Monetary contracts in weight control: Effectiveness of group and individual contracts of varying size

Robert W. Jeffery, Wendy M. Gerber, Barbara S. Rosenthal, Ruth A. Lindquist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations

Abstract

89 overweight adult males (aged 35-57 yrs) drawn from a community population sample were assigned randomly to 1 of 6 treatment groups for weight reduction. All groups participated in a 15-wk behaviorally oriented program. Each involved a monetary contract in which participant deposits were returned contingent on weight lost. The program goal was 30 pounds lost. Groups varied in (a) amount of deposit ($30, $150, or $300) and (b) type of contract (refunds contingent on either individual or mean group performance). It was found that group contracts were associated with significantly more weight loss than individual contracts. This difference was maintained over 1-yr follow-up. Amount of deposit was positively, although weakly, related to short-term treatment outcomes. However, the short-term advantage of the larger contracts disappeared rapidly with time. Neither type nor amount of deposit significantly affected participation rates. Overall weight losses in the study were large. (28 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)242-248
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of consulting and clinical psychology
Volume51
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 1983

Keywords

  • amount of monetary deposit returned contingent on weight loss, weight loss, overweight 35-57 yr old males
  • group vs individual contract &

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