WWC review of this study

Does the Good Behavior Game Evoke Negative Peer Pressure? Analyses in Primary and Secondary Classrooms

Groves, Emily A., Austin, Jennifer L. (2019). Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis v52 n1 p3-16. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1203158

  • Single Case Design
    , grade
    Not reported

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.

  • Female: 31%
    Male: 69%

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  • Race
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  • Eligible for Free and Reduced Price Lunch
    Other or unknown    


This study took place in two classrooms in two schools in South Wales, United Kingdom. Both schools served students who were excluded from mainstream education due to severe behavioral problems or disabilities.

Study sample

Participants included 13 students in two classrooms at two schools. Students in one classroom were 9 or 10 years old and students in the other classroom were 15 or 16 years old. All students received special education services in self-contained schools due to severe behavioral problems or disabilities. About 69% of students were male.

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 placed all students on one team in one of the classrooms, and the other classroom had three teams. The teachers introduced Good Behavior Game and explained students could earn points if they followed classroom expectations and rules, which varied by class and included staying on task, staying in one’s seat, being quiet, raising one’s hand to talk, refraining from swearing, and using mobile phones only with permission. Teachers displayed the rules on a classroom poster at the front of the room. In each session, teachers reminded students of expectations and then awarded points to teams for following the rules. At the end of each session, teams that met a point criterion for the session received a reward, such as a snack or extra time to use the computer or play with toys. Each session took place during Welsh Baccalaureate lessons or literacy lessons once a day, three or four times a week, for 45 to 60 minutes.

Comparison Group

There is no comparison group in single case designs. In the baseline and withdrawal phases of the single case designs, the teachers instructed their classrooms and responded to problem behaviors as they typically would. One of the classrooms had an existing classroom management system in which students could earn points towards extra free time.

Support for implementation

The researcher trained each teacher in their classroom. The training included a step-by-step description of Good Behavior Game, modeling of the procedures, and a discussion of the most common problem behaviors that occurred in each class. Teachers helped develop the rules for their classrooms.


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