Differential Reinforcement of Other Behavior (DRO)

Study: Vance, Greshamn, & Dart (2012)

Study Type: Single-Subject Design

Participants: Unconvincing Evidence

Risk Status: Teachers initially referred students who engaged in verbal disruptions, arguments, walking around the room without permission, tantrums, and aggression. After teacher referral, experimenters conducted problem identification interviews with teachers as well as preliminary classroom observations to confirm severity and frequency of problem behavior.

Demographics:

 

Age/ Grade

Gender

Race-ethnicity

Socioeconomic status

Disability Status

ELL status

Other Relevant Descriptive Characteristics

Case 1: Carlos

11 years old/5th grade

Male

African American

Not reported

No identified disability

Not reported

Carlos was referred by his teacher for engaging in frequent verbal disruptions, engaging in verbal arguments with his teacher after being corrected, walking around the room during instruction without permission, and having infrequent crying tantrums. Carlos was suspended twice during assessment: once for using profanity toward his teacher and a second time for leaving the classroom without permission. Before inclusion in the study, no formal academic or behavioral interventions had been conducted with him. Carlos had never been referred to the district’s pupil appraisal team (Vance et al., 2012).

Case 2: Melissa

10 years old/4th grade

Female

African American

Not reported

No identified disability

Not reported

Melissa was referred by her teacher for frequent verbal arguments with her teacher and peers, which had at times escalated to physical violence. The school counselor had recommended an FBA. No formal academic or behavioral interventions had been conducted with Melissa, but Melissa had been referred to the School Building Level Committee for possible future intervention and evaluation. Melissa had been retained the previous year because of failure on high-stakes testing (Vance et al., 2012).

Case 3: Stacy

11 years old/5th grade

Female

African American

Not reported

No identified disability

Not reported

Stacy was referred by her teacher for outbursts related to being corrected. Her teacher reported that she was rude, disrespectful, and frequently disturbed class by getting up, and asked irrelevant questions without permission. During baseline, Stacy was suspended twice for getting into verbal arguments with various teachers. According to teacher report, no formal academic or behavioral interventions had been conducted with Stacy. She had never been referred to the School Building Level Committee (Vance et al., 2012).

Training of Instructors: The experimenters implemented the intervention, but background information was not reported.

Design: Convincing Evidence

Does the study include three data points or sufficient number to document a stable performance within that phase? Yes

Is there opportunity for at least three demonstrations of experimental control? Yes

If the study is an alternating treatment design, are there five repetitions of the alternating sequence? Not applicable

If the study is a multiple baseline, is it concurrent? No

Implemented with Fidelity: Partially Convincing Evidence

Description of when and how fidelity of treatment information was obtained: Treatment integrity data were reported, but measurement was not described.

Results on the fidelity of treatment implementation measure: The experimenter appropriately delivered social attention contingent on the absence of off-task behaviors within 3 seconds of the end of the 2 minute interval in 96.34% of opportunities. The experimenter never provided attention in cases when the student did not omit off-task behavior for a specified interval.

Measures Targeted: Convincing Evidence

Targeted Measure

Reliability statistics

Relevance to program focus

Exposure to related support among control group

Percentage of 10-s intervals actively disruptive

Interobserver agreement data were not presented by variable/measure, but reported information includes the following:

Interobserver agreement data were calculated for 51.7% of all sessions with an overall mean of 93.1% agreement. IOA was collected in 46.3% of baseline sessions across participants, 42.9% of DRO sessions, and 56.5% of self-monitoring sessions. Total occurrence agreement was 96.5% and total nonoccurrence agreement was 83.3%. Kappa was also calculated, and the Kappa coefficients were 0.86 (Melissa), 0.781 (Stacy), and 0.815 (Carlos).

Topographies of disruptive behavior included talking out, leaving seat without permission, or touching others. These behaviors interrupt instruction and are considered relevant to the program’s focus.

N/A

Percentage of 10-s intervals on task

Interobserver agreement data were not presented by variable/measure, but reported information includes the following:

Interobserver agreement data were calculated for 51.7% of all sessions with an overall mean of 93.1% agreement. IOA was collected in 46.3% of baseline sessions across participants, 42.9% of DRO sessions, and 56.5% of self-monitoring sessions. Total occurrence agreement was 96.5% and total nonoccurrence agreement was 83.3%. Kappa was also calculated, and the Kappa coefficients were 0.86 (Melissa), 0.781 (Stacy), and 0.815 (Carlos).

The program’s focus includes reducing problem behavior that disrupts learning. Ideally, appropriate or on-task behavior increases in replacement of problem behavior.

N/A

 

Broader Measure

Reliability statistics

Relevance to program focus

Exposure to related support among control group

N/A

 

 

 

 

Mean ES Targeted Outcomes: N/A

Mean ES Administrative Outcomes: N/A

Effect Size:

Visual Analysis (Single-Subject Designs): Convincing Evidence

Description of the method of analyses used to determine whether the intervention condition improved relative to baseline phase (e.g. visual analysis, computation of change score, mean difference): Visual inspection.

