Improving Interactions Between Teachers and Young Children with Problem Behavior: A Strengths-Based Approach

Sutherland, K.S., Conroy, M., Abrams, L., & Vo, A. (2010)

Young children who exhibit problem behavior are at-risk for a host of negative developmental outcomes. Early intervention at multiple ecological levels is crucial to interrupt what can be a detrimental transactional cycle between children and their caregivers, including their teachers. In this article we promote a strengths-based approach to improving teacher-child interactions, which may serve as a protective factor for children with early-onset problem behavior in early childhood classrooms. Specifically, we describe how increases in targeted teacher behaviors can foster the desirable behavior of young children by capitalizing on skills the children already possess while enhancing those skills necessary for social competence and pre-academic success.