Effective Intervention for Behavior with a Daily Behavior Report Card: A Meta-Analysis

By Vannest, Kimberly J.; Davis, John L. et al. | School Psychology Review, December 2010 | Go to article overview

Effective Intervention for Behavior with a Daily Behavior Report Card: A Meta-Analysis


Vannest, Kimberly J., Davis, John L., Davis, Cole R., Mason, Benjamin A., Burke, Mack D., School Psychology Review


Addressing the needs of students with behavior problems is a national priority as the societal costs of problem behavior are in the billions of dollars (National Academy of Sciences, 2009). The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (2004) calls for the development and implementation of proactive, evidence-based interventions for students who demonstrate emotional and behavioral problems. Research is available to document effective intervention for school-age children with a Daily Behavior Report Card (DBRC; Burke & Vannest, 2008); however, there is no consensus as to the "active ingredients" that contribute to successful intervention using this method. Directing more atten tion to the specific aspects of DBRC is important in promoting it as an evidence-based intervention practice. The present meta-analysis examines specific methodological considerations in the application of DBRCs to improve behavioral outcomes for students.

Initiatives seeking to strengthen the connection between school and a student's home have long been a priority in educational policy. Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in 1965 identified specific priorities for increasing the parental role in education by mandating increased consultation and collaboration (McLaughlin, 1975). The American Psychological Association's Division 16 and the Society for the Study of School Psychology Task Force on Evidence-Based Interventions in School Psychology (2003) identified family and parent intervention programs as a priority of study for promoting positive social and behavioral outcomes in children.

DBRC is a method championed for increasing the quality of contact between home and school and has a long history of use in schools (Bailey, Wolf, & Phillips, 1970; Sluyter & Hawkins, 1972). This method first appeared in the literature as a "checklist" to document student behavior and allow access to reinforcers at home (Edlund, 1969). Since that time, researchers have changed the name and format of DBRC, but the basic concept of this intervention has remained fairly constant. Throughout the literature, DBRC has been implemented under a variety of names, including "Home-School Notes" (Long & Edwards, 1994), "Home-Notes" (Blechman, Schrader, & Taylor, 1981), and "Home-Based Reinforcement" (Atkeson & Forehand, 1979; Barth, 1979). In addition to the variety of names, DBRCs exist in multiple formats, including estimation scales (Cottone, 1998; Bushrod, Williams, & McLaughlin, 1995; Gable, 2002) or qualitative rating scales (Schumaker, Hovell, & Sherman, 1977). The literature suggests that DBRCs may be effective in all these various formats, and with a range of target behaviors, reinforcement applications, client types, and levels of parent involvement (Atkeson & Forehand 1979; Barth, 1979; Chafouleas, Riley-Tillman, & McDougal, 2002; Smith, Williams, & McLaughlin, 1983).

History and Uses of DBRC

Throughout the literature, DBRC is typically used as a part of a multicomponent intervention package that includes access to teacher attention or desired reinforcers. DBRC specifically functions as the mechanism to document or give feedback on student behavior. This article defines a DBRC as having (a) a clear target behavior or behavior constellation, (b) periodic judgment of behavior with a simple value-laden summary embedded in the scale, (c) a system of daily behavior monitoring, and (d) a communication component between the student's teacher and home. These criteria are similar to those used in the most recent review of DBRC (Chafouleas et al., 2002). What differentiates DBRCs from other forms of behavior ratings is the summative rating (rather than actual counting) of behavior, and the emphasis on feedback between school and home. DBRC is an intervention tool that has been used to facilitate academic skill attainment and remediate behavioral problems. Specifically, DBRCs have been used to increase work completion (Bailey et al. …

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