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Time-out as a means of shaping whole-task completion as a precursor to establishing rule-following behaviour with a severely noncompliant preschool child

Pailthorpe, W.K. and Ralph, A. (1998) Time-out as a means of shaping whole-task completion as a precursor to establishing rule-following behaviour with a severely noncompliant preschool child. Behaviour Change, 15 (1). pp. 50-61.

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Abstract

A preschool girl who displayed severe noncompliant and disruptive behaviour was taught to successfully complete a card-matching task, to verbalise the task requirements, and to report successful task completion by means of a time-out procedure in combination with correspondence training. In order to bring about this success, time out was successively introduced for three preparatory behaviours (sitting still, keeping hands down, and looking at the task materials), for completion of simple tasks interspersed between trials of card-matching, and for stating the card-matching task requirement. The conditions for implementing time-out were gradually changed from allowing two chances to comply (implemented only after a second request was not complied with) to allowing only one chance (implemented after the first request was not complied with). This changing criterion time-out procedure was used in place of the more commonly used, but possibly more lengthy procedure whereby tasks not performed adequately are broken down into smaller steps and successive approximations are contingently shaped. The success of the time-out procedure is discussed as a potential means of conducting powerful early interventions with young children at risk for diagnoses of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or similar disorders where a failure to correct severe behaviour problems observed at an early age is predictive of the need for more intrusive and expensive interventions later.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Social Sciences
Publisher: Australian Academic Press
Copyright: © 2009 Institute for Scientific Information
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/31813
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