Promoting Positive And Supportive Interactions Between Preschoolers: An Analysis Of Group-Oriented Contingencies
This study examined the effects of several procedures on the social and supportive interactions of two preschoolers with handicaps and their socially competent peers. An alternating individual and group-oriented reinforcement contingency produced equal increases in the target children's interactions with peers. However, neither procedure generated consistent levels of supportive peer behaviors. Following a baseline phase where social and supportive interactions decreased to lower levels, two socially competent children were taught to deliver high levels of supportive prompts to their peers during a dramatic play activity (e.g., “Ask [target child] to come and join our picnic”). Results indicated that peers complied with these statements by increasing the frequency of social behaviors directed to the target children. A final interdependent group contingency condition maintained both social and supportive interactions at high levels. These results are discussed with regard to the efficacy of group-oriented contingencies.