WWC review of this study

Efficacy of a no-team version of the Good Behavior Game in high school classrooms.

Ford, W. B., Radley, K. C., Tingstrom, D. H., & Dufrene, B. A. (2020). Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 22(3),181–190. https://doi.org/10.1177/1098300719890059.

  • Single Case Design
    , grades

Reviewed: January 2023

At least one finding shows promising evidence of effectiveness
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.

  • Other or unknown: 100%

  • 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 three classrooms in two high schools in two small urban cities in the southeastern United States. The subject areas in the three classrooms were English language arts and world history.

Study sample

Participants included 74 students in three high school classrooms taught by three teachers at two schools in grades 9–11. Most students in the sample were Black (81%), 18% were White, and 1% did not report race. One percent were Hispanic or Latino. Across both schools, 92% of students qualified for free or reduced-price lunch. School administrators or the School-Wide Positive Behavior Intervention and Support consultant referred all three classrooms to the study for having high levels of disruptive behavior, elevated levels of discipline referrals, and low levels of academic achievement. None of the students received special education services.

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, all students in each classroom were on one Good Behavior Game team and worked together to receive a reward for the day if the class met the established threshold. The teacher explained the rules and informed the students that when a rule violation occurred, they would make a mark on the board. If the class met the threshold, they could vote on the reward they would receive, such as snacks, candy, and “no homework” passes. Each classroom played Good Behavior Game once each day during normal class activities for 11 days. Each session lasted at least 20 minutes.

Comparison Group

There is no comparison group in single case designs. In the baseline and withdrawal phases of the single case design, the teachers instructed their classroom in their typical manner and managed behavior using business-as-usual practices. The sessions (lasting 20 minutes each) were conducted once per day for 10 or 11 days depending on the classroom.

Support for implementation

The researchers trained teachers to use a script and protocol. Teachers practiced the intervention using role playing until they could consistently implement it. After the training, a six-item procedural integrity checklist was used to ensure that teachers were trained consistently.


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