Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Doggett, R. Anthony

Committee Member

Elder, Anastasia

Committee Member

Henungton, Carlen

Committee Member

Hendren, Glen

Committee Member

Devlin, Sandra

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Educational Psychology

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


College of Education


Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Foundations


This investigation identified children whose noncompliant behavior was maintained by negative reinforcement through brief functional analysis conditions and then evaluated the effectiveness of a contraindicated treatment (i.e., time-out package) for decreasing the noncompliant behavior to developmentally appropriate levels. The current results provided initial supporting data that time-out, in conjunction with other treatment variables, can be an effective strategy in reducing escape maintained noncompliance. Brief experimental analysis conditions consistent with the methodology demonstrated by Northup and colleagues (1991), were utilized to identify escape as the maintaining variable for noncompliance. Following identification of the function of the behavior, baseline data were collected. Across all participants, the average percentage of intervals of noncompliance during baseline was above 60% of observed intervals, which has been defined as maladaptive (Forehand, 1977) and may be indicative of future externalizing behavior problems, as well as the inability to acquire appropriate academic and social skills (Forehand et al., 1978; Rhode et al., 1993). The time-out package consisting of time in, effective instructions, time-out, and escape extinction was then implemented. Inspection of the data revealed that all participants exhibited clinically significantly lower percentage of intervals of noncompliance during intervention phases that were developmentally acceptable. Follow up data revealed that developmentally acceptable levels of noncompliance were maintained at one month. Overall, these data support the findings that the treatment package was effective in reducing the percentage of intervals of noncompliance for each participant, thus, demonstrating the effectiveness of this time-out procedure (i.e., a contraindicated treatment) in reducing the occurrence of an escape-maintained behavior.