TCIT-U is adapted from Dr. Shelia Eyberg’s Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), an evidence-based treatment for children aged 2-7 years with disruptive behavior. TCIT-U builds on the strong research base of PCIT as an effective means of improving adult-child relationships and consistent application of behavioral strategies for increasing children’s prosocial behavior. TCIT-U incorporates the core elements of PCIT while making adaptations to enhance its applicability to a classroom or childcare setting.


For a detailed description of the TCIT-U model, see:

Gershenson, R., Lyon, A., & Budd, K. S. (2010). Promoting positive interactions in the classroom: Adapting Parent-Child Interaction Therapy as a universal prevention program. Education and Treatment of Children, 33, 261-287.


Since 2006, several studies have investigated TCIT-U’s effectiveness and viability as a professional development model. These studies have demonstrated several benefits of training in TCIT-U for teachers and children, including:

  • Teachers’ use of positive, responsive attention increases substantially across training
  • Teachers rate their students’ behavior as significantly improved on a standardized strengths-based inventory
  • Higher levels of teacher skill change are associated with greater improvements in children’s behavior
  • Teachers report high satisfaction with TCIT-U


To read more on the effects of TCIT-U, see these peer-reviewed publications:

Garbacz, L. L., Zychinski, K. C., Feuer, R., Carter, J. S., & Budd, K. S. (2014). The impact of Teacher-Child Interaction Training on teachers’ skills and children’s behaviors. Psychology in the Schools, 51, 850-865.

Budd, K. S., Garbacz, L. L., & Carter, J. S. (2016). Collaborating with public school partners to implement Teacher-Child Interaction Training (TCIT) as universal prevention. School Mental Health, 8, 207-221.

Kanine, R. M., Jackson, Y., Huffhines, L., Barnett, A., & Stone, K. J. (2018). A pilot study of universal Teacher–Child Interaction Training at a therapeutic preschool for young maltreated children. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 38, 146-161.

Budd, K. S., (2018). Teacher-Child Interaction Training. In L. N. Niec (Ed.), Handbook of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy: Innovations and Applications for Research and Practice (pp. 215-231). New York: Springer Nature.

Fawley, K. D., Stokes, T. F., Rainear, C. A., Rossi, J. L., & Budd, K. S. (2019). Universal TCIT improves teacher-child interactions and management of child behavior. Journal of Behavioral Education.

Davidson, B. C., Davis, E, Cadenas, H., Barnett, M., Sanchez, B. E. L., Gonzalez, J. C. & Jent, J. (2021). Universal Teacher-Child Interaction Training in early special education: A pilot cluster-randomized control trial. Behavior Therapy, 52, 379-393.

Santiago, C. D., Bustos, Y., Sosa, S. S., Jolie, S. A., Toussaint, R. F., Gebhardt, S., Stern, D., & Budd, K. S. (2022). Examining the implementation of Teacher-Child Interaction Training-Universal in public schools. Psychology in the Schools, DOI: 10.1002/pits.22753.


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