Increasing Teachers' Use of Behavior-Specific Praise with the Teacher vs. Student Game

Renée E. Lastrapes, Ph.D. 

University of Houston-Clear Lake


Jennifer N. Fritz, Ph.D.

University of Houston-Clear Lake


Robert C. Hasson, Ed.D.

Concordia University-Texas


In memory of Robert C. Hasson, Ed.D. who passed away much too soon on 20 October, 2017.  We thank you for your work on this study and dedicate this manuscript to you and all of your students.

The purpose of this study was to examine whether the use of a simplified version of the Good Behavior Game called the Teacher vs. Student Game, implemented as an interdependent group contingency, increased teachers’ use of behavior-specific praise (BSP) statements.  Two middle school resource teachers and their respective classes participated in the study.  Both classes consisted of students with various disability classifications, including emotional and behavioral disorder.  Using the group contingency as a way to manage student behaviors, teachers’ rates of BSP statements, general praise statements, and corrective statements were scored.  Results indicated that the game increased BSP statements but had little effect on general praise statements and corrective statements. 

Keywords:  behavioral game; classroom management; interdependent group contingency; behavior-specific praise; inclusion

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