College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Summer 8-20-2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Karen S. Budd, PhD

Second Advisor

Kathryn Grant, PhD

Third Advisor

Cecilia Martinez-Torteya, PhD


Classrooms are in dire need of teacher support services and effective child behavior management, particularly in low-income urban areas (Campbell & Ewing, 1990; Fantuzzo & Mohr, 1999; Hamre & Pianta, 2004; Visser, Bitsko, Danielson, Perou, & Blumberg, 2010). Teacher-Child Interaction Training - Universal (TCIT-U) is a preventive, classroom-wide teacher training protocol that shows promise for strengthening teacher and child behavior (Budd, Garbacz, & Carter, 2016; Fernandez, Gold, Hirsch, & Miller, 2015b; Garbacz, Zychinski, Feuer, Carter, & Budd, 2014; Lyon, Budd, & Gershenson, 2009a). To date, this is the first pilot study with random assignment to investigate TCIT-U; further, it is the first study to examine in-class coaching, a key training component of TCIT-U, separately from didactic training. Using randomized assignment by classroom and a series of linear regressions, the current study evaluated the effects of TCIT-U on (a) teacher skills, (b) teacher self-efficacy, and (c) child behavior. Preschool classrooms at two different Head Starts in a large urban setting were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: Combined (TCIT coaching plus didactic training), Didactics (TCIT didactic training alone) or Control (volunteer classroom support only). Participants included six lead teachers, their 10 teacher assistants, and 107 students across six classrooms. Consistent with study hypotheses, results demonstrate significant benefits of the Combined Condition on teacher skills at mid-point and teacher self-efficacy at post-intervention. Additionally, findings indicate significant benefits of the Combined Condition on direct, condition-blind observations of children with the highest baseline problems. However, contrary to hypotheses, there were no significant benefits of the Combined Condition on teacher skills at post-intervention or on teacher reports of child behavior classroom-wide. Findings reveal some significant improvements of the Didactic Condition on teacher reports of child behavior. Implications of the current study include recommending the full TCIT-U model including its coaching component to improve teacher skills, self-efficacy, and classroom behavior for children with problematic behavior. The benefits of TCIT-U’s didactic component are also discussed as a potential means for improving general classroom behaviors, particularly in schools with limited resources.

SLP Collection