BACKGROUND: It is common for toddlers to display disruptive behaviors (e.g., tantrums, aggression, irritability) but when these become severe and persistent they can be the start of a trajectory towards poor outcomes in childhood and adolescence. Parent Child Interaction Therapy - Toddler is an intervention model designed to meet the specific developmental needs of toddlers aged 12-24 months presenting with disruptive behaviors. METHODS: This study will use a randomized controlled design to evaluate the efficacy of the Parent Child Interaction Therapy - Toddler intervention for children aged 14-24 months with disruptive behaviors. Ninety toddlers with parent-reported disruptive behavior will be randomly allocated to either Parent Child Interaction Therapy - Toddler, Circle of Security- Parenting™ or a waitlist control group. Key parenting capacity outcome variables will include positive and negative parenting, parenting sensitivity, parental sense of competence in managing negative toddler emotions, parent sense of caregiving helplessness, parent mentalizing about the child, parent emotion regulation, child abuse potential and parental stress. Key outcome variables for children will include child social-emotional functioning (initiative, relationship functioning, self-regulation), child emotion regulation, child attachment security, and child behavior. DISCUSSION: Delivered in the early intervention period of toddlerhood, Parent Child Interaction Therapy - Toddler has the potential to bring about significant and lasting changes for children presenting with early onset behavioral issues. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR), 12618001554257 . Registered 24 September 2018 - retrospectively registered.
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- parent-child interaction therapy – toddlers
- circle of security
- disruptive behaviors
- emotion regulation