“Emotional regulation is the ability to recognize what behavior is appropriate in the current situation,” Reinke says. “For example, a student might have difficulties controlling feelings of anger if he or she gets frustrated with another student. But under this program, the teacher might encourage them to move to a different spot in the classroom, effectively teaching them that sometimes stepping away and taking a breather is a good way to calm down and manage those feelings.”

After one school year of implementing the program in classrooms, students improved their social abilities and ability to regulate their emotions. These improvements resulted in an increase in student competence from the 50th to the 56th percentile for students in Incredible Years classrooms versus students in control classrooms.

“It shows that this classroom management approach can help mitigate risk for struggling learners early on, which could help prevent more intensive support needs in a child’s future,” Reinke says.

Training teachers can help students manage their own emotions--here's what new research says.

Reinke suggests that teachers or parents wishing to learn more about the Incredible Years program look into future training sessions to attend on the Incredible Year’s website here, or look for similar programs in their area. Reinke also created a classroom check-up resource for teachers that can be found here.

“The Incredible Years Teacher Classroom Management Program: Outcomes from a Group Randomized Trial,” was published in Prevention Science. The study’s co-author is Nianbo Dong, an associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Funding for this study was provided by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education (R305A100342).

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This story originally appeared online via the MU News Bureau.


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