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Case Study Analysis For Behavior

Case studies were conducted to improve the social and behavioral performance of young children identified as having behavior risks in Head Start and Kindergarten classrooms. Ten children participated in the studies, eight males and two females, ranging in age from 4 to 6 years old. Procedures consisted of direct observations, teacher reports, hypothesis development, consultation with teachers, and testing of specific interventions. Observations and teacher reports showed high rates of aggression, out of seat, and negative verbal statements by children along with low levels of social interaction with peers and low praise rates by teachers. Hypotheses regarding the function and maintenance of behaviors included several themes. First children received immediate tangible rewards for misbehavior (grabbing toys, bullying to lead the activity). Second, on many occasions interactions between the teacher and student were low; for example, large groups with minimal opportunities to respond or poor supervision of individual children during groups or free play. Third, attention by adults for inappropriate behavior and, conversely, few praise statements for appropriate "attention" and "prosocial" behaviors, were noted overall across classrooms. Interventions, thus, consisted of improved teacher monitoring during play; teaching and prompting of social skills, appropriate social/peer behavior, and compliance; and increased reinforcement schedules for performance. Results from subsequent hypotheses testing showed (a) improvements in children's compliance, (b) increases in peer interaction, and (c) decreases in inappropriate behaviors for the ten case study participants.

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