Evaluation of contingency contracting with hyperactive boys and their parents.


Backman, Joan Elizabeth.




The effects of contingency contracting on the home behaviour of five hyperactive boys were examined throughout a two month intervention period. Following baseline recording by the parents of the frequency of selected target behaviours, contracts were negotiated between each child and his parents. Points were awarded to the child contingent upon his desirable behaviour and were deducted for undesirable behaviour. Accumulated points could be exchanged daily for desired rewards. Results for three of the five boys indicated that the frequency of the undesirable behaviour decreased when the contract was in effect, while the frequency of positive behaviours increased. No reliable changes were observed in the frequency of target behaviours of the two remaining boys. It was noted that the contracts negotiated for these children were more complex and were not administered consistently. A significant decrease was observed on the Conduct Problem factor of the Connors' Parent Rating Scale completed by the children's mothers. On a questionnaire evaluation of contracting, parents reported that the procedure had been effective, that they would continue to use it, and that their attitudes toward their children had become more positive. Important goals for future research with hyperactive children include the investigation of the success of contracting procedures combined with stimulant drugs or placebo, and development of both efficient and effective methodologies for instituting contingency contracting involving both home and school behaviour problems.


Hyperactive Children
Behavior Modification




Carleton University

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