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Assessment of Variables Contributing to Academic Task Engagement

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Academic task completion is essential to success in school, and academic activity across individuals appears to be maintained by different variables. The purpose of this study was to assess variables that might promote higher or lower levels of academic engagement. Participants were six general education students in elementary school, and academic engagement was observed for each participant in various conditions: feedback about correct answers, attention for completion, contingent edibles, distraction, and ignore. All participants showed lowest rates of academic engagement in the distraction condition (i.e., when other items were available noncontingently and no attention was available). The condition with the highest level of completion varied across participants. The results of this study suggest that the context may be just as important for task completion as social reinforcement.

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Correspondence to Kerri P. Peters.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were reviewed and approved by a university Institutional Review Board.

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Informed consent was obtained from legal guardians, and assent was obtained from all participants prior to each session.

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Peters, K.P., Vollmer, T.R., Donaldson, J.M. et al. Assessment of Variables Contributing to Academic Task Engagement. Educ. Treat. Child. 45, 135–143 (2022).

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