Incredible Years: Review

Blueprints Model programs Fact Sheet – The Incredible Years: Parents, Teachers and Children’s Training Series

Incredible Years Training for Parents. The Incredible Years parenting series includes three programs targeting parents of high-risk children and/or those displaying behavior problems. The BASIC program emphasizes parenting skills known to promote children’s social competence and reduce behavior problems such as: how to play with children, helping children learn, effective praise and use of incentives, effective limit-setting and strategies to handle misbehavior. The ADVANCE program emphasizes parent interpersonal skills such as: effective communication skills, anger management, problem-solving between adults, and ways to give and get support. The SUPPORTING YOUR CHILD’S EDUCATION program (known as SCHOOL) emphasizes parenting approaches designed to promote children’s academic skills such as: reading skills, parental involvement in setting up predictable homework routines, and building collaborative relationships with teachers.

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Child Maltreatment Prevention and the Scope of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Year: 2015 Bibliography: Constantino, J.N. Child Maltreatment Prevention and the Scope of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 2015. In Press. Author: Constantino DOI: 10.1016/j.chc.2015.11.003
Abstract Child maltreatment is one of the most deleterious known influences on the mental health and development of children. A review of the risk variables associated with child maltreatment.
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Effectiveness of the Incredible Years Parent Training to Modify Disruptive and Prosocial Child Behavior: A Meta-Analytic Review

We examined effectiveness of the IYPT as treatment and preventive intervention.
Results of 50 studies showed that the IYPT is effective regarding child behavior.
Effects with regard to distinct outcomes and distinct informants were found.
Initial severity of child behavior was the strongest predictor of effects.
The IYPT meets criteria for a well-established intervention.

The present meta-analytic review examined effectiveness of the Incredible Years parent training (IYPT) regarding disruptive and prosocial child behavior, and aimed to explain variability in intervention outcomes. Fifty studies, in which an intervention group receiving the IYPT was compared to a comparison group immediately after intervention, were included in the analyses. Results showed that the IYPT is an effective intervention. Positive effects for distinct outcomes and distinct informants were found, including a mean effect size of d = .27 concerning disruptive child behavior across informants. For parental report, treatment studies were associated with larger effects (d = .50) than indicated (d = .20) and selective (d = .13) prevention studies. Furthermore, initial severity of child behavior revealed to be the strongest predictor of intervention effects, with larger effects for studies including more severe cases. Findings indicate that the IYPT is successful in improving child behavior in a diverse range of families, and that the parent program may be considered well-established.

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Executive Functions in Preschool Children with Externalizing Behavior Problems: A Meta-Analysis

Deficits in executive functions (EF) have been found in school-age children and adolescents with externalizing behavior disorders. Present meta-analysis was carried out to determine whether these EF impairments can also be found in preschool children with externalizing behavior problems. Twenty-two studies were included with a total of 4021 children. Four separate meta-analyses were conducted, concerning overall EF, working memory, inhibition and cognitive flexibility. A medium correlation effect size was obtained for overall EF (ESzr00.22) and for inhibition (0.24), whereas a small effect size was found for working memory (0.17) and for cognitive flexibility (0.13). Moderator analyses revealed a stronger effect for older preschoolers compared to younger preschoolers, and for children from referred samples compared to community samples. These results show that EF, especially inhibition, is related to externalizing behavior problems already in preschool years.

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NICE technology appraisal guidance 102
Parent-Training/Education Programmes in the Management of Children With Conduct Disorders

NICE technology appraisal guidance 102. Parent-training/education programmes in the management of children with conduct disorders.

The full guidance and quick reference guide are also available at
For printed copies of the quick reference guide or ?Understanding NICE guidance?, phone the NHS Response Line on 0870 1555 455.

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Perspectives on the Incredible Years Programme: Psychological Management of Conduct Disorder

Conduct problems are the most common reason for referral for psychological and psychiatric treatment in childhood. The prevalence rate of conduct disorder is 5?10%. It can lead to negative life outcomes including criminal behaviour and psychiatric disorders, with increased costs to the education, health, social and criminal justice services. The study involved an evaluation of an universal school-based approach ? the Incredible Years Teacher Classroom Management programme ? which was developed in the US and implemented in Jamaica to help reduce conduct problems in young children.

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Rand Report: Promising Practices Network – Programs that Work: The Incredible Years

The Incredible Years series is a set of comprehensive curricula targeting children age 2 to 10 years old and their parents and teachers. The curricula are designed to work jointly to promote emotional and social competence and to prevent, reduce, and treat children?s behavioral and emotional problems.

Parent-Training Programs

The Incredible Years Parent-Training program includes four separate components targeting parents of high-risk children or children displaying behavior problems. In all four training components, facilitators use videotaped scenes to encourage group discussion, problem-solving, and sharing of ideas. The “BASIC Parent-Training Program?Early Childhood” (BASIC?Early Childhood) is a core component of the Incredible Years series and includes 12 to 14 two-hour weekly sessions targeting children age 2 to 7 years old. The BASIC?Early Childhood curriculum emphasizes parenting skills to promote children?s social competence and to reduce behavior problems, and it teaches parents how to play with children, help children to learn, give effective praise and incentives, use limit-setting, and handle misbehavior.

