Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Sebastian Striefel


In this study a multiple-baseline design was used to determine the effectiveness of three different modeling sequences in increasing cooperative behavior in children in a laboratory situation. The research also assessed the short- and long-term effects of the laboratory procedures on children's behavior in a free-play setting.

Subjects were 9 pairs of preschool-aged children. In the laboratory situation pairs of subjects performed a block-stacking task which allowed them to respond either cooperatively or independently. Following baseline periods of varying lengths , the pairs of children were exposed to one of three videotapes of cooperative models . In Tape l adult models demonstrated cooperative behavior, but exhibited no verbal behavior. In Tape 2 the models made positive statements about cooperation contiguous with the demonstration of cooperative behavior. In Tape 3 the models demonstrated cooperation, made contiguous positive statements about cooperation, and in addition, they received differential positive reinforcement for cooperation.

Although three of nine teams showed a significant increase in mutually cooperative responding, consistent multiple baseline control was not demonstrated . Therefore, it could not be conclusively stated that the videotaped cooperative models were effective in increasing children's mutually cooperative responding in the laboratory.

A significant increase in parallel play was noted between laboratory partners in free-play periods immediately following the laboratory sessions; however, this increased interaction was not obvious when 5-day and 6-week follow-up observations were made.



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