Results in terms of within and between phase patterns:

Carlos:

Percentage of intervals actively disruptive: Initial baseline levels of active disruption were high and variable. When DRO was introduced, level decreased, and ranged throughout this phase from 0 to 20% of intervals and showed a therapeutic trend. When DRO was withdrawn, level of disruptive behavior increased immediately and was more variable than in treatment. When DRO was re-introduced, levels decreased to near zero, but increased toward the end of the phase (three within-participant demonstrations of effect).

Percentage of intervals on task: Initial baseline on-task behavior was extremely variable. When DRO was introduced, on-task behavior was stable at moderate rates. When DRO was withdrawn, level decreased and variability increased. When DRO was introduced a second time, level increased although a slightly decreasing trend was evident (three within-participant demonstrations of effect).

Melissa:

Percentage of intervals actively disruptive: Initial baseline levels of active disruption were moderate but showed a counter-therapeutic trend. When DRO was introduced, levels dropped to near zero where they remained stable for most of the treatment phase, until level increased in the final two sessions in this phase. When DRO was withdrawn, levels of disruption initially continued to increase but dropped back to zero levels. Level increased slightly in the final session in this phase. In the final treatment phase, level decreased gradually to near zero.

Percentage of intervals on task: Initial baseline levels of on-task behavior were low to moderate and variable. When DRO was introduced, level increased and was stable. When DRO was withdrawn, levels decreased to lower than that of initial baseline, and were somewhat variable. When DRO was re-introduced, level increased to slightly higher than previous levels and showed a therapeutic trend. Very little overlap in levels of on-task behavior was present between conditions.

Stacy:

Percentage of intervals actively disruptive: Initial baseline levels of disruption were moderate and variable. When DRO was introduced, level initially decreased, but was variable throughout the phase. Overlap in level of disruptive behavior was complete between initial baseline and the initial treatment phase. When DRO was withdrawn, disruption was variable and level increased slightly. In the final treatment phase, level decreased and remained stable.

Percentage of intervals on task: Initial baseline levels were extremely variable and showed a counter-therapeutic trend. When DRO was introduced, level increased and was fairly stable. When DRO was withdrawn, variability increased although there was significant overlap in level. In the final treatment phase, levels of on-task behavior increased and showed an increasing trend.

Across participants, DRO produced reductions in disruptive behavior upon introduction following the initial baseline phase (three demonstrations). When withdrawn, levels of disruptive behavior increased for Carlos and Stacy, although were low and relatively stable for Melissa (two demonstrations). When reintroduced, levels of disruptive behavior decreased for Carlos and Stacy and remained low for Melissa (two demonstrations).

Across participants, on-task behavior was moderately low and variable during initial baseline (nonconcurrent). When DRO was introduced, levels of on-task behavior stabilized at an increased level relative to baseline for all three participants (three potential demonstrations). When DRO was withdrawn, on-task behavior decreased in level and increased in variability for all three participants (three potential demonstrations). When DRO was re-introduced, levels of on-task behavior increased and were stable (three potential demonstrations). However, the nonconcurrent baselines limited inference of functional relation.

Note: For all participants, self-monitoring was implemented in separate sessions from DRO but during treatment phases, and could have produced interaction or carryover effects.

Disaggregated Outcome Data Available for Demographic Subgroups: No

Target Behavior(s): Externalizing

Delivery: Individual, Small groups (n<6)

Fidelity of Implementation Check List Available: No

Minimum Interventionist Requirements: Paraprofessional, No training required

Intervention Reviewed by What Works Clearinghouse: No

What Works Clearinghouse Review

This program was not reviewed by What Works Clearinghouse.

Other Research: Potentially Eligible for NCII Review: 6 studies

Call, N. A., Pabico, R. S., Findley, A. J., & Valentino, A. L. (2011). Differential Reinforcement with and without Blocking as Treatment for Elopement. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 44, 903-907.

Conyers, C., Miltenberger, R. G., Maki, A., Barenz, R., Jurgens, M., Sailer, A., & Kopp, B. (2004). A Comparison of Response Cost and Differential Reinforcement of Other Behavior to Reduce Disruptive Behavior in a Preschool Classroom. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 37, 411-415.

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Grauvogel-MacAaleese, A., & Wallace, M. D. (2010). Use of Peer-Mediated Intervention in Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 43, 547-551.

Himle, M. B., Woods, D. W., & Bunaciu, L. (2008). Evaluating the Role of Contingency in Differentially Reinforced Tic Suppression. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 41, 285-289.

Luiselli, J. K., Helfen, C. S., Colozzi, G., Donellon, S., & Pemberton, B. (1978). Controlling Self-Inflicted Biting of a Retarded Child by the Differential Reinforcement of Other Behavior. Psychological Reports, 42, 435-438.