Date of Award


Degree Name

Specialist in Education



First Advisor

Dr. Galen J. Alessi

Second Advisor

Dr. Howard Ferris

Third Advisor

Dr. Nancy Petty

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of contingency contracting between parent and child on improving the academic performance of three special education students, ages 14-16, enrolled in a mainstream English class. Two of the subjects had been certified as emotionally impaired, the third as learning disabled. A multiple baseline across-subjects experimental design was employed. The completion of three academic contracts per week entitled the subjects to receive a contract consequence which the parents delivered. The parents determined contract completion based on specified criteria. Academic performance was measured by grades the subjects received on homework, tests, and spelling quizzes. There was negligible improvement in the three subjects' academic performance after the contracting procedure was introduced; however, one must take into consideration the fact that a number of problems were present in the study.