The Incredible Years® Blog


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A Word From One of Our Parents

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dreamstime_m_2733423 adjThis summer we were delighted to hear from a mother and her family whose daily lives were improved by attending an Incredible Years® parenting course. We received a message from an IY group leader in New Zealand with an article published by a mother in their group. We were excited to read the article and get in contact with this parent. Ashley and her family went through the course not once, not twice, but three times! In her own words, “It might be possible to be addicted!”

This mother wrote a wonderfully kind article about The Incredible Years® that was published in her local paper, as well as two detailed blog posts (PART 1 & PART 2) dedicated to her experience – which you can find on her parenting blog, The Motherhood Project. Ashley’s blog posts come from an honest and reflective perspective – she discusses her initial hesitance to attend a parenting group and how it eventually helped her family.

“I’ve just finished IYP for the second time! I chose to take the course a second time because it was easy to slip back in to bad habits and I enjoyed the extra support from the group. This time I did it with my partner, which was awesome and well worth the juggle to get time off work, because then we could parent together and support each other. The strategies are simple yet very effective – and they really work! What I love most about The Incredible Years® is that it is based on a foundation of a respectful relationship with your child. We adopt an attachment parenting approach in our home and The Incredible Years® builds upon that. Thus, parenting is more positive-focused using these techniques and each day with our children is happier.

Interacting with other like-minded parents is a blessing; a support network we need. The facilitators guide the group to adopt the techniques, one at a time, into home life so the changes are sustainable. We enjoyed each week of our course. I highly recommend it to every family, because there is something there for everyone. Imagine the difference in your home if you don’t have to spend so much time yelling and debating with your children! In particular with kids on the spectrum (we have one), the strategies really worked for him. I really love that all the techniques are life skills so we are setting our children up for success.”

It is so incredible to hear about their experience using the program and the effect it had on their lives as a family. Thank you Ashley for your willingness to share and be open about your experiences. These stories are what keep us going!

– The Incredible Years®  Team

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Stephen Scott Receives Order of the British Empire & Publishes New Long-Term Follow Up Research

Professor Stephen Basil Cuthbert Scott, MD, is the Director at the National Academy for Parenting Research. in London, England. The aim of this research program is to help practitioners deliver evidence-based parenting programs with fidelity and to test innovative approaches to the way services are delivered to families and children.

Stephen with his award

Stephen with his award

Earlier this year, Professor Scott was awarded the Commander of the Most Excellent, Order of the British Empire, for services to families. Congratulations Stephen!  (Learn more about this award, here.)

Stephen shaking hands with Prince William

Stephen shaking hands with Prince William

Stephen has published numerous studies on various evidence-based programs, including a long-term  follow up of two randomized controlled trials (RCTs) examining the effectiveness of treatment for children with antisocial personality traits. In the original trials, parents of the children participated in The Incredible Years® Parenting Program. This new research looks at the long-term results from this previous study.

This exciting publication is a 7-10 year follow-up of two RCTs that Stephen did with an indicated sample (children with severe antisocial behavior) and a selective sample (children labeled at high risk) when they were 3-7 years old. Results of the indicated sample were significantly improved for the parents who received the Incredible Years® (IY) Basic Parent Program at follow-up compared to parents who were in the usual psychotherapy treatment control condition. In the IY treatment condition group, parents noted their child’s emotion was warmer and supervision of adolescents was closer. Surprisingly, reading ability in the IY condition group was also improved compared with the usual treatment control condition. These results are important because of indications that early intervention for severely antisocial children may prevent the development of antisocial personality in adolescence and improved academic performance. It is also important because it is the first study to provide a long term follow-up evaluation of parents who received the IY intervention compared with families who received “usual treatment” in mental health centers.

In contrast, follow-up of the “selected high risk” sample who received the IY program in combination with a reading intervention did not show sustained effects compared with the control group families, despite having had good results in the short term. Possible reasons that these families did not show as much long-term improvement could be due to the fact that they had lower program dosage (did not receive as many parenting class sessions) as the indicated sample (families with children with severe antisocial behaviors). Additionally, this sample of families was not provided with ongoing support and booster sessions, which is particularly helpful for high-risk populations.

