Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School Psychology

Major Professor

Merilee McCurdy

Committee Members

Chris Skinner, Tara Moore, David Cihak


National data indicate that many students in the United States are not proficient in writing at grade-level expectations (Persky et al., 2003). However, there is not enough research, resources, or support for school personnel to improve student writing (Graham & Harris, 2003). Previous writing intervention studies involving performance feedback methods have shown positive impacts on student writing fluency, but it may be too time consuming for teachers to use in the classroom (Truckenmiller et al., 2014). Teachers need feasible, evidence-based writing interventions that are easy to implement in their classrooms and that motivate students to improve their writing skills.

The present dissertation study examines the effects of a classwide interdependent group contingency writing intervention using randomized criteria on student writing production. Participants included 39 students from three first and second grade classrooms at a rural elementary school. A single-case A-B-A design was used to analyze the impact of the intervention on student total words written, the maintenance of student writing production after the intervention was removed, and social validity among students and teachers.

Results indicated that students wrote more with the group contingency intervention in place, but experimental control was not established within classrooms due to time constraints. Percent nonoverlapping data and Hedges’ g effect sizes were calculated and yielded minimal to significant effects of the group contingency on student writing production. Students and teachers responded positively to the intervention, with teachers reporting the ease of implementation. Limitations and applications of these findings are discussed.

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."