Attention Seeking Behavior in Chlidren … Research Paper
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The subject of positive reinforcement and how precisely to go about it has been a subject that has been reviewed, studied, tested and theorized about for quite a while and in numerous ways. This brief study summary will cover three interventions that were used. What shall be compared is the baseline for each intervention and what resulted from each intervention post-implementation. The items that will be covered include the subjects, the setting, the baseline, the treatments used and the other important details involved. While positive reinforcement is certainly not a fix-all when it comes to correcting bad behavior or creating good behavior, it can have positive effects if used properly and at the right times.
The subjects of this study are younger children that were in need of positive reinforcement for one reason or another. The setting was a school classroom where there were clear signs of misbehaving. The three interventions that were used for this brief study were earning points, praise and token bonus. For each intervention, a pre-intervention baseline was measured. The new pattern created by each baseline by itself was measured. In other words, there were three baselines and three post-intervention measurements. For the first intervention, that being earning points, the baseline ranged from twenty to twenty-five percent compliance. There was a start at twenty percent, a spike to twenty-five percent and then a reduction nearly back to where the line started. The post-intervention graph shows a range of about twenty-seven to thirty-five with an initial starting point of thirty-two, a spike to thirty-five, a quick fall to twenty-nine and then twenty-eight and then a rise to thirty-one. Overall, the post-intervention chart showed roughly a ten percent improvement from the first one. For the second intervention, the baseline was roughly the same except that the graph formed a "W" for the three days mentioned. The range of those values was from twenty-one to twenty-six. This was the baseline for praise. The post-intervention graph showed values ranging from twenty-nine to thirty-nine with a higher value to start, then two days of falling and then a sharp spike up to thirty-four for the last two days of the post-intervention measurements. The third and final intervention was token bonus. The baseline started at twenty-three, spiked to twenty-eight and then fell sharply to twenty-four to end the week. The post-intervention scores were all thirty or higher except for the Thursday of the intervention, which elicited a score of twenty-nine. On the whole, the earning points intervention showed the great disparity between pre- and post-intervention. Praise was only slightly better than token. Overall, the gains ranged from about ten points to about five from the first to the third interventions just mentioned. The graph values just mentioned can be seen from the graph itself in the appendix.
In terms of making sure the appropriate behavior is in place, a few things have to be in place. First, the students selected should not be handpicked or with any fore-conceived conclusion. Second, the students should not be aware that the intervention is being measured. This would help avoid the Hawthorne effect. It is probably not as likely with children but the risk needs to be eliminated is possible and there is no ethical concern involved since the behaviors in question do need interventions whether they are part of a study or not. These considerations are evidence of the self-monitoring and awareness that is necessary when such a study is going on. The target behavior, of course, is for the compliance of the children to go up. There should be no favor or preference given in advance to one intervention or another. There should simply be a verification and assessment of what assessments do well and which ones do not do so well. The design of the study, as mostly noted already, is that there are children that are not complying from a behavioral standpoint and different interventions are being studied so as to see which ones do better than others when it comes to the post-intervention results. The overall results are that all of the interventions looked at in his study had some positive effect but the points system was clearly the best of the three. However, there were significant improvements for all three interventions as evidenced by the baselines as compared to the post-intervention scores.
The strength of this study is that baselines and post-intervention measurements were done independently and the interventions were not all done on the same person. Another strength is that the people being studied were not aware that they were being looked at. Limitations would include that only one range of compliance was used as a starting point, that being in the twenty percent range. Another limitation is that the intervention really needs to be tailored to the problem that is emerging.
As for the situation with Roland, it is fairly clear what is going on. Roland is clearly much happier and generally well-mannered when he is engaged with other students or the teacher. When he is on his own from a student or teacher standpoint, meaning he is not getting direct attention from anyone, he tends to start acting out. Also, he has a problem with saying things that are entirely inappropriate from the standpoint of sex, violence, guns or other similar things that a boy his age should not be discussing or talking about in such a manner. The overall patterns that need correcting are clear. It is obvious and directly observed in the case study that Roland is an attention-seeker and he does not care what sort of attention he gets. He is not looking to get expunged from the class as he always becomes compliant when that is used as a threat. The proverbial "carrot" that can obviously be used with any interventions is interaction with others, whether it be the student or the teacher. However, the "stick" would need to be that he will have less interaction with both (the students in particular) if and when he misbehaves (Alsubaie, 2015).
First off, Roland needs to have a sit-down with his parents and the teacher and it should be made clear what is acceptable, what is not acceptable and what will happen if he gets out of line. For example, an early intervention would be for him to sit on his own. He can get one warning. After that, there will be no further chances and he will have to work on his own. If he has another outburst while sitting alone, he should be removed from the class for at least a while so as to drive the point home that his behavior will not be tolerated. This standard must be enforced on every improper reaction or statement. There cannot be a mixed response as this will only embolden him and/or lower the efficacy of the overall intervention as he knows he will not be punished for every single incident (Alsubaie, 2015).
There are two bits of information in the study that should be singled out. First of all, the fact that he is in a class that is dedicated to children with behavioral problems proves that there needs to be a firm and specific diagnosis of what is going wrong with him. Secondly, there is the mention of the fact that the bad behavior increased after Christmas break. At the very least, this is a clear sign that he was not getting the attention he wanted or needed while he was home and he perhaps became more needing of it when he came back from break. The primary problem is that Roland is seeking out attention to a fault and finding the root reason for that is the catalyst of getting him to a better place on a more permanent basis. He obviously has the capacity to behave as he should. However, his viewpoint is that he wants attention, he is willing to engage in taboo behavior to do it and expungement from the class or from the group is something that could be used to gain compliance. The child's home life might be an issue but the teachers can only control so much. For example, if his parents do not give him a sufficient amount of attention at home, this would be an antecedent for Roland seeking it out when he is at school. If he is exposed to people (whether it be his parents or other children) that say coarse and vulgar things, then that would be an antecedent to him doing so in the school as he is repeating what he hears (from whomever it is that is saying it) and he is also clearly doing it as a tool to get attention. It is an iteration of both mimicry and attention-seeking. Roland is clearly not at peace when he is in his own head and that needs to be rectified if Roland's behavior is going to level out and become normalized in any way (Waters,… [END OF PREVIEW]
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