Disruptive behavior in the classroom can have a negative impact on students’ academic and social outcomes. Additionally, teachers have expressed difficulty with implementing class-wide behavioral interventions that address this problem. Tootling is a class-wide, positive behavioral intervention that has been shown to increase prosocial behavior and academic engagement, as well as decreasing disruptive behavior in the classroom. Tootling is derived from another form of positive peer reporting and is considered the opposite of tattling. In tootling, students report on their peers’ prosocial behaviors. This intervention has multiple components that assist in its effectiveness. Specifically, there are three components with aspects of positive reinforcement: interdependent group-oriented contingency, public posting of progress feedback, and specific verbal feedback and praise. No research to date has analyzed the effectiveness of the multiple components of tootling. The current study examined how effective each of the positive reinforcement components of tootling are in increasing on-task behavior and decreasing disruptive behavior in a 5th grade general education classroom through the implementation of a multiple treatment reversal design. Results of this study demonstrated that the interdependent group-oriented contingency was the most effective component in increasing on-task behavior and decreasing disruptive behavior. The specific verbal feedback and praise component also had moderately positive effects; however, the public posting of progress feedback component had inconclusive effects. The classroom teacher rated tootling and its components as a highly acceptable intervention according to a modified version of the IRP-15. Additional research investigating the individual components of tootling in a variety of settings and with a variety of individuals is needed to determine the effectiveness of each component on behavior.
Date of Degree
Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Alstead, K. J. (2022). Investigating the effectiveness of the positive reinforcement components of tootling [Doctoral dissertation, Minnesota State University, Mankato]. Cornerstone: A Collection of Scholarly and Creative Works for Minnesota State University, Mankato. https://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/etds/1193/
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Available for download on Tuesday, October 25, 2022