Good Behavior Game

Study: Rebok, Hawkins, Krener, Mayer, & Kellam (1996)

Study Type: Group-Design

Descriptive Information Usage Acquisition and Cost Program Specifications and Requirements Training

The Good Behavior Game (GBG) is a universal classroom behavior management strategy that helps students develop key skills including teamwork and self-monitoring and regulation. GBG provides teachers with additional skills in classroom behavior management which have, in prior trials, resulted in fewer negative interactions, reductions in aggressive, disruptive behavior, and an increase in time spent on-task. GBG is built on four core elements integrating (1) classroom rules, (2) team membership, (3) monitoring of behavior, and (4) positive reinforcement. Teachers use the GBG with their class while students are engaged in teacher-selected instructional tasks. During GBG, teams are provided with clear expectations, and they work together to meet those expectations during the 10-45 minute time period over which the game is played. At the end of the game, each team that is able to successfully meet expectations is declared a winner and receives positive reinforcement for their success. During the game, students learn teamwork, they receive positive reinforcement for promoting and following classroom rules, and they practice monitoring and regulating their own behavior.

This program is intended for use in grades 1-5. The program is intended for use with all students in a classroom including any student at risk for emotional and/or behavioral difficulties.

The area of focus is externalizing behavior which includes: physical aggression, verbal threats, disruptive behavior, and social behavior.

Where to Obtain: American Institutes for Research

Address: 1000 Thomas Jefferson St, NW, Washington, DC 20007

Phone: (866)-835-8686

Website: http://goodbehaviorgame.air.org/

The Good Behavior Game (GBG) is free to implement and to use in the classroom. American Institutes for Research provides training and support to ensure GBG is implemented with fidelity. Training and support options are customized to fit local needs. One-and two-day trainings for up to 40 people are available for $2,900/day plus travel expenses. Training materials are $200-$350, depending on package. 

This program is designed for use with a classroom of students.

One or more classroom teachers are needed to implement the program. Administration time is 10-45 minutes per session, 3-5 sessions per week for 36 weeks.

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

The program does not require technology.

Training consists of 24 hours of group-based training. The first 16 hours are designed to prepare teachers and coaches to implement GBG with fidelity. The training is highly interactive and focuses on the core elements and key implementation principles of GBG. During this training, teacher develop basic mastery of GBG content and can begin to play GBG with fidelity immediately following training with support from GBG coaches.

The 8-hour booster session is essential to help generalize the positive behaviors teachers see during GBG to other times of day. Teachers develop deep mastery of GBG content and begin to make the transition to self-directed implementation of GBG without the support of their coaches. The booster session not only allows teachers to continue implementing GBG with fidelity, but also to sustain effective practices beyond the initial implementation year.

The interventionist must at a minimum be a professional teacher.

AIR’s training materials have been field-tested with teachers in both Houston and Nebraska to ensure acceptability and feasibility. AIR works with each partner to customize and adapt materials to specific local needs. Because the training is highly interactive, ample space is provided in each location to discuss contextual needs, questions, and concerns. 

Practitioners may obtain ongoing professional/technical support through AIR-hosted online spaces that allow teachers to receive ongoing support from peers.

 

Participants: Unconvincing Evidence

Sample size: 289 students (182 program, 107 control)

Risk Status: First grade students were rated by their teachers using “Teacher Observation of Classroom Adaptation-Revised (TOCA-R). TOCA-R measures each child’s adequacy of performance on the core social tasks of the classrooms. The three central domains on which teachers rate each child’s performance over the previous three weeks are aggressive/disruptive behavior, shy behavior, and concentration problems. The items were rated using a 6-point frequency-based scale, with items ranging from “almost never” to “almost always.” Positive items were reversed to allow a consistent level of adaptation among items. After reversal, 1 reflected adaptation and 6 reflected maladaptation for all items.

Demographics:

 

Program

Control

Number

Percentage

Number

Percentage

Grade level

  Kindergarten

0

0%

0

0%

  Grade 1

238

100%

169

100%

  Grade 2

0

0%

0

0%

  Grade 3

0

0%

0

0%

  Grade 4

0

0%

0

0%

  Grade 5

0

0%

0

0%

  Grade 6

0

0%

0

0%

  Grade 7

0

0%

0

0%

  Grade 8

0

0%

0

0%

  Grade 9

0

0%

0

0%

  Grade 10

0

0%

0

0%

  Grade 11

0

0%

0

0%

  Grade 12

0

0%

0

0%

Mean Age

 

 

 

 

Race-ethnicity

  African-American

184

77.31%

121

71.60%

  American Indian

5

2.10%

3

1.78%

  Asian/Pacific Islander

0

0%

1

0.59%

  Hispanic

0

0%

1

0.59%

  White

49

20.59%

42

25.44%

  Other

0

0%

0

0%

Socioeconomic status

  Subsidized lunch

121

50.84%

90

53.25%

  No subsidized lunch

117

49.16%

79

46.75%

Disability status

  Speech-language impairments

NA

NA

NA

NA

  Learning disabilities

NA

NA

NA

NA

 Emotional disturbance

NA

NA

NA

NA

 Intellectual disability

NA

NA

NA

NA

  Other

16

6.72%

9

5.33%

  Not identified with a disability

222

93.28%

160

94.67%

ELL status

  English language learner

NA

NA

NA

NA

  Not English language learner

NA

NA

NA

NA

Gender

  Female

119

50.00%

88

52.07%

  Male

119

50.00%

81

47.93%

Training of Instructors: The interventionists were professional teachers who taught in first or second grade classrooms. Teachers varied in terms of their academic background, credentials, certificates, and years of teaching. Teachers received 40 hours of training and support during the year.

