Status: open for participation

For children with behavioral problems, school can sometimes be challenging because the behavior expected of them is precisely difficult for them. Often, they struggle to pay attention, cannot follow instructions well, fail to complete tasks, find it difficult to work independently, or have difficulties in interacting with classmates and teachers. These issues can hinder their proper functioning at school.

Teacher training is an effective intervention for addressing behavioral difficulties in the classroom and is recommended by various treatment guidelines. However, in the Netherlands, there is currently no brief evidence-based teacher training available to implement within primary education. In a previous study, the PAINT-T micro-trial, we investigated which components of teacher training are effective. It was found that both a brief training aimed at optimizing the situation for the child and a brief training focused on how to respond to unwanted behavior are effective in reducing behavioral difficulties. In the current study, we are examining the effectiveness of a brief teacher training program that combines both components, namely improving the situation and responding to behavioral difficulties.

Our goal

The objective of the PAINT-T teacher trial is to determine whether a brief training for teachers can enhance their ability to manage children displaying behavioral difficulties in school. Additionally, our goal is to support the child at school through the teacher’s improved skills.

When can teachers and students participate?

  • The student is in grades 1-8 of regular education, SBO or cluster 4 of special education.

  • The student shows behavioral problems in the classroom.

  • The teacher is in the classroom with the student for at least 3 days.

  • The student is not on medication for the behavioral problems.

  • The student does not have a diagnosis of ASD (suspicions of ASD are not an issue).

  • The teacher has not attended teacher training in the past year.

  • The teacher has not already participated in PAINT-T with another student


Structure of the study

The study began in December 2023 and will run through July 2025.

Teachers of children with behavior difficulties from grade 1 through grade 8 can participate in the study.

The teacher training consists of three meetings, which take place shortly (about one or two weeks) apart. The children’s teachers are trained by well-trained trainers with extensive experience in supporting children with behavior problems at school. The children are randomly assigned to one of the following conditions: (1) the intervention group where the children’s teacher immediately attends the behavioral teacher training or (2) the regular care group where the children’s teachers can also attend the teacher training after up to 8 weeks. During the waiting period, the teacher receives the regular care normally provided from the partnership or care institution.



Benefits of participation

For teachers: Teachers can attend teacher training in which they learn various techniques to reduce their student’s problem behavior. They may then be able to use these techniques with other students in the future. Compared to other (self-help) teacher trainings, the training takes little time and is delivered by well-trained professionals. Regardless of which group you are assigned to, you can receive the teacher training.

For parents: Your child’s teacher will learn new techniques to deal with and support your child in the best way possible. This can improve the relationship between the teacher and your child.
Furthermore, participating teachers contribute to knowledge about effective interventions for children with behavioral problems. In fact, through the study, we are learning how to improve teacher training by investigating which children and which teachers the training is particularly effective for, which may help other teachers and children in the future.


What do we ask from teachers and parents?

Teachers: prior to the training, one week after the training and in the PAINT group three months after the training, we ask you to complete a number of online questionnaires. This takes a maximum of 30 minutes twice and 40 minutes once. The questionnaires help us track changes in behavior. In addition to the questionnaires, on four pre-arranged days we make brief phone calls (two minutes max) to ask what behavioral problems occurred that day. Through these daily phone calls, we can accurately assess how the student is doing and whether the training is helping.

Parents: We ask parents who participate to fill out some online questionnaires on two or three occasions (before the training, one week after the training, and possibly three months after the training). This will take parents 2 times up to 15 min and one time up to 25 min. The questionnaires help us track changes in your child’s and teacher’s behavior.

More information or questions?

The professionals participating in this study were trained to deliver the behavioral therapy teacher training prior to the study and will receive supervision/intervision during the study.

Please contact

The researchers:

Dr. Tycho Dekkers
Accare Child Study Center/UMCG; Levvel

Prof. dr. Barbara van den Hoofdakker
Accare Child Study Center

Dr. Marjolein Luman
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Prof. dr. Saskia van der Oord
Ku Leuven

Elisa Steenweg
Accare Child Study Center

Other projects


In the Paint-T trial, the effectiveness of the components of teacher training was examined by means of a microtrial, and in the follow-up study Paint T trial, the effectiveness of a combined teacher training will be examined.


In PAINT-IPDMA, an individual participant data meta-analysis is being conducted on psychosocial treatments for children and adolescents with ADHD. In the follow-up IPDMA study, the psychosocial treatments for children and adolescents with behavioural problems are investigated.


The aim of PAINT-move is to investigate whether it helps children with ADHD to move in the classroom while working. For this purpose, the children use a bicycle under their table for six weeks.


The PAINT-C study maps the care for children with ADHD and/or hyperactive behaviour in the Netherlands at municipalities, CJGs/District Teams and schools and investigates what predicts treatment choices in ADHD.


The study PLOS (Planning at School) investigates the effectiveness of a programme to support secondary school students with planning problems. PLOS consists of two parts PLOS-basic and PLOS-extra.


In PAINT-P the effectiveness of the components of parental training for ADHD was studied and in the follow-up studies Paint-POH, Paint-GGZ, Paint-Pilotstudy and Paint-Wijkteam the effectiveness and feasibilityof combined parental training in different settings will be studied.