Rearranging naturally occurring contingencies to increase desirable behavior in a toddler classroom

Nicole M. Rodriguez, Rachel H. Thompson, Jessica L. Haremza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Toddlers often display problem behavior during transitions. We rearranged naturally occurring events in a toddler classroom to promote more desirable classroom behavior during transitions to meals. In the intervention condition, teachers transitioned each child to meals only when that child was seated on a play mat (a requisite for engagement in teacher-led play activities). In the reversal condition, teachers selected each child to transition when that child was by the barrier to the meal area (a practice commonly observed under natural conditions). The intervention increased the mean percentage of intervals when children were on the play mat and decreased the percentage of intervals when children were by the barrier. Individual child data show positive outcomes for five of six children. Results are discussed in terms of the positive effects of small manipulations to existing contingencies on classroom behavior as well as their potential influence on the adoptability of classroom interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-185
Number of pages9
JournalBehavioral Interventions
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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