Dependent Group Contingencies in Classrooms: A Review of the Literature and Future Directions

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Journal/Book Title/Conference

44th Annual Association for Behavior Analysis International Convention


Association for Behavior Analysis


San Diego, CA

Publication Date



The use of group contingencies has demonstrated efficacious to manage a variety of behaviors on a class-wide scale for varying populations. Little, Akin-Little, & O'Neill's (2015) meta-analysis of group contingencies from 1980-2010 identified 11 studies specifically investigating dependent group contingencies. The current state of dependent group contingency research after Little and colleague's (2015) meta-analysis, however, is unclear. Therefore, the purpose of this literature review was to investigate the current research using dependent group contingencies from 2010-2017. Results from the current review returned a total of six studies investigating dependent group contingencies published since Little et al.'s meta-analysis, with half of those studies targeting increasing physical activity and the remainder focusing on academic-related behaviors. The current review describes recent applications and successes, limitations of previous research, and provides directions for future research employing dependent group contingencies in educational settings. Lastly, suggestions for procedural modifications that may increase the overall acceptability and effectiveness of this procedure with teachers or other stakeholders will be discussed.

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