An effective and acceptable treatment alternative for chronic thumb- and finger-sucking

Patrick C. Friman, J. Michael Leibowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Evaluated treatment for thumb-sucking in a randomized trial. Study included 22 children, ages 4-11, who displayed chronic thumb-sucking. Treatment included aversive taste and a reward system. Significant results were obtained at posttest, with 12 cessations at 3-month follow-up and 20 at 1 year. Participating parents, pediatricians, and pediatric psychologists validated treatment acceptability. Results support the treatment as an alternative to common medical and dental advice about thumb-sucking. Directions for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-65
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of pediatric psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1990


  • Aversive taste treatment
  • Habit disorders
  • Thumb-sucking
  • Treatment acceptability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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