WWC review of this study

Interdependent Group Contingencies Reduce Disruption in Alternative High School Classrooms

Joslyn, P. Raymond; Vollmer, Timothy R.; Kronfli, Faris R. (2019). Journal of Behavioral Education, v28 n4 p423-434. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1234607

  • Single Case Design
    , grades

Reviewed: March 2023

Meets WWC standards without 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: 16%
    Male: 84%

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


The study took place in one Title 1 alternative public high school in Florida offering services for children with histories of delinquency and emotional and behavioral disorders.

Study sample

This review focuses on the reversal-withdrawal single case design for one high school classroom, "Classroom 2." Five to 10 students were in the class throughout the study, though the class size fluctuated throughout sessions due to student absences, new students entering and exiting the study school, and student suspensions. All students had emotional and behavioral disorders. Among the school population, 82% received free or reduced-price lunch, 84% were male, 77% were Black, 14% were White, 1% was Asian, and 8% did not report race. Five percent of the students in the school were Hispanic or Latino.

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 assigned the entire class to one team because the class was small and students were frequently absent. In each Good Behavior Game session, the researcher stated the rules, which included no talking or leaving one’s seat without permission. Each time a student broke a rule, the researcher recorded tally marks on a board at the front of the classroom and reminded the student of the rules. At the end of each session, students received a reward, such as chips or fruit snacks, if the class had fewer tallies than the criterion set by the researcher before the session. During Good Behavior Game sessions, the teacher provided instruction in world history during the first half of the period, and students independently worked on assignments for the rest of the period. Teachers conducted sessions up to five times a week for about 30 minutes. If more than half of the class was absent during a class period, Good Behavior Game was not implemented.

Comparison Group

There is no comparison group in single case designs. In the baseline and withdrawal phases of the single case design, the teacher conducted the class as they normally would, using existing behavior management strategies, including manual restraint in extreme cases, and a point system used to determine student preparedness for returning to their home school. Teachers awarded students points at the end of the class period for engaging in certain behaviors such as respecting others and being on time. The evaluation included sessions only if more than half the class was present during a class period. Researchers were present in the room, but did not implement any procedures with students. Sessions were conducted up to five times a week for approximately 30 minutes.

Support for implementation

The researcher implemented Good Behavior Game in the classroom, instead of the teacher. The teacher continued classroom instruction as usual.


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