WWC review of this study

Contrasting approaches to the response-contingent learning of young children with significant delays and their social–emotional consequences

Dunst, C. J., Raab, M., & Hamby, D. W. (2017). Research in Developmental Disabilities, 63, 67-73.

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    71
     Students
    , grade
    PK

Reviewed: December 2018

At least one finding shows promising evidence of effectiveness
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards without reservations
Academic achievement outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Response contingent behavior per game

IES Funded Studies vs. Other intervention

0 Weeks

Full sample;
71 students

18.31

4.76

Yes

 
 
50
 
Behavior outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Percent of learning trials with reinforcing consequence behavior

IES Funded Studies vs. Other intervention

0 Weeks

Full sample;
71 students

99.99

52.36

Yes

 
 
50
More Outcomes

Response contingent behavior, counts

IES Funded Studies vs. Other intervention

0 Weeks

Full sample;
71 students

N/A

N/A

Yes

--

Concomitant child social-emotional behavior

IES Funded Studies vs. Other intervention

0 Weeks

Full sample;
71 students

N/A

N/A

Yes

--

Collateral child social-emotional behavior

IES Funded Studies vs. Other intervention

0 Weeks

Full sample;
71 students

N/A

N/A

Yes

--

Average non-prompted child behavior with reinforcing consequences per minute

IES Funded Studies vs. Other intervention

0 Weeks

Full sample;
71 students

N/A

N/A

Yes

--


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: 48%
    Male: 52%
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    South
  • Race
    Other or unknown
    100%

Setting

The study included children and their families in three southeastern states in the United States. The intervention was delivered during home visits that practitioners made to children's homes.

Study sample

Practitioners visited children in their homes weekly or every other week for 8 weeks and, together with children’s parents, identified target behavior. The practitioners and parents also identified child-specific learning games related to these the target behaviors. Parents taught these learning games to their children during and between home visits. The only difference between the asset-based (intervention) and needs-based (comparison) groups was the manner in which target behaviors were identified—existing behaviors or “assets” were identified for the intervention group and missing behaviors or “needs” were identified for the comparison group. In the asset-based procedure used for the intervention group, parents and practitioners observed children’s daily home activities and parents provided feedback on the types of behavior their children used. Observations were guided by an investigator-developed checklist of behaviors. The parents and practitioners identified and focused on target behaviors that the children already used but had not used intentionally to produce social or learning interactions.

Intervention Group

The children in the comparison group had target behaviors identified based on a needs-based procedure. Through this procedure, children’s missing skills were identified using the Assessment, Evaluation, and Programming Systems. The skills identified were part of six domains: fine motor, gross motor, adaptive, cognitive, social-communication, and social.

Comparison Group

Practitioners visited children in their homes weekly or every other week for 8 weeks and together with children's parents, identified missing skills that needed to be taught. They also identified learning games in which the target behavior was taught. Children's parents taught these learning games to their children during and between home visits. The only difference between the intervention and comparison groups was the manner in which target behaviors were identified—existing behaviors or 'assets' were identified for the intervention group and missing behaviors or "needs" were identified for the comparison group. The children in the comparison group had target behaviors identified based on a needs-based procedure. Through this procedure, children's missing skills were identified using the Assessment, Evaluation, and Programming Systems (AEPS). The skills identified were part of six domains: fine motor, gross motor, adaptive, cognitive, social-communication, and social.

Support for implementation

Staff were taught the intervention practices over 2 months using an evidence-based procedure for adult learning. This procedure had four phases of learning: "1) acquiring information about and examples of the intervention practices; (2) authentic use of the interventions and evaluating the characteristics and outcomes of the practices; (3) reflecting on their overall understanding and mastery of the practices; and (4) identifying and participating in additional opportunities to learn to use their particular approach to intervention" (Raab et al., 2017). Staff learned what practices to identify using video examples and staff engaged in role playing and feedback to ensure they were consistent. These staff taught parents to use the practices in their homes using the same procedures.

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.

  • Raab, M., Dunst, C. J., & Hamby, D. W. (2017). Efficacy trial of contrasting approaches to the response-contingent learning of young children with significant developmental delays and multiple disabilities. Journal of Educational and Developmental Psychology, 7(1), 12-28.

 

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