WWC review of this study

Effects of the Good Behavior Game on classwide off-task behavior in a high school basic algebra resource classroom

Flower, A., McKenna, J., Muething, C. S., Pedrotty Bryant, D., & Bryant, B. R. (2014). Behavior Modification, 38(1), 45-68. https://doi.org/10.1177/0145445513507574.

  • Single Case Design
    , grade

Reviewed: March 2023

Meets WWC standards with reservations

To view more detailed information about the study findings from this review, please see Good Behavior Game Intervention Report (516 KB)

Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.

  • Other or unknown: 100%

  • Suburban
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  • Race
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  • Ethnicity
    Not Hispanic or Latino    
  • Eligible for Free and Reduced Price Lunch
    Free or reduced price lunch (FRPL)    
    No FRPL    


This study took place in two algebra classes in one public high school in a suburban school district in central Texas. Both classes took place in a resource room for students with high-incidence disabilities.

Study sample

Participants included 17 students in two grade 9 classrooms taught by one teacher in one school. All participants had high-incidence disabilities and needed additional support in math. Most students were identified with a specific learning disability, some with intellectual disabilities, and others with other health impairments, mostly attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Most students were male and Hispanic or Latino. All were eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. No students were English learners.

Intervention Group

The Good Behavior Game is a classroom management strategy that promotes students collaborating together to create a positive learning environment. Students are placed into teams and are rewarded for demonstrating appropriate behaviors and not violating classroom rules. In this study, the teacher divided each class into teams of three or four students and then reviewed Good Behavior Game procedures, class expectations, and rules, which included paying attention and completing teacher-assigned tasks. The teacher then gave fouls to teams when a student violated class expectations. The team with the fewest fouls each day won the game, as long as the number of fouls was below a certain criterion that was unknown to students until the end of the period. Both teams could win if they had the same number of fouls and were both below the criterion. The winning team or teams won a reward, such as a piece of candy or school supplies. Winning teams also earned a token they could use later for a larger reward for the whole class. There was a total of 10 sessions in each class, each lasting about 50 minutes, that took place during algebra instruction.

Comparison Group

There is no comparison group in single case designs. In the baseline and withdrawal phases of the single case designs, the teacher provided typical algebra instruction, which included asking students questions and providing one-on-one assistance. The teacher managed the classrooms in the typical manner, which included infrequent behavioral feedback. There were 7 or 8 sessions in each class, each lasting approximately 50 minutes.

Support for implementation

The researchers trained the teacher on Good Behavior Game implementation in 30-minute, daily sessions over one week. The teacher worked with the researchers to develop classroom expectations and a plan for explaining expectations to students. At the end of the week, the researchers modeled the Good Behavior Game to the teacher.


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