The Importance of Escape Extinction in Time-Out Procedures Used to Treat Escape Maintained Noncompliance

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

D. Joe Olmi

Advisor Department



The present study investigated the effectiveness of two time-out (TO) procedures in reducing escape maintained noncompliance of 4 children. Participants were screened to assess that compliance with first time, parent-presented instructions was a problem. Following screening, a descriptive interview and a brief functional analysis were used to determine that each child's noncompliance was escape maintained. Participating parents of children were then taught to consequate noncompliance with two different TO procedures, one without and one with escape extinction following TO release. A nonconcurrent multiple baseline across participants design was used to assess for the effectiveness of the TO procedures in reducing escape-maintained noncompliance. Although results indicated TO without escape extinction was effective in increasing compliance somewhat above baseline levels, more optimal levels of compliance were obtained for all 4 children when escape extinction was added to those TO procedures already in place. Results indicate the efficacy of TO with escape extinction when applied to escape maintained noncompliance and are discussed as an initial example of the successful application of TO to behaviors of this class.