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

J Abnorm Child Psychol. 1983 Mar;11(1):141-52. doi: 10.1007/BF00912184.


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 pre-school 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.

MeSH terms

  • Behavior Therapy / methods
  • Child Behavior Disorders / therapy*
  • Child Rearing*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mother-Child Relations
  • Parents / education*
  • Punishment*
  • Social Isolation