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Tankersley, Cook, & Cook

Tankersley, M., Cook, B. G., & Cook, L. (2008). A preliminary examination to identify the presence of quality indicators in single-subject research. Education and Treatment of Children, 31(4), 523-548.

Abstract by authors:
Scholars in the field of special education put forth a series of papers that proposed quality indicators for specific research designs that must be present for a study to be considered of high quality, as well as standards for evaluating a body of research to determine whether a practice is evidence-based. The purpose of this article was to pilot test the quality indicators proposed for single-subject research studies in order to identify points that may need clarification or revision. To do this, we examined the extent to which the proposed quality indicators were present in two single-subject studies, both examining the effects of teacher praise on specific behaviors of school-age children. Our application of the quality indicators indicated that neither study met the minimal acceptable criteria for single-subject research. We discuss the use of the quality indicators in relation to their clarity and applicability and suggest points for deliberation as the field moves forward in establishing evidence-based practices.