Scott, S., Briskman, J., & O’Connor, T. G. (2014) Early Prevention of Antisocial Personality: Long-term Follow-Up of Two Randomized Controlled Trials Comparing Indicated and Selected Approaches. American Journal of Psychiatry. Read the article here.

Be sure to look at Stephen’s other studies on our web site in the research library. Stay tuned for more research outcomes by this author, coming out soon.


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Guest Post: How to Create Fun Incentive Bags for Parents

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Guest post by Certified IY Group Leader: Bernadette (Bernie) Donaghy

Gina Biggerstaff and myself (Bernie Donaghy) delivered the Incredible Years® Basic Parent Programme in St Kieran’s Primary School in Colin, Northern Ireland, from March to June 2014. The Incredible Years® places strong emphasis on building positive relationships with children, and play time serves an important role in this.

Carolyn and Bernie

Carolyn Webster-Stratton and Bernie Donaghy

“Play benefits children in many ways by providing opportunities for them to learn who they are, what they can do and how to relate to the world around them.” (The Incredible Years: A Trouble-Shooting Guide for Parents of Children Aged 2-8 Years, by Carolyn Webster-Stratton, Ph.D.)

After discussing the importance of play time with children in our parenting class, we wanted to provide parents with something tangible to bring home for this special time spent with their children. We decided to give parents the opportunity to work with a range of art activities and resources, to enable them to fully engage with their children during their play time.

Gina and I used every opportunity to pick up different art resources as we were out and about (beg and borrow). We collected chalk, paper, paint, and more.  We asked local Nursery Schools, Primary Schools, Play Groups and Community Organisations for any unwanted or unused art materials or books. This also gave us the opportunity to publicise and spread the word about our Incredible Years® classes!

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The bags were used as an incentive each week and on completion of the IY Parent Programme we added a toothbrush and toothpaste, a book and a blank jig-saw. The parents loved their resource art bag and they reported that their children really enjoyed their play time together.

To learn more about The Incredible Years® implementation in Northern Ireland, see the recent blog post about this!


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Guest Post: Center for ADHD in Denmark

The Center for ADHD in Denmark implements Incredible Years® Parent Training

Guest post by Tea Trillingsgaard
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No cost and no entry conditions

In Aarhus, Denmark, the Center for ADHD invites parents of young children with ADHD or related behavioral difficulties to attend the Incredible Years® Parent Training program at no cost and with no need of referral or diagnosis. And this approach works!

Effective strategy

Results from a new research study in press in Scandinavian Journal of Psychology[1] show that Danish parents who self-refer to free parent training have children with symptom levels similar to those found diagnosed ADHD samples. Furthermore, when benchmarking results from the Danish program against comparable studies by Carolyn Webster-Stratton and her colleagues[2] in recent US studies, the Danish version was as effective with regard to reducing ADHD symptoms, reducing disruptive behavior, and enhancing positive parenting practices. (Find links to articles at the end of this post.)

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The story of Center for ADHD

The Center for ADHD was founded in 2010 by Agnete Kirk Thinggaard, a MsO psychologist and member of the LEGO family, who wished to reduce long wait lists for diagnostic evaluation and increase easy access to parenting support for families of young children struggling with ADHD or related behavioral difficulties. Agnete Kirk Thinggaard also serves on the board of Edith and Godtfred Kirk Christansens Foundation, which supports the center.

What else is going on?

The staff at Center for ADHD consists of a secretary and six psychologists who, in addition to conducting The Incredible Years® Basic program, train and supervise teachers, day care providers, education and social workers and others working with children with ADHD or related behavioral difficulties. Center for ADHD is continually collaborating on research projects carried out at the Aarhus University.

Center for ADHD Staff

The staff at the Center for ADHD, saying hello from Denmark!

[1] Trillingsgaard, Trillingsgaard, & Webster-Stratton (in press). Scandinavian Journal of Psychology. Click here to read article.

[2] Webster-Stratton, Reid & Beauchaine (2011; 2012): Click here to read article.


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Meet our new team member, RJ!

We are excited to announce a new member of our team here at the Incredible Years® main office in Seattle! RJ Straker joined our staff earlier this summer and has been busy soaking up all there is to know about IY.

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Entering his Senior year at Seattle Pacific University, RJ is studying Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. He enjoys most genres of music and plays the guitar. Other interests include action movies and learning about history. Taking advantage of all the great PNW has to offer, RJ is an “outdoorsy” guy and likes to play sports as well as go hiking and snowboarding.

