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INSIGHTS into Children’s Temperament

Program Description

INSIGHTS into Children’s Temperament (INSIGHTS) is a classroom-based, social–emotional learning (SEL) intervention for students in grades K–2, their parents, and their teachers. INSIGHTS incorporates findings from the literature on temperament, parenting, student–teacher transactional relationships, and prevention science. The intervention is designed to provide parents and teachers with a framework for appreciating and supporting the individual differences of children and to teach child-management strategies directed at reducing behavior problems. The goal of the children’s program is to enhance their empathy skills; facilitate their appreciation of the uniqueness of family members, friends, and teachers; and employ problem-solving techniques when they encounter daily challenges.

INSIGHTS is a 10-week intervention. For parents and teachers, there is a 10-session curriculum held in weekly 2-hour sessions, which include didactic content, videotaped vignettes, role playing, discussion, and assignments. The curriculum has three parts. The first part, “The 3 R‘s of Child Management: Recognize, Reframe, and Respond,” teaches parents and teachers to recognize a child’s unique qualities as an expression of his or her temperament. Participants learn how to reframe their perceptions of a child by understanding that no temperament is ideal in every situation, and how various responses in?uence their interactions with a child and his or her subsequent behavior. In the second part, “Gaining Compliance,” participants learn how to implement temperament-based management strategies to improve children’s behavior. The third part, “Giving Control,” gives parents and teachers additional strategies to support children who encounter challenges in relation to their temperament, and the opportunity to integrate the material learned in the earlier sessions.

The children’s version of INSIGHTS is held over the same 10-week period as the teacher and parent programs. Children’s sessions are held weekly, for approximately 1 hour, and are conducted in the classrooms of the participating teachers. This component has two parts. In the first part, children are taught that, based on temperament, various situations are easy for some individuals while challenging for others. Children are introduced to four puppets that represent common temperaments and watch video vignettes demonstrating each puppet’s reaction to everyday situations. In the second part, children engage with the puppets and with their peers to practice solving daily problems.

Program Snapshot
Evidence Ratings
Disruptive Behavior Disorders and Symptoms
School Engagement
Attention Disorders and Symptoms
Educational Achievement
School Climate
Program Contact
Sandee McClowry, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN
Developer and Principal Investigator

119 Ball Pond Road New Fairfield, CT 06812


Dissemination/Implementation Contact
Sandee McClowry, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN
Developer and Principal Investigator

119 Ball Pond Road New Fairfield, CT 06812


Program Type
Mental health promotion


0-5 (Early childhood)
6-12 (Childhood)
26-55 (Adult)
55+ (Older adult)

Geographic Locations

School / Classroom

Black or African American
Hispanic or Latino

Implementation materials available