"Tuning into kids": Reducing young children's behavior problems using an emotion coaching parenting program Academic Article uri icon


  • 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.


  • Havighurst, SS
  • Wilson, KR
  • Harley, AE
  • Kehoe, C
  • Efron, D
  • Prior, MR

publication date

  • 2013