Does the Incredible Years Teacher Classroom Management programme improve child–teacher relationships in childcare centres? A 1-year universal intervention in a Norwegian community sample

  • Håvard Horndalen TveitEmail author
  • May Britt Drugli
  • Sturla Fossum
  • Bjørn Helge Handegård
  • Frode Stenseng
Original Contribution


The Incredible Years Teacher Classroom Management (IY TCM) programme has shown promise in reducing behaviour problems among high-risk children in childcare. However, at present, we do not know whether the IY TCM successfully improves the child–teacher relationship in childcare and whether the effects manifest in both the population and in high-risk groups. Hence, we conducted a quasi-experimental pre-post study with a matched control condition to examine the changes in child–teacher relationships in a sample of 1085 children aged 3–6 years after implementing the IY TCM programme. Linear mixed models revealed favourable group-by-time differences benefitting the intervention compared to the control condition. Subgroup analyses of children scoring at or above the 90th percentile on either internalising or externalising behaviour problems showed that the preventive effects persisted in both high-risk subsamples. In sum, the findings indicate that the IY TCM programme does improve child–teacher relationships and that the effect is present for the entire study population as well as children scoring in the clinical range on behaviour problems. This suggests that the application of the IY TCM programme in childcare settings has important preventive effects. Implications and limitations are further discussed.


Child–teacher relationship Intervention Incredible years Internalising Externalising Childcare 



The authors wish to thank Professor Willy-Tore Mørch for his contribution to the study design, Anne-Kari Johnsen, Merete Aasheim and Oddbjørn Løndal for acquisition of data, parents for their willingness to participate, and the childcare teachers for completing the assessments.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All the procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Regional Centre for Child and Youth Mental Health and Child Welfare - Central NorwayNorwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)TrondheimNorway
  2. 2.Centre for the Study of Educational Practice (SePu)Hedmark University CollegeElverumNorway
  3. 3.The Regional Centre for Child and Youth Mental Health and Child Welfare - North, UiTThe Arctic University of NorwayTromsøNorway
  4. 4.Department of Education and Lifelong LearningNorwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)TrondheimNorway
  5. 5.Queen Maud University College of Early Childhood Education (DMMH)TrondheimNorway

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