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Time-Out: Is It an Effective Method of Behavioral Control?
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by Janet L. Butala - Saint Vincent College
Research by Crespi (1988) and Fee, Matson, and Manikam (1990) showed time-out to be an effective form of punishment for controlling undesired behaviors, such as temper tantrums, aggression, and disobedience in psychiatric patients, adjudicated youths, youths in day-treatment programs, and preschool children. The present study examined the effectiveness of time-out procedures, verbal warning/reprimands, and no punishment with preschool children. The effectiveness of punishment was determined by observing children’s behavior immediately following punishment. It was hypothesized that undesirable behaviors would decline more following time-out procedures than after a verbal warning/reprimand or no punishment. Analyses did not support this hypothesis; however, results were in the anticipated direction.