If you could learn one thing regarding punishment, it’s this-know how punishment SHOULD work so that you avoid overusing a procedure that is not effective. Not only is it inefficient, but it’s unfortunate for a learner to experience these “punishers” that are not even changing their behavior. That said, know how punishment SHOULD work so that you avoid getting it wrong. From one parent to another, I WANT you to get this right!

Keepin' It 100 is a practical web series by Cultivate Behavioral Health & Education designed to help parents and practitioners learn and apply the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Keepin' It 100 is designed to be a series of 100 videos, each roughly 100 seconds in length over 100 days.

Keepin’ It 100: Episode 22

Punishment can be a means to an end-punish a behavior and it decreases. The proper application of punishment does contribute to a decrease in challenging behavior. If you’re using punishment and the behavior that you’re punishing is not decreasing, then you’re not punishing the behavior. In fact, often times, parents that are using punishment may be reinforcing their children. In the next 2 posts, we’ll explore an example of how this plays out in certain situations.

Most ABA programs more readily utilize reinforcement procedures yet there are situations in which punishment is explored. The BACB has Ethical Conduct Guidelines that we’re to follow as BCBAs when considering the use of punishment. The purpose of exploring punishment and its effect on behavior in the Keepin’ It 100 Series, is to bring to light the true purpose of punishment and common errors when applying it, more from the perspective of parents that use punishment to decrease behavior. The key is that behavior is decreased. If behavior is not decreasing, then you’re not using punishment effectively.

Contact us if you’d like more individualized support or have questions regarding the post! We serve clients throughout Central Texas, including Austin, Bee Cave, Buda, Cedar Park, College Station, Dripping Springs, Lakeway, Leander, and Spicewood. We also provide telemedicine services throughout the country.