Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy


Special Education

First Adviser

Kern, Lee


Teachers are required to meet the needs of every student, but relatively limited research has been conducted with secondary students who have behavior problems. Further, there is essentially no research pertaining to secondary students who have almost entirely withdrawn from school. This study evaluated the effectiveness of an intervention consisting of incremental goal setting and positive feedback on the engagement of secondary age students with emotional and behavioral problems and significant academic disengagement. Participants were four secondary age students with behavior problems identified by school staff as at risk for academic failure and dropout due to low participation. Effects of the intervention were evaluated using a multiple baseline across students design with an embedded changing criterion design with generalization probes conducted in a second setting. Data indicated that the package resulted in improvements in student engagement and productivity for two participants, with the other two showing variability in responsiveness.