POSITIVE PEER PRESSURE: THE EFFECTS OF PEER MONITORING ON CHILDREN'S DISRUPTIVE BEHAVIOR

Lisa K.Carden Smith, Susan A. Fowler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Classroom peers can serve as powerful sources of reinforcement in increasing or maintaining both the positive and negative behaviors of their classmates. In two experiments, we examined the effectiveness of a peer-monitored token system on reducing disruption and nonparticipation during a transition period of a kindergarten class for behaviorally impaired children. Additionally, the effect of providing and subsequently withholding corrective feedback to peer mediators on the accuracy of their point awards was evaluated. Results in Experiment 1 suggest that both teacher- and peer-monitored interventions were successful in decreasing disruption and increasing participation of monitored peers. Experiment 2 further demonstrated that peer monitors could successfully initiate the token system without prior adult implementation. Analysis of the point awards in both experiments indicates that peer monitors consistently awarded points that were earned. However, when corrective feedback was withdrawn the peer monitors frequently awarded points that were not earned, i.e., they rarely withheld points for undesirable behavior. Even so, the monitored peers' disruptive behavior was maintained at low rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-227
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Applied Behavior Analysis
Volume17
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1984

Keywords

  • children
  • disruptive behavior
  • peers
  • reinforcement
  • token economy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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