Master's Theses


Advanced Education Programs

Degree Name

Education Specialist (Ed.S)


The effect of contingent teacher touch delivered with verbal praise for desired academic and/or social behaviors on student on-task behavior was examined in two elementary classrooms. After baseline data were gathered on contingent touch and verbal praise the teachers were instructed to increase their use of contingent touch while maintaining their baseline level of verbal praise. It was hypothesized that greater amounts of contingent teacher touch with verbal praise would result in increases of on-task behavior in elementary students. The present study sought to strengthen this hypothesis by replicating and extending previous studies with the use of a multiple baseline across classrooms and ages design. Upon preliminary viewing of the videotapes it became apparent that the expected data had not been gathered. It was not possible to determine the effects of touch on student on-task behavior because neither teacher increased her rate of touch paired with praise during the treatment phase. In order to complete the Field Study project, it was suggested that other measures be drawn from the videotape record to correlate the student behaviors. Thus, measures for positive teacher attention and proximity were correlated with rates of student on- and off-task behavior. These measures were readily observable on the existing videotape, despite the fact that they had not been an integral part of the original hypothesis. The results of these correlations suggest that the relationship of positive teacher attention and proximity may differ from student to student, but that for some students, there is a strong, positive relationship. Due to difficulties in the implementation of this study, results should be interpreted with extreme caution.


Thomas T. Jackson

Date of Award

Spring 1994

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 1994 Deanna Ward Berry


For questions contact

Off Campus FHSU Users Click Here