Punishment may have different outcomes according to when punishment is implemented, the context in which it occurs and how often it is used.
It is believed that timing of punishment plays a significant role on how effective punishment is , it has been demonstrated that punishment is more likely to be more effective when presented earlier rather than later by Walters & Demkow (1963) and Walters, Parke, & Cane (1965). While Verna (1977) found that there were no significant differences in effectiveness of punishment between 10 year children whom received punishment straight away or those who received punishment 4 hours later. The differences in this findings may be due to difference in delay times, forms of punishment, and ages; Walters et al (1963) involved a delay in minutes (up to 10 minute delay), form of punishment was unpleasant sound, and median age of 6, while Verna (1977) involved a delay of 4 hours, form of punishment was withdrawal, and median age of 10.4. Therefore due to these differences we cannot conclude whether or not timing of punishment determines its effectiveness.
It is important to consider ethnic backgrounds, as the outcomes of the same punishment methods may vary across different social and cultural contexts, due to the fact that punishment may hold different meanings in different cultures. Some may see punishment as a normal and necessary part of life/growing-up, while others may view the slightest punishment as harsh according to their surroundings/context. Recently Lansford et al. (2005) looked at the relationship between the perceived ordinariness of punishment and its effects on children. According to this study in countries where physical punishment wasn’t commonly used lead to more behaviour problems than in countries such as Kenya where physical punishment was more frequently used. Nevertheless in either ethnic situation, children who had experienced physical punishment were more aggressive and anxious. The fact that information was gained through interviews of both mothers and children, the results are questionable because there is no way to establish how honestly questions were answered and how seriously the research was taken by the participants.
Also according to Banks (2002) the more often that punishment is used, the less effective it becomes with every use. Because although the punishment may be effective initially due to its shock value, with frequent use it becomes less and less effective, and in turn may even lead to increased behaviour problems in children.