The Incredible Years® Blog


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Incredible Years Implementation in Hong Kong

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Maureen Kong received her doctorate from the University of Hong Kong in August 2014.

Her dissertation was an evaluation of the Incredible Years BASIC Parenting Program in a community clinic setting in Hong Kong. Parents of 52 preschool children with developmental delays were randomly assigned to either the IY program or waitlist control.

Assessments included self and spouse reports and video coding of parent-child interactions.  

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Results indicated significantly more frequent positive parent-child interactions during observed structured play, reports of less parental stress, improvements in parenting practices according to spouses/kin, and fewer child oppositional behaviors by parents and spouses/kin. Parent attendance rate and program and satisfaction was high.  

This paper is currently under review. Once it has been published it will be included in our research library.

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Preschool Curriculum Consumer Report Shows Effectiveness of Incredible Years Classroom Program

secoverpageThe National Center on Quality Teaching and Learning (NCQTL) recently released their 2015 Social Emotional Preschool Curriculum Consumer Report. This report serves as a guide for Head Start programs to assist them in selecting a social emotional curriculum for their classrooms. Seven different evidence-based programs were presented and evaluated against NCQTL’s twelve components of an effective social-emotional preschool curriculum. The Incredible Years® Classroom Dinosaur Curriculum is among the programs reviewed in the report, which highlights the positive impact of implementing IY in a classroom setting!

The twelve components used to evaluate each program are thoroughly explained in the full report, which can be found here. Each program is ranked on a scale of “No Evidence,” “Minimal Evidence,” “Some Evidence,” and “Solid, High-Quality Evidence” for each component.

Incredible Years Classroom Dinosaur School was found to have “Some Evidence” or “Solid, High-Quality Evidence” for nearly all of the twelve components! The program ranked particularly high in areas of comprehensiveness, depth for covered social, emotional and learning elements, well-designed learning activities, responsive teaching, and family involvement materials. Download a PDF of the entire Incredible Years report here, or access the full downloadable report online to learn more about the programs evaluated and how Incredible Years can be used to teach social, emotional, and academic skills in a classroom setting.


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European Incredible Years® (EIY) Network for Implementation and Research in Incredible Years (Written by Carolyn Webster-Stratton)

European IY group_2746Thirty-two people from Norway, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Netherlands, Portugal, Scotland, Slovenia, England and Wales met late May in Bergen, Norway to discuss new research with IY programs and dissemination principles. I (Carolyn) am delighted to meet these researchers, administrators and IY mentors and to talk with them about grant deadlines, translations, research measures and new studies.

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There are many presentations about promising new studies. Brenda Renz, IY parent mentor from Scotland, describes their plan for motivating high risk parents of 4-year old children by providing IY Basic Parent Training. 786 families have been enrolled and pre, post–data shows that 81% of parents had improved behavior problem scores and 62% of children had moved out of the clinical range.

Marija Anderluh, a child psychiatrist from Slovenia, discussed her efforts to bring the Incredible Years parent program to her country. Already 20 groups leaders have been trained and they are offering 10 parent groups!

Frances Gardner from Oxford University presented pooling data from 14 trials across Europe about who benefits the most from IY Parenting programs to reduce disruptive child behavior. She discussed the effects of poverty, joblessness, parent mental health, child comorbid problems, ethnicity and geographical location on outcomes.

Piia Karjalainen presented her doctoral research design to evaluate the IY Parent program for child welfare referred families.

IMG_9074 croppedFinally, I am able to introduce Wally’s mother, Carmen Communicator, to present information about the birth of three new Incredible Years® programs – one for day care providers of young children (1-5 years), another for parents with children on the autism spectrum, and a third for preschool teachers working with children with language delays as well as children on the spectrum.

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The European IY Network (EIY Network) is comprised of IY implementors, researchers, and IY experts from across Europe. The EIY Network aims to do the following:

  • Network with each other to form a supportive IY community throughout Europe to promote IY implementation with fidelity.
  • Share idea and experiences with implementation and research in IY series.
  • Generate and expand upon new ideas and initiatives, and apply for funding, in order to contribute to future research of IY.
  • Share expertise and experiences of IY to inform policies and practice in their own countries.
  • Discuss needs and opinions in order to devise common formulations, and bring those to the attention of the Incredible Years® Headquarters in Seattle.

This is an exciting group and I am so pleased to see how they have taken the collaborative process to the next level. The pooled data study Frances presented points the way to how collaborative research can enhance our understanding of how IY programs can help families of all cultures, ethnicities and socio-economic backgrounds.

Written by Carolyn Webster-Stratton
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Children and Parents Service (CAPS) : “Early Years: Social and Emotional Wellbeing” awarded Best Practice – Congratulations!