In his work at IY, RJ is currently working in our (newly remodeled!) packing area, prepping materials and sending out orders for materials. We appreciate his hard work and enjoy having him on board!

To learn more about the rest of the IY staff, click here!


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New Research on Incredible Years® at Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE)

New Randomized Control Group Study Presented Using the Incredible Years® (IY) Teacher Classroom Management (TCM) Program for Training Primary Grade Teachers at the Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (March 2014)

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Initial Findings of Randomized Control Group Trial Evaluating the Incredible Years® Teacher Classroom Management (TCM) Program for Training Primary Grade Teachers

Wendy Reinke and Keith Herman, along with their team at the University of Missouri, recently presented a paper evaluating the effectiveness of the TCM Training Program for improving primary grade teachers’ (K-3) classroom management practices and improving student social, emotional and academic outcomes.

SREE Conference Presentation (click the link to view the conference presentation!)

Study design was a blocked cluster randomized wait-list control trial where over a 3 year period 105 teachers were randomized within schools (52 intervention and 53 control teachers and 1818 students) to an intervention teacher training condition (IY TCM) or wait-list control condition.

The IY TCM Program was delivered to intervention condition teachers grades K-3 in 6 full day training workshops spread throughout the year. Plus teachers got on-site coaching between workshop sessions. Coaches spent time with teachers providing modeling, performance feedback, individual behavior plan action planning and goal setting.

Results showed that according to independent observations intervention teachers used more proactive management strategies and students had fewer problems with emotional regulation and increased prosocial skills. Students with the poorest academic competence at baseline demonstrated significant improvement in academic competence compared with students in the control classrooms.

Further Analyses
In a more recent presentation (May 2014) Wendy and Keith presented data on the amount of coaching support teachers (K-3 grade only) received between workshop sessions and its relation to teacher use of proactive strategies and student outcomes for an at-risk subsample.

Results indicated that IY TCM plus coaching is a flexible approach to tailoring training and support according to individual classroom and teacher needs.

Reinke, W.M., Herman, K.C., & Dong, N. (March, 2014). A group randomized evaluation of the Incredible Years Teacher Training program.Paper presented as part of symposium entitled, What can we learn through replication? The role of individual-level risk factors and implementation supports in the impact of social-emotional learning programs on student outcomes, at the Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness, Washington, DC.

Reinke, W., Stormant, M., Herman, K., Wang, Z., Newcomer, L., King, K. 2014. Use of Coaching and Behavior Support Planning for Students With Disruptive Behavior Within a Universal Classroom Management Program. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 22(2) 74-82.

See our web site for some of their first papers about IY fidelity program delivery and the importance of teacher coaching and support in combination with workshop trainings.

See below a video of Wendy and Keith discussing managing classroom behavior.

 


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Carolyn and Wally invited by National Children’s Bureau to visit Northern Ireland

Carolyn Webster-Stratton and Wally visit Northern Ireland June 1-5, 2014 at the invitation of National Children’s Bureau (NCB)  

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Wally preparing to give his speech, with Carolyn

NCB Launch Carolyn was so excited to be invited to Northern Ireland this month to help launch the Incredible Years® (IY) Northern Ireland Co-ordination Project. While there, she had the opportunity to meet Ewin Poots, MLA, Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety as well as Dr. Eddie Rooney, Chief Executive, Public Health Agency. Both of these individuals spoke at the conference about the importance of supporting families by using evidence-based programs that promote positive parenting and children’s social, emotional and academic competence. Carolyn introduced them to Wally Problem Solver and they seemed to enjoy his company. To learn more about the National Children’s Bureau, click here.

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(From Left) Carolyn & Dina Dinosaur, Dr. Eddie Rooney and Wally Problem Solver, Caroline White, Deirdre McAliskey, Celine McStravick, and Maria McAleese with Molly Manners.

The objectives of NCB’s new launch is to promote effective implementation of IY, program delivery fidelity, and group leader accreditation as well as to help agencies monitor and measure the impact of their programs through evaluations. The leaders of this launch are Celine McStravick and Deirdre McAliskey from NCB. Following the conference, a cross agency steering group with administrators of schools, agencies and foundations met to discuss system implementation issues.

