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Scholars Day 2007, Wednesday, April 11

Effects of Timeout on Learning in Children with ADHD

Punishment has been shown to effectively alter behavior in children. However, little research has been done regarding the effect of punishment on learning in children with ADHD. The present study examined the effect of timeouts on the ability of children with ADHD to learn a visual discrimination task. This task required the child to learn and remember one of two responses for each of eight visual stimuli. Approximately half of nineteen children with ADHD and half of the thirty-five controls received a 0 second timeout following an incorrect response, while the other half received a 10 second timeout. No significant differences in task acquisition between children with ADHD and control children with 0 second and 10 second timeouts were found. The 10 second timeout enhanced task acquisition similarly for each group. These results demonstrate that timeouts are effective at enhancing learning in children with ADHD.

Presenter: Megan Howarth (Undergraduate Student)
Topic: Psychology
Location: 107 Holmes
Time: 2:45 pm (Session IV)