Journal of Behavioral Education

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 51–65 | Cite as

An Investigation of Incremental Effects of Interspersing Math Items on Task-Related Behavior

  • William J. CalderheadEmail author
  • Kevin J. Filter
  • Richard W. Albin


The purpose of this study was to replicate and extend research on task interspersal. The authors investigated whether changes in on-task behavior of two middle school students were functionally related to changes in the relative percentages of easy and difficult items on math worksheets. They found that the participants remained on task longer while completing worksheets with 33 and 67% interspersed easy problems than while completing worksheets without the interspersed easy problems. Participants’ accuracy in answering the target problems was not affected, however, by the interspersal procedure. The authors concluded that interspersing easy items on independent math seatwork assignments can increase on-task behavior.


task interspersal task-related behavior behavioral momentum academic behavior mathematics 



The authors acknowledge the assistance of Teri Lewis-Palmer, Maura L. Roberts, and George Sugai in the development of the research. They also would like to thank Teresa Deatherage, Laura Feuerborn, and Jason Miller for their contributions to the implementation of the project.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • William J. Calderhead
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kevin J. Filter
    • 2
  • Richard W. Albin
    • 3
  1. 1.University of KentuckyLexingtonUSA
  2. 2.Psychology DepartmentMinnesota State UniversityMankatoUSA
  3. 3.Educational and Community SupportsUniversity of OregonEugeneUSA

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