Head and Coordination

  • Prof. Dr. med. Manfred Cierpka
  • Prof. Dr. Silke Hertel
  • Dr. Andreas Eickhorst


  • Katharina Wolf, Dipl.-Päd.


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10/2011 - 06/2014

Project FILU

Sensitive Interactional Behaviour and Arrangement of Learning Environments in Family Homes

The project FILU addressed sensitive interactional behaviour and the arrangement of learning environments for children at home.

In early childhood, socio-emotional and cognitive development is higly influenced by the quality of home learning environments and by the quality of parent-child interactions. Therefore, there is a huge potential in parent training but a lack of empirical evidence. Our study took this aspect into account and addressed sensitive interactional behavior and the arrangement of learning environments for children (aged 18 to 36 months) at home. To support parents in these areas, a training programme for parents covering cognitive stimulation (scaffolding) and emotional sensitivity was developed and evaluated. The effects were investigated on parent and child level. Questionnaires as well as standardized observation (video recording) and evaluation of interaction tasks were administered at two measurement points. Furthermore, the development of the child regarding cognitive and socio-emotional aspects were assessed.

The study followed these research questions:

(1) Can parent training improve parental scaffolding and thus promote the parental ability to create cognitively stimulating learning environments?

(2) Can parent training promote sensitive parent-child interaction in learning situations?

(3) How are cognitive stimulation and sensitive interaction regarding children's emotional regulation related to each other?

Our results contributed to the encouragement of children’s development through adaptive learning situations at home.

Selected Publication

Hertel, S., Eickhorst, A., Kachler, M., Zeidler, N., Wolf, K., Abrie-Kuhn, M., & Cierpka, M. (2014). Cognitive stimulation and parental sensitivity in toddlers’ homes: How do children and parents interact and how effective are trainings for parents? In R. N. Emde, & M. Leuzinger-Bohleber (Eds.), Early Parenting and the Prevention of Disorders - Psychoanalytic Research at Interdisciplinary Frontiers (pp. 283-296). London, UK: Karnac.