A systematic review of group contingencies in alternative education settings

Emily Groves*, Milad Najafichaghabouri, Christopher J. Seel, Sara Fischer, Carys Thomas, P. Raymond Joslyn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Group contingencies (GCs) are an effective intervention for improving student outcomes in general education school settings but their use in alternative education has historically been limited. However, researchers have recently begun to build a substantial literature base demonstrating the potential of GCs in alternative education. This is notable because these settings are often under-resourced and typically support students who engage in persistent and severe problem behaviors that present substantial challenges to teachers and school staff. Thus, the purpose of this review was to synthesize the evidence for GCs in alternative education to determine their (1) effectiveness, (2) level of empirical support, (3) primary behavior targets, and (4) social validity. Twenty articles were individually coded and indicated that GC interventions are effective, can be considered “promising” evidence-based practice, target a range of student problem behavior, and that teachers and students rate them favorably on social validity metrics.
Original languageEnglish
Article number00095
Pages (from-to)145-164
Number of pages20
JournalEducation and Treatment of Children
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 16 May 2023


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