Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Arthur State dies at 97; Called ‘Time Out’ for riotous children

Literary references to rebellious children echoing echo from at least the early 19th century, when the father in the novel “Home” in 1835 by Catharine Sedgwick sternly ordered his son Wallace to ‘go to your own room’ after having a cat burned.

Such connections were later personified by the Swedish artist Carl Larsson’s watercolor in 1894 “The naughty corner,” a picture of a small child relegated to a chair in the living room.

In the late fifties, not long after his daughter, Jennifer, was born, Arthur W. State transformed a more or less random punishment of parents into an important aspect of behavioral psychology and a domestic expression. He calls it a ‘time-out’.

Exhausting experiments performed by Dr. Staats (rhyme with “spots”) and his collaborators found that removing a child from the scene of inappropriate behavior, and whatever it provoked, embedded an emotional connection to self-control. has and preferably above punishment. As a bonus, it gave frustrated parents a short break.

Dr Staats emphasized that children should be warned in advance about the consequences of their behavior, and that the ‘time-out’ tactic should be applied consistently and within the context of a positive relationship between parent and child. He recommended that the period (usually five to 15 minutes) should end when the child no longer misbehaved (for example, a tantrum).

Dr. State passed away on April 26, 1997 at his home in Oahu, Hawaii. His son, dr. Peter S. State, said the cause is heart failure.

Early on, Arthur Staats experimented with both of his children. “My sister and I were trained in the time-out procedure that my father invented in the late fifties,” said Dr. Peter Staats in the Johns Hopkins Magazine last year.

His sister, dr. Jennifer Kelley, made her own turn to develop the procedure. “A few years ago,” she said in an email, “my brother made the joke that I was so bad that my dad had to figure out time.”

In 1962, when Jennifer was 2, dr. State told Child magazine: ‘I would put her in her crib and indicate that she should stay there until she stopped crying. If we were in a public place, I would pick her up and go outside. ‘

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He also experimented with preschool learning, taught his daughter to read before she was 3, and devised a “token-reinforcement” system: a device he devised wiped out small markers that could be detected and later used for toys. and other prizes could be exchanged.

That Peter founded the Department of Pain Medicine at Johns Hopkins University and Jennifer became a child and adolescent psychiatrist may be a measure of their father’s success.

The elder, dr. State, describes his approach as psychological behaviorism and cognitive behavioral psychology. His perspectives on emotional development and learning were so clear that in 2006 Child magazine named him one of the “20 people who changed childhood”.

The journal American Pediatrics reported in 2017 that a recent survey found that 77 percent of parents of children ages 15 months to 10 years relied on timeouts for moderate behavior.

Montrose M. Wolf, one of dr. State’s graduate assistants, mentioned the procedure in a 1964 study, and dr. State expanded it in the book “Learning, Language and Cognition”, published in 1968.

He was considered one of a handful of pioneers in behavior change. As he wrote in his book “Marvelous Learning Animal” (2012), “Our small group provided the foundations of the fields of behavior therapy and behavior analysis.”

Although much research has focused on how differences in the chemistry and physiology of the brain influence behavior and the ability to read and write, dr. State argued that more study is needed on what impact learning and a child’s environment have on the differences.

His experiments, he writes, have shown that ‘children have a variety of explicit problem behaviors that can be treated through explicit training’ – that dyslexic children can be trained to read and that a child’s IQ can improve. According to him, the research provides ‘irrefutable evidence of the tremendous power of learning to determine human behavior’.

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Arthur Wilbur State was born on January 17, 1924 in Greenburgh, NY, Westchester County as Frank State, a carpenter, and Jennifer (Yollis) State, a Jewish immigrant from Russia. His father passed away when he was 3 months old, just days after the family boarded a Los Angeles trip to the West Coast via the Panama Canal. His mother supported the couple’s four children by doing laundry for neighbors.

Arthur was an indifferent student and devoted himself mainly to sports and reading for pleasure. He dropped out of high school at 17 to join the Navy and served during the D-Day raid on the battleship Nevada. After the war, he enrolled at the University of California, Los Angeles, under the GI Bill.

In 1949 he obtained a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a master’s degree in psychology and a doctorate in general experimental and clinical psychology in 1956.

After teaching as a professor of psychology at Arizona State University and a visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Wisconsin, he was appointed by the University of Hawaii in Manoa in 1966. He was a professor of psychology there until he retired in 1997 and was named an emeritus professor.

Dr. State is married to Carolyn Kaiden, an associate doctoral student at UCLA. They are collaborating on the book “Complex Human Behavior: A Systematic Extension of Learning Principles” (2011). In addition to his son and daughter, she survives him along with five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Dr. State’s legacy is reflected in the license plate of his silver BMW – TYM-OUT – as well as the behavior of his great-granddaughters.

“We have two, 6 and 3 year olds, and they are really wonderful little girls,” said dr. Kelley said about her grandchildren. “The little one is very funny. If she does something wrong, she puts herself in a timeout. I think she saw her sister interrupt for a while, and then she figured out how it works. ‘

Nation World News Desk
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