WWC review of this study

An Adaption of the Good Behaviour Game to Promote Social Skill Development at the Whole-Class Level

Sewell, Alexandra (2020). Educational Psychology in Practice, v36 n1 p93-109 2020. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1244852

  • 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.

  • Female: 58%
    Male: 42%

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


This study took place in one classroom in a mainstream primary school in an urban area of the United Kingdom.

Study sample

Participants included 27 students in one grade 4 classroom. The study presented classroom-level findings and separate findings for one focal student in the classroom. The classroom had one teacher and one teaching assistant. Most students were White (66%) and about 33% were Asian. Fifty-eight percent were female, and 19% received special education services. The focal student was male, had low levels of positive social engagement, and was classified as having special educational needs. The study did not clarify if these students had individualized education programs or 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, the whole class was on one team. The classroom teacher and teacher assistant implemented Good Behavior Game an average of 31 minutes each day for 10 days during group work that focused on literacy and math skills. Before the first session, the teacher and researcher described Good Behavior Game rules and target social behaviors, including positive behavior toward one another, working as a team, and supporting one’s peers. The teacher displayed these target behaviors on the walls of the classroom. Students then role-played the target behaviors while the teacher and researcher provided feedback and answered questions. At the beginning of each session, the teacher reminded the students of the rules and target behaviors. The teacher awarded points on a board at the front of the class and verbally praised students each time they observed a target behavior. At the end of each session, the students won a reward if the class scored more points than a criterion set for each session based on the students’ previous behavior. The reward was five marbles for the class marble jar, which related to classroom-level rewards, such as a trip to the zoo or theme park.

Comparison Group

There is no comparison group in single case designs. In the baseline and withdrawal phases of the single case design, the teacher instructed their classroom in their typical manner with no additional reinforcement for positive social interactions, aside from typical positive verbal statements. Students could earn class marbles for staying on task, but not for demonstrating the target social behaviors from Good Behavior Game. Sessions took place during group work that focused on literacy and math skills.

Support for implementation

The researcher provided the class teacher with a 60-minute training, during after-school hours, which included a description of the intervention, supporting research, implementation instructions, and a written script to lead each session. The teacher also observed the researcher play the game in a different class. During Good Behavior Game sessions, the researcher provided informal feedback to the teacher.

In the case of multiple manuscripts that report on one study, the WWC selects one manuscript as the primary citation and lists other manuscripts that describe the study as additional sources.

  • Sewell, A. (2016). Young social beings: An investigation into the social interactions and relationships of a year five class [Doctoral Dissertation, University of Birmingham]. UBIRA E Theses. https://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/7049/13/Sewell16ApEd%26ChildPsyD_Vol_1.pdf.


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