Graduate Program

School Psychology

Degree Name

Specialist in School Psychology

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Margaret T. Floress


An ABA single-subject research design was used in examining the effect on school staff's written praise and student behavior when staff were provided with an incentive (i.e., would an incentive raffle increase written praise and appropriate student behavior?). Participants included 93 staff members and 755 students at an elementary school in central Illinois. School staff members were instructed on the importance of using praise, and praise notes were measured on a weekly basis by praise type (behavior-specific or general), staff member type (core teacher, non-core teacher, or non-teacher), and student type (at-risk or non-at-risk). Results indicated that the faculty incentive produced medium effects for praise in both student groups. However, the faculty incentive did not affect the number of office discipline referrals given to either student type. Staff members indicated that they found praise notes to be an acceptable school-wide system for managing student behavior, but had mixed feelings regarding faculty receiving prizes for writing praise notes. Implications as well as future research are discussed.