Reinforced practice of children's cooperative behavior during restorative dental treatment.

K. D. Allen, L. J. Stark, B. A. Rigney, D. A. Nash, T. F. Stokes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


A reinforced practice procedure was employed to teach cooperative behaviors to two 36-month-old children undergoing restorative dental treatment. The children were rewarded with temporary escape, praise, and stickers for practicing the use of cooperative behavior in the presence of the sights, sounds, and some of the sensations of the dental instruments, before the actual dental treatment. Observations of four classes of disruptive behavior during treatment indicated that baseline levels of disruptive behavior, typically greater than 95 percent, were reduced by more than 70 percent, following several practice visits. These changes were acceptable to the dentist--and to his assistant, who rated the children as more cooperative and less anxious.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-277
Number of pages5
JournalASDC journal of dentistry for children
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


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