Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling

Committee Chair(s)

Sarah Pinkelman


Sarah Pinkelman


Summer Gunn


Bryce Fifield


A large body of research indicates use of praise as a response to appropriate behavior is an effective classroom management strategy to increase appropriate behavior and decrease problem behavior. Since prior research also suggested that teachers tend to have more negative interactions with students than positive ones, use of a specific praise to reprimand ratio is commonly recommended in teacher preparation programs and professional development. However, recommendations regarding the optimal ratio vary and there is limited evidence to support use of any specific ratio. There have also been relatively few studies examining naturally occurring rates of teacher praise, reprimands, and student problem behavior. Therefore, the purpose of this proposed study is to examine naturally occurring rates of teacher praise, reprimands, and redirections and student problem behavior in general education classrooms. Data will be obtained through direct observations and we will explore the relationship between teacher and student behavior using correlational analyses. Results will add to the literature by documenting naturally occurring rates of teacher praise and reprimands in the classroom. Findings may also provide useful information about whether specific praise to reprimand ratios are correlated with lower levels of student problem behavior. Such information may help to guide recommendations to teachers, decrease problem behavior, and improve student-teacher interactions.