Karjalainen, P., Kiviruusu, O., Aronen, E.T, & Santalahti, P. (2019). Group-based parenting program to improve parenting and children’s behavioral problems in families using special services: A randomized controlled trial in a real-life setting. Children and Youth Services Review 96, 420-429.
This randomized controlled trial (RCT) evaluated the effectiveness of the Incredible Years® (IY) Parenting Program in modifying children’s behavioral problems, parenting practices and parents’ psychological well-being among families under child protection and using other special support services. Participants in the study were 3–7-year-old children with behavioral problems (n=102, intervention group n=50, control group n=52) and their parents (n=122). The results show that parent reported child problem behavior as well as clinical levels of behavioral problems decreased to a greater extent in the intervention group than in the control group. The intervention also increased positive parenting practices. Changes in parental stress or parents’ psychological well-being in the intervention did not differ from those in the control group over time. The results suggest some promising evidence that the IY parenting intervention may be effective in the context of child protection and other family support services in real-life conditions.