Sample Research Paper

Words 1,200


In this study Multiple baseline designs were used to study effects of a behavior modification program for a child, to improve his behavior and so that he could learn more through intervention and special classes for him. The subject was an 8-year old Caucasian boy Matt.

The teachers informed me that Matt was diagnosed by his pediatrician as having ADHD, during the first half of the school year using a parent interview and parent and teacher rating scale. Due to his classroom behavior problems and poor educational progress, the committee on special education classified Matt as “Other Health Impaired” and developed an Individualized Education Program because his behavior and learning problems affected his academic progress. His program included small group instruction in reading and math with a special education teacher, speech class once a week, and the provision of a daily behavior sheet with an opportunity to earn weekly or biweekly classroom-based rewards I supervised the whole procedure.

Experimental Design

This case study used a multiple baseline designs across activities (morning activities and afternoon activities). After accomplishing a baseline evaluation, the intervention began in the afternoon and eventually included the morning as well. I recommend decreasing the latency to reward for Matt. Given that he had yet to go through a reinforcer for his behavior, it was hypothesized that frequent and consistent rewards might improve his behavior.

Dependent Variable

During observations, a child was coded as “disorderly” if he or she damaged property, talked back to an adult, irritate a peer, used equipment incorrectly, vocally interfere on the class, grumbled, or if he or she was physically aggressive or out of the seat. A child was coded as “on-task” if he or she was attending to the ongoing activity, for example, looking at the teacher when information was directed to the class.

Matt’s both disorderly and on-task behavior was observed, and I suggested some changes to the interventions used by the teachers.

Independent Variable

The reward system is the independent variable. I made three key changes to the teachers’ current behavior modification program:

1. Matt was given the chance to earn daily rewards based on his classroom behavior.

2. Teachers were asked to provide a direct response to Matt when he violated classroom rules.

3. The behavior standard on Matt’s goal sheet was operationalized as fewer than three violations of each classroom rule.

I theorized that the increased opportunity to earn rewards together with definite behavioral targets and immediate feedback would improve the effectiveness of the classroom behavior modification program.

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