Program Factsheet

Good Behavior Game

The Good Behavior Game is a team-based classroom management strategy most effectively used with early elementary school students (i.e., first and second grade), though variations of the Good Behavior Game have been modified for use with kindergarten through sixth graders. The goals of the Good Behavior Game include decreasing disruptive behavior, aggression, and shyness in the classroom. These outcomes are accomplished through rewarding students for exhibiting on-task behaviors and low levels of inappropriate behavior during classroom instructional periods. Students work together to create a positive learning environment by managing their own behavior through group reinforcement.


  • Education

Developmental Phases

  • Childhood

Related Constructs


Key Links

Good Behavior Game Center for Integrating Education and Prevention Research in Schools 300 East Lombard Street, Suite 1020, Baltimore, MD 21202 Phone: (410) 347.8555 Fax: (410) 347-8559 E-mail:


PAX Good Behavior Game Hazelden Publishing and Educational Services 15251 Pleasant Valley Road P.O. Box 176 Center City, MN 55012-0176 Phone: (800) 328-9000 or (651) 213-4200 Fax: (651) 213-4590 Email: Email: (Contact Roxanne Schladweiler for training)

How it Operates

The format of the Good Behavior Game involves dividing students into teams and rewarding the teams for good behavior. The program is used for 1-2 hours per day (maximum) and typically involves a series of steps. First, the teacher posts clear student behavior rules and informs students what is considered misbehavior (for example, noncompliance, off-task behavior, verbal disruptions). Second, the teacher divides students into three teams and informs them of when the Good Behavior Game starts. A scoreboard is displayed in the classroom and a check is recorded when misbehavior occurs. When the game concludes, if a team has not exceeded the maximum number of checkmarks, the team is rewarded.

Training Required

Materials for the Good Behavior Game, including a scoreboard and timer and rewards, can be purchased by a school or individual teacher.

An implementation manual for the Good Behavior Game is available from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health website.

PAX Good Behavior Game resources, such as a teacher’s kit (includes 1 teacher guide, 1 quick start guide, 1 reproducible parent booklet, 1 timer, 1 harmonica, 60 reward stickers, 32 student wristbands, and 1 implementation video), are available through Hazelden. In addition, a 1-day training is available for educators, counselors, educational administrators, and prevention specialists. Contact the program administrators for cost information (contact Hazelden at 1-800-328-9000 ext. 4672 or

Sampling of Key References Supporting Evidence Base for the Program

  1. "Barrish, H., Saunders, M., & Wolf, M. M. (1969). Good Behavior Game: Effects of individual contingencies for group consequences on disruptive behavior in a classroom. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 2, 119–124.  

  2. Bostow, D.,& Geiger, O. G. (1976). Good Behavior Game: A replication and systematic analysis with a second grade class. SALT: School Applications of Learning Theory, 8, 18–27.  

  3. Embry, D. D., & Straatemeier, G. (2001). The PAX Acts Game Manual: How to apply the Good Behavior Game. Tucson, AZ: PAXIS Institute.  

  4. Embry, D. D., Straatemeier, G., Richardson, C., Lauger, K., & Mitich, J. E. (2003). The PAX Good Behavior Game: Schoolwide implementation guide. Center City, MN: Paxis Institute.  

  5. Embry, D. D., (2002). The Good Behavior Game: A best practice candidate as a universal behavioral vaccine. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 5, 273-297.  

  6. Harris, V. W., & Sherman, J. A. (1973). Use and analysis of the “Good Behavior Game” to reduce disruptive classroom behavior. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 6, 405–417.  

  7. Johnson, M. R., Turner, P. F., & Konarski, E. A. (1978). The Good Behavior Game: A systematic replication in two unruly transitional classrooms. Education and Treatment of Children, 1, 25–33.  

  8. Kosiec, L. E., Czernicki, M. R., & McLaughlin, T. F. (1986). The Good Behavior Game: A replication with consumer satisfaction in two regular elementary school classrooms. Techniques, 2, 15–23.  

  9. Lannie, A. L., & McCurdy, B. L. (2007). Preventing disruptive behavior in the urban classroom: Effects of the Good Behavior Game on student and teacher behavior. Education and Treatment of Children, 30, 85-98.  

  10. McCurdy, B. L., Lannie, A. L., & Barnabas, E. (2009). Reducing disruptive behavior in  

  11. an urban school cafeteria: An extension of the good behavior game. Journal of  

  12. School Psychology, 47, 39-54.  

  13. Poduska, J. M., Kellam, S.G., Wang, W., Brown, H., Ialonga, N.S., & Toyinbo, P. (2008). Impact of the Good Behavior Game, a universal classroom-based behavior intervention, on young adult service use for problems with emotions, behavior, or drugs or alcohol. Drug and alcohol dependence, 95, S29-S44.  

  14. Salend, S. J., Reynolds, C. J., & Coyle, E. M. (1989). Individualizing the Good Behavior Game across type and frequency of behavior with emotionally disturbed adolescents. Behavior Modification, 13, 108–126.  

  15. Swiezy, N. B., Matson, J. L., & Box, P. (1992). The Good Behavior Game: A token reinforcement system for preschoolers. Child and Family Behavior Therapy, 14, 21–32.  

  16. Tingstrom, D. H., Sterling-Turner, H. E., & Wilczynski, S. M., (2006). The Good Behavior Game: 1969–2002. Behavior Modification, 30, 225–253.  

  17. van Lier, P. A. C., Huizink, A., & Crijnen, A. (2009). Impact of a preventive intervention targeting childhood disruptive behavior problems on tobacco and alcohol initiation from age 10 to 13 years. Drug and alcohol dependence, 100, 228-233.