Date of Award

1-14-2009

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Educational Psychology and Special Education

First Advisor

Laura D. Fredrick - Chair

Second Advisor

L. Juane Heflin

Third Advisor

Ann C. Kruger

Fourth Advisor

Paul A. Alberto

Abstract

Methods for promoting prosocial behavior in educational settings are many and varied. This literature review presents a context for defining and understanding prosocial behavior, including comparisons and contrasts with other behavioral concepts and terms. Understanding peer factors in the development of prosocial behavior can enhance the development and implementation of peer-based interventions. The four main types of peer-based interventions discussed are cooperative-learning groups, group-contingency plans, peer helpers, and positive peer reporting. Each of these interventions has a place in educational settings and should be utilized with social context and individual student characteristics in mind. Behavioral interventions that improve the overall classroom learning environment and are simple to implement and maintain are highly desirable for large general education settings. The accompanying study investigated the effects of a positive peer reporting (PPR) intervention on the social interactions of a group of 2nd grade general education students by using a modified replication of methods from the Grieger, Kaufman, and Grieger (1976) study. This study evaluated the effects of a peer reporting intervention on students’ social interactions. A withdrawal design was used to evaluate the changes in the level of students’ prosocial interactions across baseline and intervention phases. Visual analysis of the data across phases indicated that the percentage of intervals in which students engaged in prosocial interactions increased during the intervention phases, most notably after the initial implementation of the PPR intervention. Social validity data gathered from the participating teacher, students, and parents, indicated positive attitudes about the intervention and its impact on student behavior. These results add to the existing body of literature which demonstrates the success of PPR interventions for increasing students’ level of prosocial behaviors.

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