CAPS-blog-postAs of January 2015, Children and Parents Service (CAPS) in Manchester has been published as a model of best practice for “Early Years: Social and Emotional Wellbeing” by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

CAPS is a citywide, multi-agency early intervention service which delivers effective evidence based interventions including Incredible Years® parent programs to preschool children and their families. The service is a partnership between the NHS, Manchester City Council and voluntary sector Family Action. The service has been delivered across Manchester for over 15 years, employing over 50 people.
Caroline White & Maxine Crawley

Caroline White & Maxine Crawley

Over the past year this partnership has led to successful delivery of 31 Incredible Years® parent courses to 279 parents of 0 to 4 year old children, showing clinical improvements in both child behavior as well as parent depression and stress. The program reached 822 children in high risk families. This innovative outreach model has led to the continued successful engagement of the most vulnerable families, resulting in more parents working full and part-time, studying, and doing voluntary work. This partnership team is to be congratulated on their outstanding work delivering evidence-based programs such as Incredible Years® and Family Partnership model.

South CAPS Team

South CAPS Team

CAPS was recently published by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) as a model of best practice for Social and Emotional Wellbeing. NICE are a national organization, set up by government and independent of them, to review all international research on a range of physical and mental health problems with a view to writing guidance about the most effective treatments and interventions and the way in which they should be delivered. Their guidance hugely influences national and local policy, commissioners and strategic leads.

North CAPS Team

North CAPS Team

CAPS is extremely proud to have been chosen as a model of best practice highlighting the key elements of success, which include the following:

  • Delivering interventions to model fidelity
  • Use of standardized, valid and reliable measures (those used in the research) to measure child and parent outcomes.
  • Ensuring all practitioners achieve accreditation as IY parent group leaders, with all four levels of accreditation in the service (peer coaches, mentors and trainer)
  • High commitment to accredited, frequent and regular supervision
Central CAPS Team

Central CAPS Team

CAPS has also recently played a key role in the development of an Early Years pathway for all 0-5 year olds across Greater Manchester (10 local authorities) with a population of 2.7 million. The pathway outlines an entirely new redesign for all services of under five year olds and highlights Incredible Years® as one of only a few evidence based interventions that services should be delivering to families. In practice this is a large scale up and CAPS is leading on the workforce development required for such an ambitious project (even more impressive, all of this has been achieved during a sustained period of unprecedented cuts to public services).

Congratulations CAPS!
– The Incredible Years Team

(Blog post contributed to by Carolyn Webster-Stratton, IY Developer, and Caroline White, Head of CAPS Early Intervention and Accredited IY Trainer.)


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Positive Outcomes of Incredible Years® Parent/Child Program Implementation in Pennsylvania

family-blogThe Incredible Years® (IY) Series is implemented in a wide range of organizations all over the world. One organization in Pennsylvania, EPIS Center, has just released exciting results from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency funded providers of the implementation of the IY Parent and Child programs from 2013-2014.

Parents attended IY Parenting Classes to increase positive parenting practices including play, coaching methods, praise, problem-solving, limit setting, and more.

Additionally, children in one group received Classroom Dinosaur School – a prevention program delivered to a large group of children, teaching them social and emotional skills, academic skills, problem-solving, etc.

A second child group received Small Group Dinosaur School – a treatment program for children with diagnosed behavior or conduct problems – where a more targeted and intensive approach is taken in the program delivery.

episcenterquote12EPIS Center is an organization committed to quality, high-fidelity delivery ­– these results show how this commitment pays off!

Summary of results
Basic Parent Outcomes Summary (2013-2014)

Of 463 parents served, 70% attended at least 12 or more “sessions” (weekly parent classes). By the end of the class, those parents completing the groups reported many positive outcomes! 88% reported a decrease in harsh discipline, and 76% reported an increase in positive parenting.

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Classroom Dinosaur School Outcome Summary (2013-2014)

526 youth were served in this prevention program targeting children ages 3-8 years old. 86% of the children completed the program. Facilitators filled out pre and post surveys and reported that 48% of the students showed decreased antisocial behavior, 51% showed improved concentration/attention, and 52% showed increased emotional competence.

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Small Group Dinosaur School – Treatment Outcome Summary (2013-2014)

Of the 271 children served, 79% completed the program. Parents of the children completed pre and post tests: 76% reported decreased antisocial behavior in their child, 75% reported improved concentration/attention, and 79% reported increased emotional competence.

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It is fantastic to see such wonderful results from this model organization.

You can view the full report and learn about other agencies implementing IY with high success and fidelity, here.


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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: 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.