Overview of Teacher Child Interaction Training (TCIT)

The Teacher Child Interaction Training – Comprehensive Program (TCIT-C) is an adaptation of Parent Child Interaction Therapy for use with teachers and classrooms.  TCIT-C was designed to improve the social, emotional, and behavioral competence for children 3 to 6 years of age.  Additionally, TCIT-C has been shown to increase teacher-efficacy and job satisfaction for early childhood educators.

Similar to PCIT, TCIT-C is used to reduce challenging classroom behaviors associated with a wide variety of emotional and behavioral disorders, including:

  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder
  • Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Conduct Disorder
  • Child Maltreatment and Trauma
  • Children Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder
  • Anxiety Disorders

Child - Devil and Chalkboard

Research Support

The Teacher Child Interaction Training – Comprehensive Program has been evaluated by 2 federally-funded research grants:

  1. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Administration for Children & Families
  2. National Institutes of Health (NIH) Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)

TCIT-C is Delivered in Two Phases

Teacher in Circle Time

During the first phase of training (Child-Directed Interaction), children are encouraged to lead a play activity while their teachers observe and comment on their child’s positive behaviors and ignore inappropriate behaviors.  The primary goal of the first phase of TCIT-C (the Child-Directed Interaction) is to strengthen positive teacher-child relationships.

In the second phase of the training (Teacher-Directed Interaction), teachers learn how to deliver clear, direct commands to reward child compliance and utilize effective strategies for child noncompliance.  The primary goal of the second phase of TCIT (the Teacher-Directed Interaction) is to change ineffective teacher-child interaction patterns.  The second phase also includes classroom management strategies that further reduce behavioral problems.

Live Coaching of Skills with Teachers

Like PCIT, TCIT-C is comprised of didactic, teaching sessions where the skills are introduced and role-played with teachers, as well as subsequent coaching sessions with students to facilitate the mastery of skills.  In fact, TCIT -Cwas carefully created to meet the specialized needs of the classroom environment, but still retain the core principles and goals of PCIT.

Different from PCIT, TCIT-C coaching occurs with teachers in both: (1) Training Rooms – where the skills are initially learned and mastered with small groups of children; and (2) Classrooms – where the skills are generalized to the broader classroom setting.

Duration of Treatment

TCIT-C sessions typically occur twice per week.  The average number of sessions to complete TCIT is 20 sessions.  However, the TCIT-C Program is a mastery-based program that continues until the teachers have demonstrated specific skills, and classroom behaviors have improved.

TCIT-C Program – Prevention and Intervention

The Teacher Child Interaction Training – Comprehensive Program (TCIT-C) is both a Prevention and Intervention Model.  That is, TCIT-C has continually demonstrated significant decreases in disruptive behavior for children who frequently exhibit behavioral problems.  Equally important, research results indicate that TCIT-C reduces the risk of future challenging behaviors for children who are not exhibiting behavioral difficulties.