Date of Award

1997

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Education Honours

School

School of Education

Faculty

Faculty of Education

First Advisor

Dr Amanda Blackmore

Abstract

Attention problems have been identified as a major contributor to below average academic competence in Western Australian students. The present study used an A B C D A' single-subject experimental design to investigate the effects of a token economy, managed first by the researcher, and then by participants, on off-task behaviour. Phase A was a baseline, phase B was a token economy managed by the researcher, phase C was a token economy managed by the participant, phase D was the thinning of the reinforcers (still managed by the participant), and phase A' was a return to baseline. Two participants were involved. One was a Year 5 boy who had previously been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and had been prescribed medication, but was not receiving medication at the time of the study. The second participant was a Year 4 boy who was not diagnosed with ADHD, but suffered attention problems. Results show that the token economy was effective in increasing the on-task behaviour of both participants, and that self-management of the token economy further increased on-task behaviour. Maintenance of behaviour was achieved with one of the participants. The study shows that students with attention problems are capable of managing their own behaviour and can therefore increase their independence. Teachers can take the strategies used in this study and individualise them to suit the needs of their own students.

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