Behavior Modification Discipline in Children

Behavior Modification Discipline in Children

[Student’s Name]


Introduction. 3

Positive Behavior Support 3

Assessing Behavior Change. 4

Time Out 5

Behavior Modification and Television Show.. 5

Classroom Environment 5

Harsh Parenting. 6

Conclusion. 6

References. 8

















Traditional reactive techniques to discipline are continually failing to enhance behavior of many learners, including learners with exceptionalities and from diverse populations. Morrissey, Behanon and Fenning (2010) opine that traditional reactionary discipline techniques such as expulsion, and suspension leads to removal of learners who are in need of instructional minutes, particularly young children with academic problems and those from minority backgrounds. Learning institutions located in the urban setting, which serves children from diverse cultural backgrounds are in need of proactive technique to discipline that will support learner behaviors, as opposed to removing them via suspensions and expulsions. Behavior modification, as pointed out by Jacoby (2008), is among the four categories of child’s discipline. Behavior modification contains four principal parts. These parts include (1) negative punishment, (2) positive punishment, (3) negative reinforcement, and (4) positive reinforcement. Jacoby (2008) further observes that most parents employ one or more of these parts as discipline approach to modify behavior in young children. This paper will attempt to examine behavior modification discipline in children.

Positive Behavior Support

Positive behavior support model is increasingly support as an approach to address behavior in children. Morrissey, Behanon and Fenning (2010) conducted a literature review regarding positive behavior support as a proactive technique for reacting to the ever-increasing diversity of children, and problems associated with children that need to be managed in order for schools to offer constructive learning climate for all learners. Morrissey et al. (2010) posit that disciplinary reactions do not assist learners who most need assistance. Positive behavior support teaches learners suitable behaviors.

Learning institutions are undergoing a historic transformation, and there is increasing pressure to seek for effective strategies to support the ever-increasing diversity of children in general education classrooms. As observed by Morrissey et al. (2010), positive behavior support is a model that is increasing gaining support as a technique for addressing individual support system for learners with or without special needs, classroom management, and schoolwide behavioral concerns. Morrissey at al.(2010) reveals that PBS is a systematic process that involves community members, administrators, parents, students, teachers and subordinate staff at school. The critical elements for a successful PBS system encompass (1) utilizing information to monitor progress and alter intervention as required and (2) classifying consistent procedures for reacting to problem behavior. Other important elements include offering systematic teaching of anticipated behavior to all learners and instructors and then recognizing all those who meet the expected behavior, assessing behavior at school using information such as surveys and office discipline referrals, creating a representative team, and committing to addressing behavior within the school setting.

Assessing Behavior Change

Direct Behavior Single-item Scales (DBR-SIS) has been suggested is a critical tool for evaluating behavior change in reaction to an intervention. Chafouleas, Sanetti, Kilgus and Maggin (2012), conducted a study to assess the sensitivity of DBR-SIS) as an important device for evaluating behavior change in reaction to an intervention. Chafouleas et al. (2012) further examined the utility of five metrics proposed for comprehending behavior responses in addition to correspondence among these metrics and instructors’ rating of intervention acceptability. Two accomplished behavioral consultation cases involving learners from diverse backgrounds were incorporated in this study. Results from this study indicated that DBR-SIS is sensitive to behavior change irrespective of the metric utilized. The study further demonstrated that there was limited link between instructors and learners’ rating of acceptability.

Time Out

Time out has also been widely supported as a resourceful parental discipline practice to minimize oppositional and disruptive child behavior in young children. However, in spite of empirical evidence demonstrating that the practice is effective when employed as an integral component of an all-inclusive positive parenting approach, some critics have questions its resourcefulness and possible adverse impact on the child-parent relationship. Morawska and Sanders (2011) conducted a study to investigate the controversy surrounding the utilization of time and its effectiveness in addressing conduct problems in children. Results from this study demonstrated that time out is resourceful in dealing with conduct problems associated with young children. The study concluded that time out should be employed by parents in modifying children behavior.

Behavior Modification and Television Show

Behavior modification with young children has been popularized via television shows. Mckinney and Durr (2013) opine that the popularity of these television shows may be associated with the demands parents and caregivers have for modifying their children behavior.  Captivatingly, a technique implemented by the Dog Whisperer may prove resourceful when utilized in young children. Mckinney and Durr (2013) conducted a literature review to examine how behavior modification with young children has been utilized in the media and to offer credible evidence that backs the Dog Whisperer’s approach. The study concluded that the Dog Whisperer’s approach to modify behavior in children.

Classroom Environment

Classroom environment has been emphasized as important in decreasing disruptive behavior and improving academic engagement among young children. Guardino and Fullerton (2010) conducted a study to examine how the classroom environment can decrease disruptive behavior and enhance academic engagement among young children. The study contends that learners should gather information about instructors’ observations, disruptive behavior, and learners’ engagement during instruction to establish physical environments in the classroom that play a critical role in improving behavior and attention among young children. Guardino and Fullerton (2010) further investigated classroom management approaches that can take a proactive strategy to minimize or prevent disruptive behavior in young children.

Harsh Parenting

Scholars have investigated the strength of Analog Parenting (APT) for evaluating harsh parenting as a technique of modifying behavior in children. Russa and Rodriguez (2010) conducted a study to examine the validity of APT as a critical tool for evaluating risk harsh, physically aggressive parenting. Previous studies have demonstrated that there was a strong link between ATP scores of anticipated utilization and rise of discipline approaches, as well as, self-reported discipline attitudes. In addition, past evidence has shown that ATP scores were strongly connected to physical abuse potentials. Russa and Rodriguez (2010) study offers a new psychometric proof that back the utilization of the ATP to evaluate harsh parenting. Results from this study indicated that the link between acceptance and the utilization of physical disciplinary approaches. Russa and Rodriguez (2010) results were based on Milner’s model.


Conclusively, this paper demonstrates that various techniques can be employed in modifying behavior, in children. Positive behavior support is a model has been suggested as important in addressing individual support system for learners. Classroom environment has also been pointed out as integral in modifying the behavior in children. The paper also revealed that harsh parenting can be employed in instilling discipline, in children or rectifying disruptive behaviors. The ATP has been proposed as an important tool in assessing harsh parenting. Dog Whisperer’s approach has also been suggested as critical in modifying behavior in children.


Chafouleas, S., Sanetti, L.M.H., Kilgus, S.P., & Maggin, D.M. (2012). Evaluating Sensitivity to

Behavioral Change Using Direct Behavior Rating Single-Item Scales. Exceptional Children, 78(4), 491-505.

Guardino, C.A., & Fullerton, E. (2010). Changing Behavior by Changing the Classroom Environment.

Teaching Exceptional Children, 42(6), 8-13.

Jacoby, R.L. (2008). The effectiveness of a proactive school-wide approach to discipline at the middle

school level. Kansas City: University of Missouri.

Mckinney, C., & Durr, B. (2013). The Child Whisperer: Effective Parenting Strategies Adapted from

the Dog Whisperer. Child & Family Behavior Therapy, 35(1), 82-88.

Morawska, A., & Sanders, M. (2011). Parental Use of Time Out Revisited: A Useful or Harmful

Parenting Strategy? Journal of Child & Family Studies, 20(1), 1-8.

Morrissey, K.L., Bohanon, H., & Fenning, P. (2010). Positive Behavior Support. Teaching

Exceptional Children, 42(5), 26-35.

Russa, M.B., & Rodriguez, C.M. (2010). Physical Discipline, Escalation, and Child Abuse Potential:

Psychometric Evidence for the Analog Parenting Task. Aggressive Behavior, 36(4), 251-260.



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