Date of Award

12-2016

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Heather McGee

Second Advisor

Dr. Alyce Dickinson

Third Advisor

Dr. Denise Ross

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access

Abstract

The present study sought to increase correct staff utilization of a positive behavior support system at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Kalamazoo. The intervention consisted of implementing a new club-wide positive behavior support program. The main components of the positive behavior support program were (a) training for staff on how to use the positive behavior support system, (b) staff teaching of the positive behavior support system to members, (c) the implementation of a token economy system for reinforcing positive behavior, and (d) a data collection/feedback system to inform supervisors on the progress of members and staff.

This study aimed to contribute to an understanding of requirements needed to establish and maintain token economy and positive behavior support systems. It also aimed to shed light on two specific areas of inquiry. First, it sought to explore the extent to which the implementation of a school-wide positive behavior support based intervention could increase the correct (response-contingent) provision of reinforcers for desired member behavior. Additionally, the effect this change had on staff administration of infractions and suspensions was examined.

The results suggested that the positive behavior support guidelines were effective in teaching staff how to accurately administer token reinforcers to students. One site showed an increase in the number of reinforcers administered daily, but two other sites were relatively unchanged. There were no observed reductions in the number of infractions or suspensions administered at any site. Measures of implementation fidelity revealed that weekly adherence to best practice guidelines (e.g. feedback delivery to staff) was challenging for supervisors at all three sites.

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