The use of overcorrection to eliminate the public disrobing (stripping) of retarded women

R. M. Foxx

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26 Scopus citations


Institutionalized retarded persons who disrobe publicly or 'strip' are a source of great concern to administrators, treatment staff and visitors. Common institutional approaches to public disrobing have been to dress strippers in restrictive clothing or cloister them from public view. Although behavior modification techniques have sometimes been used successfully to eliminate stripping, none has received widespread usage. The present study compared the effectiveness of an Overcorrection procedure that was designed to eliminate stripping with two behavioral treatments for stripping: time-out and physical restraint. The procedures were applied to two profoundly retarded female strippers. The key components of the Overcorrection procedure were: (1) a Restitutional Overcorrection procedure that consisted of a required dressing in panties, bra, slip, panty hose and tie shoes in addition to the woman's normal ward clothing that consisted solely of a dress and (2) a Positive Practice Overcorrection procedure that required the stripper to attend to the clothing needs and personal appearance of other ward residents by buttoning or zipping their unfastened clothing, straightening rumpled or twisted clothing, furnishing footwear to those in bare feet and combing tousled hair. The Overcorrection procedure eliminated the women's stripping within 2 weeks and was more effective than the alternative procedures. The Overcorrection procedure appears to be a rapid, effective, and enduring method of eliminating the public disrobing of retarded adult females.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-61
Number of pages9
JournalBehaviour Research and Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1976

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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