Tuning in to Kids emotion-focused interventions

Research Overview

Tuning in to Kids® is an evidence-based, emotion-focused program that aims to build parents/carers/teachers emotion coaching skills for assisting children and adolescents to understand and regulate their emotions. The Tuning in to Kids® suite of programs provide a way of working that focuses on the emotional connection between adults and children that also assists the adult in their own emotion awareness and regulation.

Variants of the program include Tuning in to Kids®, Tuning in to Teens™, Dads Tuning in to Kids™, Tuning in to Toddlers™, Tuning in to Kids Online™ (TIKOL), Teachers Tuning in to Kids™ and a Whole School Approach with the different programs. Delivery modalities include group delivery or one to one, and either face to face or online. The program has been translated into 15 different languages with evaluations of the program being conducted in different countries around the world. Our research group conducts evaluations of the Tuning in to Kids suite of programs with parents/carers/teachers. We have established evidence from multiple randomised controlled research trials of the programs, which have shown that participation in our programs leads to positive outcomes including improving parenting, parent-child relationships and children’s emotional competence and behaviour. Although originally designed as a prevention program, our research has shown that the programs have also been highly effective with children with clinical level emotional and behavioural difficulties. The program is also often delivered in one to one sessions with parents/carers, and this method of delivery is being tested in a current trial.

Our current research projects are:

  • a comparison of TIK delivered via group, one to one, online or control
  • a Whole School Approach with the Tuning in to Teens program for teachers/parents/adolescents led by Dr Christiane Kehoe
  • TIK with kindergarten teachers
  • adaptation of TIK across different cultures
  • finishing evaluations of Tuning in to Toddlers and Tuning in to Teens.



Currently our different research projects are funded by revenue generated from professional training in the Tuning in to Kids/Teens/Dads programs. Revenue is used for program development, research and dissemination of the programs.

Research Publications

TOP 5 publications

1. Havighurst, S. S., Wilson, K. R., Harley, A. E., Prior, M. R., & Kehoe, C. (2010). Tuning in to Kids: Improving emotion socialization practices in parents of preschool children – findings from a community trial. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 51(12), 1342-1350. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7610.2010.02303. PubMed

2. Havighurst, S. S., Duncombe, M. E., Frankling, E. J., Holland, K. A., Kehoe, C. E., & Stargatt, R. (2015). An emotion-focused early intervention for children with emerging conduct problems. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 43(4), 749-760. doi:10.1007/10.802-014-9944-z. PubMed

3. Havighurst, S.S., Wilson, K.R., Harley, A.E. & Kehoe, C.E. (2019). Dads Tuning in to Kids: A Randomized Controlled Trial of an Emotion Socialization Parenting Program for Fathers. Social Development, 28,  979-997. doi.org/10.1111/sode.12375 PubMed

4. Havighurst, S.S., Radovini, A., Hao, B. & Kehoe, C.E. (in press). Emotion-focused parenting interventions for prevention and treatment of child and adolescent mental health problems: A review of recent research. Current Opinion in Psychiatry. PubMed

5. Kehoe, C.E., Havighurst, S.S., & Harley, A.E. (2020). Tuning in to Teens: Investigating moderators of program effects and mechanisms of change in an emotion focused group parenting program. Special Issue on Parental Socialization of Emotion and Self-Regulation: Understanding Processes and Application. Developmental Psychologist,  56, 623-637.  PubMed

Research Projects

This Research Group doesn't currently have any projects

Faculty Research Themes

Child Health

School Research Themes

Child Health in Medicine

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact Professor, Principal Researcher, Program Author Sophie Havighurst

Department / Centre

Psychiatry , Mindful

MDHS Research library
Explore by researcher, school, project or topic.