"Tuning into Kids": reducing young children's behavior problems using an emotion coaching parenting program

Child Psychiatry Hum Dev. 2013 Apr;44(2):247-64. doi: 10.1007/s10578-012-0322-1.


This study evaluated a 6-session group parenting program, Tuning into Kids (TIK), as treatment for young children (aged 4.0-5.11 years) with behavior problems. TIK targets parent emotion socialization (parent emotion awareness, regulation and emotion coaching skills). Fifty-four parents, recruited via a child behavior clinic, were randomized into intervention (TIK) or waitlist (clinical treatment as usual). Parents reported emotion awareness/regulation, emotion coaching, empathy and child behavior (pre-intervention, post-intervention, 6-month follow-up); teachers reported child behavior and observers rated parent-child emotion coaching and child emotion knowledge (pre-intervention, follow-up). Data were analyzed using growth curve modeling and ANCOVA. Parents in both conditions reported less emotional dismissiveness and reduced child behavior problems; in the intervention group, parents also reported greater empathy and had improved observed emotion coaching skills; their children had greater emotion knowledge and reduced teacher-reported behavior problems. TIK appears to be a promising addition to treatment for child behavior problems.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Behavior Therapy / methods*
  • Child Behavior / psychology*
  • Child Behavior Disorders / psychology
  • Child Behavior Disorders / therapy*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Emotions*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parent-Child Relations*
  • Parenting / psychology
  • Parents / education
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Socialization
  • Treatment Outcome