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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)



First Advisor

Pam Fitzgerald

First Committee Member

Kenneth Beauchamp

Second Committee Member

David Wilder


The development of the appropriate behaviors necessary to initiate and maintain successful interpersonal relationships is an important aspect of successful social development in preschool children. An important subset of these are sharing behaviors. Promoting sharing behavior in children at an early age can greatly influence future peer relationships and may assist children's future social growth. An intervention based on response cost was used in three regular preschool classrooms to determine whether it would result in an increase in sharing behaviors among children ages 3 to 5. The intervention consisted of a toy time-out procedure contingent upon nonsharing behavior, and positive praise for appropriate sharing behavior. Results showed that in contrast to preschool children who did not receive the intervention, the children who did receive the intervention significantly increased their displays of working together on a common project during free play. In addition, six out of seven teachers, representing all three preschools, responded favorably to the use of this intervention and identified children in the treatment group as sharing somewhat more during free play after completion of the study. This response cost-based intervention can provide teachers with a quick and simple behavioral technique for managing free play periods while promoting sharing behavior in the classroom.




9780599838093 , 0599838094

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