Teacher-Child Interaction Training: A Pilot Study With Random Assignment
Teacher-Child Interaction Training (TCIT), adapted from Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), is a classroom-based program designed to provide teachers with behavior management skills that foster positive teacher-student relationships and to improve student behavior by creating a more constructive classroom environment. The purpose of this pilot study was to evaluate TCIT in more classrooms than previously reported in the literature, with older children than previously reported, using random assignment of classrooms to TCIT or to a no-TCIT control condition and conducting all but two sessions within the classroom to enhance feasibility. Participants included 11 kindergarten and first grade classroom teachers and their 118 students from three urban, public schools in Manhattan, with five classrooms randomly assigned to receive TCIT and six to the no-TCIT control condition. Observations of teacher skill acquisition were conducted before, during, and after TCIT for all 11 teachers, and teacher reports of student behavior were obtained at these same time points. Teacher satisfaction with TCIT was assessed following training. Results suggested that after receiving TCIT, teachers increased rates of positive attention to students' appropriate behavior, decreased rates of negative attention to misbehavior, reported significantly less distress related to student disruptive behavior, and reported high satisfaction with the training program. Our study supports the growing evidence-base suggesting that TCIT is a promising approach for training teachers in positive behavior management strategies and for improving student disruptive behavior in the classroom.
From the Clinics to the Classrooms: A Review of Teacher-Child Interaction Training in Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Prevention Settings
Without intervention, childhood behavioral problems, including aggression and noncompliance, are likely to continue over the lifespan and adversely affect a child's functioning across several domains. Based on the early emergence of functional impairment and the established negative trajectory of these difficulties, prevention and early intervention programs are critically important. Interventions for disruptive behavior disorders have primarily focused on parent training. However, given the limited access to evidence-based mental health care in many communities and the significant amount of time children spend in school, researchers and clinicians have explored creative ways to provide interventions in the school setting. Increasing attention has been given to prevention efforts. Discussed below are the results of preliminary studies investigating the effectiveness of teacher training in improving behavior management in the classroom. The teacher training is based on the established efficacy of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) for young children with disruptive behavior disorders and their families. This paper reviews the various teacher-child interaction training models that have been used in different settings (e.g., Head Start, general education) and includes discussion of adaptations for the classroom and for consideration in future study.