Using a changing-criterion design to evaluate the effects of check-in/check-out with goal modification.


Check-in/check-out (CICO) is a Tier 2 behavioral intervention that has demonstrated effectiveness for students with challenging behavior in a variety of educational settings. Existing research has focused primarily on testing the intervention’s effectiveness and the role of behavioral function in moderating response to intervention. Only a handful of studies have included examinations of different procedures for fading CICO to promote maintained behavioral change. These have included decreasing the frequency of teacher feedback, using a mystery motivator to thin the schedule of reinforcement, and increasing goal contingencies over time. In this study, two middle school females with conduct problems were identified for participation in CICO with goal modification. During intervention, the first modification entailed setting the CICO card goal for each participant based on averages obtained on the CICO card during baseline rather than the commonly used 80% goal. Then, predetermined decision rules about how to modify subsequent goals were executed according to student progress. Effects on student behavior were evaluated using a changing-criterion with withdrawal design, and scores on the CICO card improved and classroom problem behavior decreased for both participants. Limitations and recommendations for future research are discussed.