A Meta-Analysis and Quality of High Probability Request Sequence Studies for Improving Youth Complianceand Persistence
John W. Maag, Ph.D

The purpose of this meta-analysis was to conduct a systematic review of the literature on the effectiveness and quality of studies using high probability (high-p) request sequences to improve compliance and persistence in children and adolescents. Included studies had to use high-p request sequences (e.g., ―get a drink of water‖ then ―open your math book to page 34‖) and not high-p task sequences (e.g., easy math problems followed by difficult math problems but with the same direction for both). Three effect sizes standard mean difference (SMD), improvement rate difference (IRD), and Tau-U were computed on the 14 included studies. Study quality was assessed by using the Council for Exceptional Children’s (CEC) 2014 eight quality indicators made up of 22 items. Results indicated high-p and low-p request sequences were moderately to highly effective. Study quality was only in the moderate range. Implications for practice are discussed. Noncompliance and failure to persist completing tasks are problems many children display depending on the context, content, and type of direction (Maag, 2018a). These problems are exacerbated for students with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), intellectual disabilities, and developmental disabilities (e.g., Humm, Blampied, & Liberty, 2005; Kelly & Holloway, 2015; Planer, Defar, Progar Reeve, & Sarokoff, 2018; Sanchez-Fort, Brady, & Davis, 1995; Vostal & Lee, 2011). Common approaches for dealing with behaviors that make up noncompliant response classes are rearranging antecedents, various schedules of differential reinforcement, and punishment techniques (e.g., Hagopian & Thompson, 1999; Kern, Childs, Dunlap, Clarke, & Falk, 1994; Matson, Dixon,& Matson, 2005; Olmi, Sevier, & Nastasi, 1997; Weston, Hodges, & Davis, 2018).

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jpbs.v7n1a3