The effects of a buddy bench on elementary students’ solitary behavior during recess

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Andrew A. Griffin Paul Caldarella Christian V. Sabey Melissa A. Heath


Social skill instruction and school-wide positive behavior support have been found to be effective in treating students with emotional and behavioral disorders. However, students with internalizing behavior are often overlooked for interventions that could improve academic outcomes and prevent problems that might have serious implications, including social withdrawal, social isolation, and suicidal ideation. In this study, a multiple baseline across participants design was used across two elementary school recess playgrounds to evaluate a “buddy bench” intervention, which utilized peers to help socially withdrawn students to decrease social isolation behavior. Students in Grades 1 to 6 were observed during recess. Results revealed that from baseline to intervention phases the number of students engaged in solitary recess behavior decreased between 19% and 24%. Most students reported positive attitudes towards the intervention, while teachers were more neutral.


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GRIFFIN, Andrew A. et al. The effects of a buddy bench on elementary students’ solitary behavior during recess. International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education, [S.l.], v. 10, n. 1, p. 27-36, oct. 2017. ISSN 1307-9298. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 27 may 2019.


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