Title

Parameters of time-out: Research update and comparison to parenting programs, books, and online recommendations

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Behavior Therapy

Volume

49

Issue

1

Publisher

Elsevier

Publication Date

9-14-2017

First Page

99

Last Page

112

DOI

10.1016/j.beth.2017.09.005

Abstract

In reviews published more than 30 years ago, eight parameters important to the use of time-out were identified and available research was summarized. The purpose of the current paper is to provide an updated summary of existing research for each parameter of time-out. Within each parameter, we conducted a thorough review of the published literature and identified all peer-reviewed articles addressing each parameter. We identified and summarized a total of 46 articles across the eight parameters, including 32 not cited in previous reviews. Sufficient findings were available to draw conclusions regarding time-out warning, schedule of time-out, contingent versus noncontingent release, and duration. Tentative conclusions based on only a few studies could be drawn in regard to instructional versus physical administration and verbalized reason for time-out. No conclusions could be drawn regarding time-out signal and specific time-out location. While we know much more today regarding effective implementation of time-out, there is a clear need for further exploration within these identified parameters. In addition to summarizing the literature, we reviewed recommendations made by behavioral parent training programs, parenting books, and parenting Web sites, and compared how well their recommendations matched current research based on the conclusions drawn from our review. We found that parenting sources made strong and specific recommendations on several of the parameters that were either not consistent with available research or simply lacked a sufficient research base.

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