Contingency Contracting with Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders in a Public School Setting

Department of Pediatrics, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York, United States
Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities (Impact Factor: 1.56). 03/2007; 19(2):103-114. DOI: 10.1007/s10882-007-9036-x


In this study, a contingency contract procedure was implemented to promote adherence to rules of conduct in an elementary
school setting by 2 male participants, one 10-year-old with a diagnosis of Autistic Disorder and one 9-year-old with ADHD
and probable Asperger’s Disorder. Prior to intervention, both participants engaged in frequent challenging behaviors, including
tantrums, antisocial vocalizations, and physical aggression. Written contracts were developed in collaboration with participants
and revised several times during the study as participants progressed; in the final stages, a self-monitoring requirement
was included. A changing criterion design was used to evaluate the effects of contracts on participants’ adherence to rules
of conduct. Results suggest that contracts were effective for both participants. Thus, contingency contract procedures may
be useful for some individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

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    • "Several SCR designs were used across studies . Eight studies used multiple baseline designs ( across participants , tasks , or behaviors ) . Three studies used reversal designs ( e . g . , ABC , ABAB ) , six used multi - element designs ( e . g . , ABCB , ABCBAD ) , and one used a changing criterion design ( Mruzek et al . , 2007 ) . IOA was only reported in 10 studies , 5 of which examined behavioral outcomes , 4 of which investigated academic outcomes ; 2 reported data for both academics and behavior . Average IOA for the behavior studies was 92% and 98% for the academic studies . Seven of the 10 studies reporting IOA reported the percentage of observations or"
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this meta-analysis was to quantitatively summarize the single-case research (SCR) literature on the use of behavior contracts with children and youth. This study examined the efficacy of behavior contracts on problem behaviors and academic behaviors across 18 SCR studies. Academic and behavioral outcomes were examined for 58 children and youth ages 5 to 21 using the TauU effect size index. Results indicated the overall moderate effect of the use of behavior contracts was ES = .57 (95% confidence interval [CI95] = [0.55, 0.58]) with a range of effects across studies (ES = .27 to ES = 1.00). Moderator analyses indicated that behavior contracts are beneficial for students regardless of grade level, gender, or disability status. Findings suggest that the intervention is more effective in reducing inappropriate behaviors than increasing appropriate behaviors, and that academic outcomes are positively affected by behavior contracting.
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    • "In addition, all seven articles included in this discussion reported generally positive outcomes. For example, decreased levels of problem behaviors were reported in six studies (Blair et al., 2007; Kay et al., 2006; Mancil et al., 2009; Morrison et al., 2001; Mruzek et al., 2007; Turnbull et al., 2002). " Problem behavior " appeared broadly defined . "
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    ABSTRACT: Recent legislation has increased the emphasis on including students with disabilities in the general education classroom. However, students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) exhibit a wide range of behaviors that make inclusion difficult. To date, there has been little research to identify best practices in reducing problem behavior and promoting inclusion for students with ASD. The authors conducted a systematic literature review of three major psychological and educational electronic research databases to identify empirical research articles in the past 10 years that included (a) students in kindergarten through 12th grade, (b) facilitated inclusion, and (c) reduced problem behavior. Results indicated a lack of evidence-based practices that use inclusion as an independent variable. This article highlights four themes demonstrated to be effective: functional behavior assessments, tiered models of service delivery, behavioral approaches, and social skills training. Implications for educators are discussed.
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    ABSTRACT: Behavioral contracts were used to reduce the socially inappropriate and stigmatizing behaviors of adult men diagnosed with an intellectual disability. All three participants were residing in an intensive residential habilitation facility and receiving 24 hour supports due to the intensity of their problem behaviors. A multiple baseline across subjects with a series of reversals within the intervention phase was used to compare and evaluate the effectiveness of two types of behavioral contracts: one based on the function of the behavior and the other based on highly preferred items. Brief functional analyses were conducted to determine the function of the participants' problem behavior and multiple stimulus without replacement preference assessments were conducted to establish a hierarchy of highly preferred items. Based on the results of the brief functional analyses, all three participants' problem behaviors were likely to be maintained by attention. Results showed that the behavioral contracts resulted in a substantial decrease in maladaptive behaviors for all of the participants and, conversely, an increase in the use of functionally equivalent replacement behaviors; one of the participants showed differentiation between the treatment conditions, indicating that a functional approach might be more beneficial for some individuals.
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