Carolyn with IY Ni staff (Deirdre & James)

Carolyn and Dina with James McGinley and Wally

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Molly, Dina, and Wally listen in at the conference!

At the conference, Carolyn gave the keynote speech to a group of IY group leaders and administrators. She talked about the Incredible Years® Parents, Teachers and Child programs, research outcomes, and some of the agency and clinician barriers to successful program delivery. The group seemed surprised to learn that over the past 10 years, 574 IY parent group leaders, 94 child dinosaur group leaders and 64 teacher leaders have been trained. Carolyn presented 8 key building blocks for disseminating the programs with fidelity in the “real world.” When faced with an actual technological barrier to her powerpoint and video presentation delivery, Wally Problem Solver helped Carolyn with calm down strategies and solutions for how to both hold the microphone and speak to the audience with confidence despite being unable to show her carefully edited video clips. As happens with implementation of evidence-based programs, this illustrated how to go forward despite unexpected barriers. She discussed how to overcome such barriers and the importance of delivering the programs with fidelity in order to get the best outcomes for children.

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After some technological barriers, Wally helped Carolyn with “calm down” strategies so she could finish her presentation

Caroline White, Head of CASP Early Intervention, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and an accredited Incredible Years® Parent Trainer, spoke about her successful implementation of the IY program in the Manchester area over the past 15 years area. She provided examples of ways she has addressed each of the 8 building blocks to promote quality delivery. She talked about the importance of an interagency infrastructure that includes administrators, policy makers, and IY mentors to coordinate efforts and outcomes and who are in consultation with the developer and IY trainers.

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From Left: Carolyn Webster-Stratton, Caroline White, Maria McAleese

Carolyn with Maria McAleese (IY Mentor for Parent Program)

Northern Ireland is fortunate to have an accredited IY mentor, Maria McAleese (who provides ongoing consultation workshops, coaching and authorized training workshops) as well as an accredited IY Coach and Mentor in Training, Peadar Mckenna. These dynamic individuals have already provided coaching and video review feedback to many group leaders. In the afternoon, Maria and Peadar each led separate groups of group leaders to discuss the training, coaching and support structure and to review their needs. Carolyn joined each of these groups to explain the rationale for the certification/accreditation process and to answer questions.

Carolyn with Peadar McKenna (IY Parent Peer Coach and Mentor in Training)

2nd day of Conference with Consultation Day

This day started with a visit to Colin Neighbourhood Partnership, a community center in Colin to learn about the Early Intervention Community efforts at delivering all the IY programs. The highlight of this event was two parents who talked about their experiences participating in the program.  Carolyn introduced Dina Dinosaur who talked about the dangers of violence and announced the birth of her new baby. Baby dina will be staying at this center to learn about all the ways she can survive by learning to problem solve and make good friends.

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Carolyn with the team at Colin Neighbourhood Partnership

Additionally, parent and child group leaders met to get a preview of what happens on group leader consultation days. Normally, consultation days only consist of 12 participants (6 pairs of leaders) from either parent or teacher or child IY programs, who present selected video clips of their IY groups and receive feedback regarding their personal goals. However, in order to illustrate the value of this approach, more than 30 parent and child group leaders attended to watch 4 group leaders show their video clips and receive feedback. Maria, Peadar and Carolyn took turns leading the discussion of these video vignettes and also led participants in role play practices.

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Carolyn sets up role play practice for group leaders

Issues discussed, modeled and practiced included the collaborative role of IY leader and coleader, how to help a parent work out her relationship with her child’s grandmother, how to trigger spontaneous role plays in conjunction with home activity reviews, effective use of buzzes, how to coach play times to assist children who are developmentally delayed or non interactive, and how to manage children in groups who are off task and not engaged in the learning. While barriers to videotaping were acknowledged, participants seemed to appreciate the value and immense learning opportunity provided from video review and self-reflective learning with peers and with a mentor or coach. Carolyn answered other questions about IY programs such as ways the School Readiness and Attentive Parenting Programs could be used as supplements, accreditation requirements, and the importance of being able to offer more sessions according to risk level of the population. Participants were enthusiastic and supportive of each other and hopefully achieved Carolyn’s “fun” goal.

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Full Consultation day group!

To learn more about the Incredible Years® Programs, visit our website: http://www.incredibleyears.com

~The Incredible Years® Team