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Utilizing Paraeducators to Increase Treatment Integrity of Behavior Interventions Through the Use of Performance Feedback

Creative Commons 'BY-NC-ND' version 4.0 license

This study implemented performance feedback with paraeducators to increase the treatment integrity of behavior interventions. Treatment integrity, also known as treatment fidelity, refers to the extent to which an intervention is implemented as intended. Currently, performance feedback is the most research supported method for increasing treatment integrity in schools (Fallon, Collier-Meek, Maggin, Sanetti, & Johnson, 2015). Stemming from the organizational psychology literature, performance feedback is a tailored method of ongoing consultation in which a consultant collects data on the integrity of intervention components, as well as a target behavior of the student. By presenting the implementation data alongside student outcomes, the consultee is made aware of the functional relationship between their behavior and that of their students (Mortenson & Witt, 1998). This study targeted paraeducators, as they are becoming more commonly utilized when intervening with students with challenging behaviors (Giangreco, & Broer, 2005). Although they are tasked with this responsibility, paraeducators often do not receive adequate behavioral training and can struggle to implement individualized behavior plans (Giangreco, Hurley, & Suter, 2009). The goal of performance feedback is to provide a short-term intervention to increase both the skill level and the performance of the consultee (paraeducator). The purpose of this study was to determine if there is a functional relationship between performance feedback and treatment integrity of comprehensive behavior intervention plans. Three outcome variables were studied: treatment integrity, student noncompliance and student replacement behavior. Participants included four paraeducator student dyads. Performance feedback occurred once per week until the paraeducator reached 80% mastery across three occasions. Effect size analyses were used in addition to visual analyses. Results showed that a functional relationship between performance feedback and improved treatment integrity for all four participants. Student-level results included a small effect for noncompliance and no effect for replacement behavior. This study provides evidence for the use of performance feedback with paraeducators.

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