impact for some students, but there is no one size fits all approach that will be effective for all students.