Improved reading by home token economy and its effect on behavior

Taylor, Joy Hartley (1977) Improved reading by home token economy and its effect on behavior. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

The aim of the present research was to investigate whether a specific treatment would raise the reading level of grade four children who were within the average range of intelligence and who were reading at least a year or more behind their grade level. The main experimental procedure was that of a token economy administered by parents reinforcing correct reading responses, with money as a back-up reinforcer, for a duration of three months. In addition to the regular no-treatment control group, effects due to the contingent nature of the reinforcement were isolated by using an "attention control" group who received noncontingent reinforcement for participation in the experiment. The same instructional materials were used for both treatment groups. In addition to the two experimental groups, there was a no-treatment "waiting list" control group. The 46 children who met the necessary criteria for inclusion in the investigation were matched in threes on the two main reading measures (The Wide Range Achievement Test and 100 word sample from the SRA Lab) and on WISC-R intelligence scores. Then each one of the three was randomly assigned to one of the three treatment groups. Pre- and post-treatment measures were taken on the two previously mentioned reading tests, and a third measure was the number of errors made in reading a paragraph. At the same time, by taking pre- and post-treatment behavioral measures, the present research sought to determine whether a change in general behavior either at school or at home accompanied treatment of the reading deficiency. Of the original 46 subjects selected for this research, seven did not complete the three-month program, and were not included in the results. There were no significant differences between the three groups in the pre-treatment means on either of the reading measures, the WISC-R or either of the behavioral measures. To assess behavioral changes, three questionnaires were used: a Children's Behavior Questionnaire for completion by teachers, a C.B.Q. for completion by parents, and Sarason’s Test Anxiety Scale for Children. -- The analysis of variance performed on change scores for the WRAT showed a significant overall effect (p < .05). A Scheffe procedure showed the Contingent Reinforcement group to be significantly different from the Attention group (p < .10) and from the Control group (p < .05). There were no significant differences between Attention and Control groups. On the 100 random words, the mean number of words increase was not significantly different between the Contingent Reinforcement and Attention groups; however, the mean for each of these treatment groups was significantly different from the Control group mean (p < .01). The analysis of variance on the mean decrease in errors for the paragraph reading showed that there were no significant differences across the groups. Pre- to post-treatment change as shown on the Teachers’ and on the Parents’ Questionnaire was not significant; neither was change on the Anxiety Questionnaire.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/5822
Item ID: 5822
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 79-94.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Psychology
Science, Faculty of > Psychology
Date: 1977
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Reading disability; Reading--Ability testing

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