Design: Partially Convincing Evidence

Did the study use random assignment?: Yes

If not, was it a tenable quasi-experiment?: Not applicable

If the study used random assignment, at pretreatment, were the program and control groups not statistically significantly different and had a mean standardized difference that fell within 0.25 SD on measures used as covariates or on pretest measures also used as outcomes? Yes

If not, at pretreatment, were the program and control groups not statistically significantly different and had a mean standardized difference that fell within 0.25 SD on measures central to the study (i.e., pretest measures also used as outcomes), and outcomes were analyzed to adjust for pretreatment differences? Not applicable

Were the program and control groups demographically comparable?: Yes

Was there differential attrition for the program and the control groups?: No

Did the unit of analysis match the unit for random assignment (for randomized studies) or the assignment strategy (for quasi-experiments)?: No

Implemented with Fidelity: Unconvincing Evidence

Description of when and how fidelity of treatment information was obtained: Due to the age of the initial trials, fidelity of treatment information was not collected or published. Implementation data focused only on duration of games, number of games played, and other logistical information. Since the initial trials, fidelity measures have been developed and validated in other trials, such as the fidelity checklist, a five-point scale rating the quality and occurrence of implementation behaviors (α = .80); however, the original trial predates the development of these tools.

Results on the fidelity of treatment implementation measure: Fidelity of treatment information was not obtained.

Measures Targeted: Convincing Evidence

Targeted Measure

Reliability statistics

Relevance to program focus

Exposure to related support among control group

The Authority Acceptance subscale of the Teacher Observation of Classroom Adaptation-Revised (TOCA-R)

Cronbach’s alpha=0.92

Measures aggressive behavior, a main target behavior of the GBG program

None

The Social Contact subscale of the TOCA-R

Cronbach’s alpha=0.85

Measures shy behavior, a secondary target behavior of the program

None

Peer Assessment Inventory, 6 items were selected to measure peer ratings of aggressive behavior

Cronbach’s alpha for the aggressive behavior scale is 0.87

Measures aggressive and shy behavior, main target behaviors of the GBG program

None

 

Broader Measure

Reliability statistics

Relevance to program focus

Exposure to related support among control group

N/A

 

 

 

 

Mean ES Targeted Outcomes: Data Unavailable

Mean ES Administrative Outcomes: N/A

Effect Size:

Targeted Measures

Measure

Effect Size

Authority Acceptance subscale of the Teacher Observation of Classroom Adaptation-Revised (TOCA-R)

Social Contact subscale of  TOCA-R

Peer Assessment Inventory

 

Broader Measures

Measure

Effect Size

None

 

 

Key

*        p ≤ .05

**      p ≤ .01

***    p ≤ .001

–      Developer was unable to provide necessary data for NCII to calculate effect sizes

u      Effect size is based on unadjusted means

†      Effect size based on unadjusted means not reported due to lack of pretest group equivalency, and effect size based on adjusted means is not available

 

Visual Analysis (Single-Subject Designs): N/A

Disaggregated Outcome Data Available for Demographic Subgroups: Yes

Targeted Measures

Measure

Effect Size

Aggressive behavior - boys

0.09 U

Shy behavior – boys

0.36* U

Peer-rated aggressive behavior – boys

Aggressive behavior – girls

Shy behavior - girls

0.23 U

Peer-rated aggressive behavior – girls

 

Broader Measures

Measure

Effect Size

None

 

 

Key

*        p ≤ .05

**      p ≤ .01

***    p ≤ .001

–      Developer was unable to provide necessary data for NCII to calculate effect sizes

u      Effect size is based on unadjusted means

†      Effect size based on unadjusted means not reported due to lack of pretest group equivalency, and effect size based on adjusted means is not available

 

Target Behavior(s): Externalizing, Internalizing

Delivery: Classrooms

Fidelity of Implementation Check List Available: No

Minimum Interventionist Requirements: Professional Teachers, 24 hours of group-based training; 20-30 hours of on-site coaching

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: 5 studies

Dolan, L. J., Kellam, S. G., Brown, C. H., Werthamer-Larsson, L., Rebok, G. W., Mayer, L. S., Laudolff, J., Turkkan, J. S., Ford, C., & Wheeler, L. (1993). The Short-Term Impact of Two Classroom-Based Preventive Interventions on Aggressive and Shy Behaviors and Poor Achievement. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 14, 317-345.

Kellam, S. G., Rebok, G. W., Ialongo, N., & Mayer, L. S. (1994). The Course and Malleability of Aggressive Behavior from Early First Grade into Middle School: Results of a Developmental Epidemiologically-Based Preventive Trial. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 35, 259-281.

Kellam, S. G., Ling, X., Merisca, R., Brown, C. H., & Ialongo, N. (1998). The Effect of the Level of Aggression in the First Grade Classroom on the Course and Malleability of Aggressive Behavior into Middle School. Development and Psychopathology, 10, 165-185.

Kellam, S.G., Hendricks, C.B., Poduska J.M.,Ialongo, N.S., Wang, W., Toyinbo, P, Hanno, P., Ford C., Windham, A., Wilcox, H.C. (2008). Effects of a Universal Classroom Behavior Management Program in First and Second Grades on Young Adult Behavioral, Psychiatric, and Social Outcomes. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 95S, S5-S28. PMCID18343607

Petras, H., Kellam, S.G., Brown, C.H., Muthén, B.O., Ialongo, N.S., Poduska, J.M. (2008). Developmental Epidemiological Courses Leading to Antisocial Personality Disorder and Violent and Criminal Behavior: Effects by Young Adulthood of a Universal Preventive Intervention in First- and Second-Grade classrooms. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 95S, S45-S59. PMCID18243581