Antecedent Strategies to Promote Children’s and Adolescents’ Compliance with Adult Requests: A Review of the Literature

Research paper by Keith C. Radley, Evan H. Dart

Indexed on: 09 Mar '16Published on: 14 Nov '15Published in: Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review


Compliance with adult requests and directives has often been described as a keystone behavior in children, meaning it is associated with engagement in other desirable and socially appropriate behaviors. As such, a great deal of research has been directed toward identifying strategies that increase compliance in children. Antecedent strategies, which focus on increasing the probability of compliance prior to or during the delivery of the directive or request, are popular because they have the potential to prevent noncompliance; however, it is not clear which of the numerous antecedent strategies are effective or for whom. Therefore, a systematic review of the antecedent strategies for compliance was completed. Forty-two studies were identified evaluating eight different antecedent strategies for children aged 1–19. It was determined that high-probability command sequences, effective instruction delivery, and errorless compliance training may all be considered evidence-based antecedent strategies to increase children’s compliance with adult requests.