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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)



First Advisor

Scott Jensen

First Committee Member

Jessica Grady


Past research has investigated parameters of time-out such as duration, mostly with individuals with developmental disabilities. Existing research and popular parenting sources do not coincide in terms of the suggested duration of time-out. The current study sought to find the shortest effective duration(s) of time-out necessary to reduce sibling aggression in eight typically developing girls ages 3-7. The intervention took place in participants’ homes using a minute-by-minute incremental increase and reversal design. All participants reached a minimum reduction in sibling aggression of 60% after experiencing a 1-min time-out. The majority (75%) of participants also demonstrated clear reversals of behavior when returned to the baseline condition. The current findings suggest that a 1-min time-out may be sufficient for children as old as 7— contrary to the common 1-min per year of age rule. Limitations include the presence of a graduate assistant during sibling play and some loss of experimental control in the natural setting. Future research should seek to replicate the current methodology with the same population and populations of different ages and developmental levels.





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