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The use of color coded behavior charts to encourage social skills with a developmental and behavioral disordered child: An exploratory study
Abstract Use of color coded behavior charts to encourage social skills with a developmental and behavioral disordered child: An exploratory study By Alexis Olson Master of Social Work Purpose: To explore the use of color coded behavior charts to encourage social skills with a developmental and behavioral disordered child. The focus remains on helping youth live with the diagnoses and improving the youth’s social skills, not the diagnosis. Research Question: Does the use of color-coded behavior charts improve social skills with a developmental and behavioral disordered child? Methods: The researcher will be using mixed methods for acquiring data. The researcher will also be doing an AB single subject design. There will be two graphs to record the colors earned daily at school and at home. Specific behaviors both negative and positive will be recorded daily. The positive behaviors will result in moving up the color scale and the negative behaviors resulting in consequences by parent’s choice. Two weeks prior to the start of the eight week intervention the parents will rate the child’s behavior daily using a numerical scale of one through four, one denoting high negative behaviors, four high positive behaviors. The parents will fill out a MESSY Scale questionnaire as retrospective data of the child’s behavior before the implementation of the color chart. They will also fill out a MESSY Scale after the eight week intervention. Daily behavior will be recorded as the color achieved and specific behaviors that led to that color achieved. The color chart will be utilized by the child in school, and the child will self-report to the researcher of the color achieved that day at school. The child will receive rewards of the parent’s choice bi-weekly for colors achieved. Results: The measures used include the Wilcoxon Signed Ranks Test, which was employed to measure average improvement and it did show statistically significant improvement. The MESSY Scale was used pre and post and evaluated by Pearson’s r Correlation and Cronbach’s Alpha. Pearson’s r showed statistical significance in a decrease in negative behaviors while Cronbach’s Alpha showed low internal consistency demonstrating mild change in both pre-tests and post-tests of the MESSY Scale. Discussion: Although his positive behaviors were unchanged, it is imperative to note that his decrease in negative behaviors demonstrates improvement of social skills. The decrease in negative behaviors can relate to the participant learning which behaviors result in reward and which result in consequence.