Science & Innovation
Research at the Child Mind Institute includes both basic science in brain development—and the brain changes involved in psychiatric and learning disorders—and what we call intervention science. Intervention science is research that objectively tests the efficacy of treatments, whether they are behavioral or involve medication, for psychiatric disorders or ameliorate their symptoms.
On the intervention science front, the Child Mind Institute's first initiative is a study to measure the effectiveness of training classroom teachers in techniques that have been developed and tested for parents to effectively reduce disruptive behaviors.
Called teacher-child interaction training, or TCIT, this training regimen is designed to decrease problem behaviors and increase classroom time spent in learning. The program is an adaptation of parent-child interaction therapy, or PCIT, a behavioral intervention for children with disruptive behavior disorders and the impulsivity associated with ADHD. In PCIT parents master a specific set of skills to improve interaction with children and empower children to control their behavior.
Like PCIT, TCIT is taught in two phases. First teachers learn skills that reinforce students' positive classroom behaviors. Then teachers learn effective methods of intervening and setting limits when disruptive behavior occurs. The goal is to increase learning time available to all children in the classroom.
This fall, the Child Mind Institute is launching a pilot study with the New York City Department of Education to evaluate TCIT in three schools. Other pilot studies are being developed with Teach for America and the Archdiocese of New York.
Teacher-Child Interaction Training in New York City Schools
Principal Investigator: Melanie Fernandez, PhD, ABPP
Key Personnel: Steven Kurtz, PhD, ABPP, Samantha Miller, PhD
Project Period: 9/1/11 to 8/31/12, Current Budget Period: 9/1/11 to 8/31/12
Sponsor(s): New York City Council, City of New York
Partnership(s): New York City Department of Education