The time-out grid: A guide to effective discipline

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13 Scopus citations


Time-out has been demonstrated to be an effective behavior deceleration technique. Time-out is frequently used as a part of classroom management; however, it can be difficult to implement. There are no standards for implementation of time-out in a classroom and a protocol would prove unwieldy. The Time-out Grid is presented as a simple heuristic tool that illustrates the fundamental feature of an effective time-out intervention and subsequently guides those involved in the problem analysis and program evaluation phases of consultation. Its conceptual foundation is based on research that has demonstrated the importance of relative reinforcing stimulus change in determining the effectiveness of time-out. The Time-out Grid assists in monitoring behavioral outcomes and the relative reinforcing properties of the time-in and time-out environments, and suggests how to modify the time-out procedure to enhance effectiveness. Specific procedural recommendations are provided for classroom implementation of time-out that can assist to increase the contrast in reinforcing stimuli between time-in and time-out.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-75
Number of pages9
JournalSchool Psychology Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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