Acceptability and effectiveness of group contingencies for improving spelling achievement

Timothy L. Turco, Stephen N. Elliott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


This 12-week study of fifth-grade students used a pretest-posttest control group design to assess how varying task structures (individual or group) and incentive structures (interdependent, dependent, or no-incentive) affected three major dependent variables: (a) spelling achievement, (b) peer-nominated social status, and (c) treatment acceptability. The spelling performances of all teams increased significantly from pretreatment to posttreatment on the Wide Range Achievement Test-Revised and a curriculum spelling test. No significant increases in weekly spelling achievement, however, were found in any of the treatment teams as a result of either the incentive structure or the task structure. The results of the study indicated that all of the treatment teams, except the dependent individual team, rated their treatment significantly less acceptable at posttreatment than they had at pretreatment. The various incentive structures and task structures did not lead to systematically significant changes in social status ratings based on peer nominations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-37
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of School Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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