Aims and benefits

In their working environment, childcare workers are confronted with a number of different behavioral patterns of toddlers and their parents. These behaviors are, besides others, influenced by various cultures of origin.

Mentalization refers to the ability to interpret your own and other persons' behavior through the attribution of mental states (e.g. to what extent does a person understands its own or other person’s feelings in a particular situation). Within subproject B2, we want to test the effectiveness of an intervention on the general mentalization ability of childcare workers in their everyday life. Additionally, we are interested in how their mentalization ability in interaction with parents and toddlers of different cultures is affected by the intervention. Since stress is supposed to modify mentalization, which, in turn, could influence emotion regulation and interaction quality, we will additionaly assess occupational stress and emotion regulation in childcare workers.

To avoid retrospective distortions and investigate dynamically changing intrapsychological processes, we will use a smartphone app (= electronic diary = e-diary) to collect data on childcare workers' professional routines. For further information regarding contents of the START A2 intervention, click here.

Study procedures

The participating nurseries will be recruited from the START A2 team. Additionally to the START A2 assessments, we will assess e-diary data during one working week at each assessment point. The hourly prompts from the smartphone app will occur only during working time. The intervals of data assessments depend on START A2.

Baseline Assessment using e-diaries during five working days
START A2 Intervention
Post-assessment using e-diaries during five working days


Dipl.-Psych. S. Koudela-Hamila
+49 721 608 42610

Lehrstuhl für Angewandte Psychologie

Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)
Herztstr. 16, Gebäude 06.31
76187 Karlsruhe



Prof. U.W. Ebner-Priemer
Dipl.-Psych. S. Koudela-Hamila

Lehrstuhl für Angewandte Psychologie am Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT) in Kooperation mit dem Universitätsklinikum Heidelberg.

Project Duration

Same as for the leading project START A2.