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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Fathers and Parenting Groups (New Research)

father and son'For parents attending parenting skills groups, it is always encouraged that both partners be involved in the group when possible. This joint effort allows parents to be on the same page and provides consistency for the child. However, there is a lack of research looking specifically at the effects of fathers attending parenting groups.

Recently a new study was published by Tataiana Homen at the University of Coimbra, Portugal, evaluating the impact of the The Incredible Years® (IY) preschool parent program on fathers. In this study, the fathers of thirty-six children were randomly assigned to receive either the IY program or a control group. Researchers then reported on the father’s parenting skills and their children’s behavior.

Results from before the program and six months later showed significant improvements for the fathers attending the IY Parenting Groups. Not only did the fathers’ positive parenting skills improve, but the children’s prosocial behaviors benefited as well! Additionally, these fathers reported an improvement in their family’s quality of life, which is especially important. The fathers were highly involved as shown by great attendance rates. They reported high satisfaction with the program in terms of how their children’s behavior improved. The mothers’ reports followed the same trends as the fathers. 8-4B-3

These promising results suggest that father involvement in the parent programs may further promote social support in the family and increase consistency in parenting between mothers and fathers, thereby improving long term positive outcomes for children’s development.


1. Homem, T.C., et al., A Pilot Study with the Incredible Years Parenting Training: Does it Work for Fathers of Preschoolers with Oppositional Behavior Symptoms. Fathering: A Journal of Theory, Research, and Practice about Men as Fathers, 2014. 12(3).

Learn more about research on the evidence-based Incredible Years Programs from our research library!


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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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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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North Carolina Agency Shows Incredible Years’ Impact on Families

Thompson Child and Family Focus is an agency in North Carolina currently using The Incredible Years programs to teach parenting classes within their community. “Thompson is a non-profit organization operating three distinct campuses, each providing comprehensive education, treatment, and care for children (birth to 18 years) in need.” (Thompson website, http://www.thompsoncff.org/)

Thompson has sent a number of group leaders to Seattle for Group Leader Training, and they also have staff who are “Certified” group leaders, meaning they have gone through our certification process to ensure they are implementing the program as it is intended, with fidelity (this is vital for evidence-based programs!). It is clear the commitment this agency shows to high quality standards pays off in the outcomes they see with their families.

Recently, we were sent a powerful video discussing the work they do and the impact of The Incredible Years parent classes on the community. Though they have a number of campuses, the video focuses on the work being done in the Grier Heights community, which is host to high crime rate and unemployment.

According to the video, many of the parents are single mothers, searching for a stable income, and are experiencing numerous stressors. Says group leader Shunta Daniels, “Regardless of whether you come from a high socio-economic class or a low socio-economic class – parents want the best for their children.” The parents attend the classes for 16 weeks and learn to build positive solid foundations with their children.

“The parenting class has been an experience – a wonderful experience – and not an experience that I expected. It’s been a learning experience, it’s been a growing experience – it gives you a greater respect for yourself and other people.” (Quote from parent in video.)

Be sure to watch video at the top of this page, and share with your friends! You can also view this on our website, in the testimonials section.

If you are a parent interested in attending an Incredible Years parent group, click here. 

If you are interested in implementing the Incredible Years programs through your agency, contact us!