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Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 11–25 | Cite as

The effect of a teacher's presence on the classroom behavior of conduct-problem children

  • David MarholinII
  • Warren M. Steinman
  • Elizabeth T. McInnis
  • Tom B. Heads
Article

Abstract

Six institutionalized conduct-problem children performed in a classroom under three reinforcement conditions: (1 j noncontingent reinforcement; (2) reinforcement for being on task and (3) reinforcement for the accuracy and rate of their academic behavior. Within each of these conditions, the teacher was either present throughout the class session or absent for a portion of the session. In the teacher's absence, on task behavior was markedly reduced and disruption was markedly increased, regardless of the reinforcement condition in operation. In contrast, the teacher's absence had no effect on academic accuracy and had a major effect on academic rate only when reinforcement was delivered noncontingently. Furthermore, the extent to which the children became disruptive in the teacher's absence was reduced when reinforcement was contingent upon academic accuracy and rate, instead of being contingent upon being on task or delivered noncontingently. It is suggested that the reinforcement of academic behavior, rather than on-task behavior or classroom social behavior, not only will improve the latter behaviors as well, but possibly also make them less dependent upon the presence and continued surveillance of the teacher.

Keywords

Social Behavior Major Effect Reinforcement Condition Classroom Behavior Class Session 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • David MarholinII
    • 1
  • Warren M. Steinman
    • 1
  • Elizabeth T. McInnis
    • 1
  • Tom B. Heads
    • 1
  1. 1.Herman M. Adler CenterUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUSA

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