INSIGHTS into Children’s Temperament

INSIGHTS into Children’s Temperament

Supporting the Development of Low Income Children

Background & Goal

Children who are economically disadvantaged encounter multiple, interactive stressors that frequently compromise their development and well-being. A downward developmental cascade often begins when their minor behavioral problems evolve into more serious social, behavioral, and academic problems. The aim of INSIGHTS into Children’s Temperament is to enhance the development of low-income children.

Program Description

INSIGHTS is a comprehensive 10-week intervention that was developed in partnership with African-American and Hispanic community members. The intervention is offered to parents, teachers, school nurses, and other school personnel who provide care to at-risk children. 

INSIGHTS provides teachers and parents and other caregivers with practical strategies tailored to children’s different personalities/temperaments. The intervention also teaches children strategies for problem-solving their daily dilemmas.

INSIGHTS teaches participants in the program to recognize four temperaments: shy, social and eager to try, industrious, and high maintenance.

For More Information Contact:

Sandee McClowry, PhD, RN, FAAN

New York University 
(212) 998-5297

Evidence of Success

The efficacy of INSIGHTS was tested in three federally funded randomized clinical trials. The results demonstrated that INSIGHTS:

  • Reduces the behavior problems of children with ADHD to normal levels without the use of medications.
  • Improves the behavior of children who exhibit minor annoying behavior problems such as forgetting their homework;
  • Enhances the reading and math achievement of children;
  • Increases children’s engagement and attention at school.
  • Enhances parenting skills; and
  • Increases the emotional support of teachers for their students.

A specific example of INSIGHTS success is the significant growth in critical thinking skills and stability in math skills shy children experienced from kindergarten to first grade when compared to peers not participating in the program. More information on these results may be found in a September 22, 2014 New York University press release titled, Classroom Intervention Helps Shy Kids Learn.