Use of timeout procedures: a national survey of educators' utilization and perceptions of the effectiveness of timeout

Update item information
Publication Type dissertation
School or College College of Education
Department Educational Psychology
Author Jones, Allison M.
Title Use of timeout procedures: a national survey of educators' utilization and perceptions of the effectiveness of timeout
Date 2015-08
Description The purpose of the current survey study was to gather more recent information regarding educators' conceptualization and utilization of timeout procedures by replicating previous research conducted by Zabel in 1986. A survey tool was developed and included questions that pertain to variables such as the definition of timeout, demographic information of the respondent, preparation of staff to use timeout effectively, policies regarding the use of timeout procedures, the usability and acceptability of timeout as a behavioral intervention, and perceptions of the efficacy of timeout procedures. A random sample of 1,000 educator members of the Council for Children with Behavior Disorders (CCBD) across the United States was sent the survey by mail. A total of 206 individuals returned completed surveys, with equal representation from the eight regions of the United States designated by the CCBD. The majority of respondents were special education teachers, had 10 or more years of experience, were over the age of 45, and female. Results showed that timeout procedures were most often used one to three times per month and most frequently with elementary-school-aged students. Timeout was used mostly with students who were classified as having an emotional disturbance and who demonstrated physical aggression and noncompliance with adult direction. Although some respondents did not work in districts that had policies on the use of timeout procedures, the majority reported that their districts had guidelines for timeout, and that these guidelines were adhered to when timeout was used. Ninety-two percent of respondents reported that they received some level of training on timeout procedures prior to its use, and were given professional support afterward in the form of performance feedback and/or consultation. Furthermore, the majority of respondents reported that timeout procedures were used in conjunction with positive behavior interventions and supports and/or multitiered systems of supports. Eighty-eight percent of respondents reported that the function of the problematic behavior was assessed when using timeout procedures. Information from the current study shows some positive changes within the last 29 years in regard to policies and parameters surrounding the use of timeout procedures. Since 1986, there has been a 30% increase in reported district policies and a 30% increase in monitoring a child when in timeout. The use of written logs to record and document the use of timeout has also increased by nearly 20% since 1986. While the use of timeout as an intervention appears to be prevalent in the educational setting, there are still some improvements that could be made when implementing this procedure. Information from the current study indicates that there is a failure to inform parents and obtain parental input and permission prior to using timeout, down by 24% since 1986. The majority of respondents from the current study also reported using physical persuasion to get a student to timeout. It is not clear if this is related to what appears to be greater use of separate rooms or locations designated for timeout procedures compared to 29 years ago.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject behavioral intervention; education; punishment; seclusion; Survey; timeout
Dissertation Institution University of Utah
Dissertation Name Doctor of Philosophy
Language eng
Rights Management Copyright © Allison M. Jones 2015
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 27,856 bytes
Identifier etd3/id/3933
ARK ark:/87278/s6sj4tw8
Setname ir_etd
Date Created 2016-06-14
Date Modified 2017-09-19
ID 197484
Reference URL
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