Background Early risk factors for poor child outcomes are well established, and some group parenting programmes have demonstrated good outcomes for children under 3 years of age. This randomized controlled trial evaluated the effectiveness of the Incredible Years® Toddler Parenting Programme with parents of 1-year-old and 2-year-old children recruited by staff in disadvantaged Flying Start areas across Wales.
Methods Eighty-nine families with a child aged between 12 and 36 months at baseline participated in a pragmatic community-based trial of the programme in eight Flying Start areas. Outcomes were measured at baseline, 6 months and 12 months using measures of parental mental health, competence, child behaviour, child development, home environment and blinded-observation of parent–child interactions.
Results Significant intervention group improvements were found in parental mental well-being and observed praise at 6 months. Significant improvements for the intervention group at 12 months included child development, home environment and parental depression.
Conclusion The study provides preliminary evidence for programme attendance.