What good is labeling what's good? A field experimental investigation of parental labeled praise and child compliance

Patty Leijten, Sander Thomaes, Bram Orobio de Castro, Thomas J. Dishion, Walter Matthys

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

There is a need to identify the “effective ingredients” of evidence-based behavior therapies. We tested the effects of one of the most common ingredients in parenting interventions for preventing disruptive child behavior, referred to as labeled praise (e.g., “well done picking up your toys”), which is typically recommended in preference to unlabeled praise (e.g., “well done”). We compared the effects of labeled praise, unlabeled praise, and no praise on child compliance in two experiments. Experiment 1 included 161 4 to 8 year-old community sample children and tested immediate effects of praise. Experiment 2 included 132 3 to 9 year-old children with varying levels of disruptive behavior and tested immediate and two-week effects of praise. In Experiment 1, teaching parents to use labeled praise did not increase immediate child compliance, whereas teaching them to use unlabeled praise did. In Experiment 2, teaching parents to use labeled praise for two weeks reduced disruptive child behavior, but this effect was of a similar magnitude to that for unlabeled praise. Parents preferred the use of unlabeled over labeled praise. These findings suggest that parental praise promotes child compliance, but the addition of labeling the specific positive behavior may not be of incremental value.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)134-141
Number of pages8
JournalBehaviour Research and Therapy
Volume87
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016

Fingerprint

Compliance
Teaching
Parents
Child Behavior
Play and Playthings
Behavior Therapy
Parenting
Labeling
Problem Behavior
Experiment

Keywords

  • Compliance
  • Disruptive child behavior
  • Field experiment
  • Labeled praise
  • Parenting intervention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

What good is labeling what's good? A field experimental investigation of parental labeled praise and child compliance. / Leijten, Patty; Thomaes, Sander; Orobio de Castro, Bram; Dishion, Thomas J.; Matthys, Walter.

In: Behaviour Research and Therapy, Vol. 87, 01.12.2016, p. 134-141.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Leijten, Patty ; Thomaes, Sander ; Orobio de Castro, Bram ; Dishion, Thomas J. ; Matthys, Walter. / What good is labeling what's good? A field experimental investigation of parental labeled praise and child compliance. In: Behaviour Research and Therapy. 2016 ; Vol. 87. pp. 134-141.
@article{61b1b6b7bd48433db065cc12c802abbf,
title = "What good is labeling what's good? A field experimental investigation of parental labeled praise and child compliance",
abstract = "There is a need to identify the “effective ingredients” of evidence-based behavior therapies. We tested the effects of one of the most common ingredients in parenting interventions for preventing disruptive child behavior, referred to as labeled praise (e.g., “well done picking up your toys”), which is typically recommended in preference to unlabeled praise (e.g., “well done”). We compared the effects of labeled praise, unlabeled praise, and no praise on child compliance in two experiments. Experiment 1 included 161 4 to 8 year-old community sample children and tested immediate effects of praise. Experiment 2 included 132 3 to 9 year-old children with varying levels of disruptive behavior and tested immediate and two-week effects of praise. In Experiment 1, teaching parents to use labeled praise did not increase immediate child compliance, whereas teaching them to use unlabeled praise did. In Experiment 2, teaching parents to use labeled praise for two weeks reduced disruptive child behavior, but this effect was of a similar magnitude to that for unlabeled praise. Parents preferred the use of unlabeled over labeled praise. These findings suggest that parental praise promotes child compliance, but the addition of labeling the specific positive behavior may not be of incremental value.",
keywords = "Compliance, Disruptive child behavior, Field experiment, Labeled praise, Parenting intervention",
author = "Patty Leijten and Sander Thomaes and {Orobio de Castro}, Bram and Dishion, {Thomas J.} and Walter Matthys",
year = "2016",
month = "12",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.brat.2016.09.008",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "87",
pages = "134--141",
journal = "Behaviour Research and Therapy",
issn = "0005-7967",
publisher = "Elsevier Limited",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - What good is labeling what's good? A field experimental investigation of parental labeled praise and child compliance

AU - Leijten, Patty

AU - Thomaes, Sander

AU - Orobio de Castro, Bram

AU - Dishion, Thomas J.

AU - Matthys, Walter

PY - 2016/12/1

Y1 - 2016/12/1

N2 - There is a need to identify the “effective ingredients” of evidence-based behavior therapies. We tested the effects of one of the most common ingredients in parenting interventions for preventing disruptive child behavior, referred to as labeled praise (e.g., “well done picking up your toys”), which is typically recommended in preference to unlabeled praise (e.g., “well done”). We compared the effects of labeled praise, unlabeled praise, and no praise on child compliance in two experiments. Experiment 1 included 161 4 to 8 year-old community sample children and tested immediate effects of praise. Experiment 2 included 132 3 to 9 year-old children with varying levels of disruptive behavior and tested immediate and two-week effects of praise. In Experiment 1, teaching parents to use labeled praise did not increase immediate child compliance, whereas teaching them to use unlabeled praise did. In Experiment 2, teaching parents to use labeled praise for two weeks reduced disruptive child behavior, but this effect was of a similar magnitude to that for unlabeled praise. Parents preferred the use of unlabeled over labeled praise. These findings suggest that parental praise promotes child compliance, but the addition of labeling the specific positive behavior may not be of incremental value.

AB - There is a need to identify the “effective ingredients” of evidence-based behavior therapies. We tested the effects of one of the most common ingredients in parenting interventions for preventing disruptive child behavior, referred to as labeled praise (e.g., “well done picking up your toys”), which is typically recommended in preference to unlabeled praise (e.g., “well done”). We compared the effects of labeled praise, unlabeled praise, and no praise on child compliance in two experiments. Experiment 1 included 161 4 to 8 year-old community sample children and tested immediate effects of praise. Experiment 2 included 132 3 to 9 year-old children with varying levels of disruptive behavior and tested immediate and two-week effects of praise. In Experiment 1, teaching parents to use labeled praise did not increase immediate child compliance, whereas teaching them to use unlabeled praise did. In Experiment 2, teaching parents to use labeled praise for two weeks reduced disruptive child behavior, but this effect was of a similar magnitude to that for unlabeled praise. Parents preferred the use of unlabeled over labeled praise. These findings suggest that parental praise promotes child compliance, but the addition of labeling the specific positive behavior may not be of incremental value.

KW - Compliance

KW - Disruptive child behavior

KW - Field experiment

KW - Labeled praise

KW - Parenting intervention

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84988535738&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84988535738&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.brat.2016.09.008

DO - 10.1016/j.brat.2016.09.008

M3 - Article

C2 - 27665415

AN - SCOPUS:84988535738

VL - 87

SP - 134

EP - 141

JO - Behaviour Research and Therapy

JF - Behaviour Research and Therapy

SN - 0005-7967

ER -