, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 141-152

An analysis of the physical punishment component of a parent training program

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One component of a well-researched, standardized parent training program is to spank children for escape from time-out. The contribution of the spanking component to compliance acquisition in a clinic analog setting was evaluated. Time-out duration and child disruption at time-out release were balanced across spank and no-spank (“barrier”) conditions. Sixteen noncompliant, clinic-referred preschool children participated. The data indicated that both spank and barrier procedures were equally effective at increasing compliance ratios. Physical punishment did not appear to be a critical component. Given prior research, it was concluded that the enforcement of a minimum time-out duration is critical for compliance acquisition within the analog setting.

The authors wish to express their appreciation to Bryan Hutchinson, Lynn McIssac, Larry Murillo, and Mary Parpal for their assistance in conducting this study.