Choice as an Antecedent Intervention

Study: Powell & Nelson (1997)

Study Type: Single-Subject Design

Descriptive Information Usage Acquisition and Cost Program Specifications and Requirements Training

Choice-making opportunities implemented as an antecedent intervention. The purpose of choice-making interventions is to promote engagement by providing the opportunity for student decision-making and agency with regard to assignment choice and/or order.

Choice is intended for use in Kindergarten through middle school. The program is intended for use with students with disabilities, intellectual disabilities, emotional or behavioral disabilities, autism, and any student at risk for emotional and/or behavioral difficulties.

The area of focus is externalizing behavior, which includes: physical aggression, verbal threats, property destruction, noncompliance, high levels of disengagement, and disruptive behavior.

Choice as an antecedent intervention is a non-commercial intervention and, therefore, does not have a formal pricing plan.

Choice is designed for use with individual students, small groups of 6-8 students, or with a classroom of students.

Only one interventionist is needed to implement the program.

The program includes highly specified teacher manuals or instructions for implementation.

The program does not require technology for implementation.

No training for the interventionist is required.

No training manuals or materials are available.

There are no minimum qualifications for the interventionist.

The program is not affiliated with a broad school or classwide management program.

There is no ongoing support available for practitioners.


Participants: Partially Convincing Evidence

Risk Status: The student was diagnosed with ADHD by a pediatrician. Additionally, information about behavioral and social difficulties was obtained from his teacher. 



Age/ Grade



Socioeconomic status

Disability Status

ELL status

Other Relevant Descriptive Characteristics

Case 1: Evan

7 yrs old


Not reported

Not reported


Not reported

Taking 15 pm of Ritalin per day

Training of Instructors: The intervention was delivered by the student's typical school teacher. No details were provided regarding the teachers prior training.

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? Not applicable

Implemented with Fidelity: Unconvincing Evidence

Description of when and how fidelity of treatment information was obtained: Not reported

Results on the fidelity of treatment implementation measure: N/A

Measures Targeted: Convincing Evidence

Targeted Measure

Reliability statistics

Relevance to program focus

Exposure to related support among control group

Direct observation of undesirable behavior

(Interval recording)

Inter-observer agreement-assessed during 70% of sessions-agreement was 92.6% (range, 85-100%)

Highly relevant



Broader Measure

Reliability statistics

Relevance to program focus

Exposure to related support among control group






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 analysis was used to determine change.

Results in terms of within and between phase patterns: During the choice phases, there was a distinct change in level (in the direction of less disruptive behavior) with few overlapping data points.  No trends were apparent from a visual analysis. In terms of variability, the baseline phases had high variability compared to intervention phases, which had minimal variability. For immediacy of effects, both changes from baseline to treatment had an immediate effect in the form of a drop in percentage of intervals of undesirable behavior.

Disaggregated Outcome Data Available for Demographic Subgroups: No

Target Behavior(s): Externalizing

Delivery: Individuals, Small groups (n=6-8), Classrooms

Fidelity of Implementation Check List Available: No

Minimum Interventionist Requirements: No specific qualifications or training needed

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: 0 studies