The four add-on parent-training components, “Advance Parent Training Program?School Age (ADVANCE),” “BASIC Parent Training Program?School-Age (BASIC-School Age),” “Supporting Your Child?s Education?School Age”, and the school readiness supplements “Child-directed Play” and “Interactive Reading” may be offered as supplements to the early childhood BASIC component. ADVANCE targets school-age children 4 to 10 years old and includes eight to ten two-hour sessions that emphasize parents? interpersonal skills, such as effective communication, anger management, problem-solving between adults, and ways to give and receive support. The BASIC?School Age program is similar to the early childhood program but emphasizes strategies for older children, including logical consequences, monitoring, helping children learn to problem solve with children, and family problem-solving. The Supporting Your Child?s Education?School Age component for children age 5 to 10 involves four two-hour sessions and highlights approaches to parenting to promote children?s academic skills, including nurturing reading skills, setting up homework routines, and building collaborative relationships with teachers. The school readiness supplements may be used with parents of 3- to 5-year-olds, and includes an emphasis on building children?s social, emotional and academic skills, as well as fostering pre-reading and reading skills using the interactive reading approach.

Child Training Programs

There are two separate child-training components in the Incredible Years series. The first is the classroom program for children age 4 to 8 years. The Classroom Child-Training program uses the “Dina Dinosaur” curriculum which has more than 60 lesson plans (with preschool, kindergarten and grade one and two curricula), and may be offered over multiple years from preschool to grade two. The program seeks to improve peer relationships and reduce aggression both at home and at school. The curriculum is delivered to the entire classroom by regular teachers, two to three times a week through 20 – 30 minute group discussions followed by small-group practice activities. Home activity manuals encourage parents? involvement in teaching their children school rules, social skills, and problem-solving.

The second child-focused program is the “Dinosaur Child-Training” curriculum, a treatment program for small groups of children age 4 to 8 years who are exhibiting “conduct” problems (defined as high rates of aggression, defiance, and oppositional and impulsive behaviors). The curriculum emphasizes communicating feelings, empathy for others, friendship development, anger management, interpersonal problem-solving, and obeying school rules. The Dinosaur Child-Training program is offered to groups of five to six children in two-hour sessions held weekly for 20 to 22 weeks. The program can be delivered by counselors or therapists to treat conduct-disordered children in small groups, or can be used by schools as a “pullout” program for children with special behavioral and emotional needs.

Teacher Training Program

The training program for teachers emphasizes classroom management skills, such as the effective use of praise and encouragement, proactive teaching strategies, and ways to manage inappropriate classroom behavior and build positive relationships with students. Training can be provided through either four to six full-day workshops or 14 to 20 two-hour sessions.

The BASIC Parent-Training Program?Early Childhood component and the small-group Dinosaur Child-Training program have been rigorously evaluated, and the remainder of this description of the Incredible Years series focuses on these two components. The ADVANCE, BASIC?School Age, Supporting Your Child?s Education, and school readiness parent-training components, the Teacher-Training program, and the Dina Dinosaur classroom curriculum currently do not have sufficiently rigorous research evidence that clearly assesses impacts on child outcomes.

View the report on the Promising Practices Network website

The Promising Practices Network ( is a Rand Corporation website

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The Incredible Years Parent Programs: Methods and Principles that Support Fidelity of Program Delivery

Year: 2015 Bibliography: Webster-Stratton, C., The Incredible Years Parent Programs: Methods and Principles that Support Fidelity of Program Delivery. in Evidence-Based Parenting Education: A Global Perspective. J. Ponzetti, Editor, 2015. Routledge. Author: Webster-Stratton [spacer] Abstract Social, emotional, and behavioral problems in young children are the most com­mon reason parents seek help from mental health professionals..
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The Incredible Years Series: A Review of the Independent Research Base

Year: 2014
Bibliography: Pidano, A. & Allen, A. (2014). The Incredible Years Series: A Review of the Independent Research Base. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 24, 1898-1916.
DOI: 10.1007/s10826-014-9991-7
Authors: Pidano, Allen


Abstract The Incredible Years (IY) parent, teacher, and child training series, developed by Carolyn Webster-Stratton, has been studied extensively over.

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The Incredible Years Series: A Review of the Independent Research Base

Year: 2015 Bibliography: Pidano, A.E. and A.R. Allen, The Incredible Years Series: A review of the independent research base. Journal of Child Family Studies, 2015. 24: p. 1898-1916. Authors: Pidano, Allen DOI: 10.1007/s10826-014-9991-7



The Incredible Years (IY) parent, teacher, and child training series, developed by Carolyn Webster-Stratton, has been studied extensively over.

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The Incredible Years® Programs for ADHD in Young Children: A Critical Review of the Evidence

Murray, D.W., Lawrence, J.R., & LaForett, D.R. (2017). The Incredible Years® programs for ADHD in young children: A critical review of the evidence. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders. Advance online publication.  doi:10.1177/1063426617717740 Abstract This study evaluated the effectiveness of Incredible Years® (IY) programs for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children aged 3 to.
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The long-term effectiveness and clinical significance of three cost-effective training programs for families with conduct-problem children

Year: 1989 Bibliography: Webster-Stratton, C., Hollingsworth, T., & Kolpacoff, M. (1989). The long-term effectiveness and clinical significance of three cost-effective training programs for families with conduct-problem children. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 57(4), 550-553.
Abstract We evaluated the long-term effectiveness of three cost-effective parent training programs for conduct-problem children. One.
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The National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP) Intervention Summary: Incredible Years Program

Incredible Years has been used in hundreds of sites in at least 15 States (Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Kansas, Ohio, Oregon, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Washington). The program has also been implemented in Australia, Canada, Denmark, England, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Scotland, Sweden, and Wales. Incredible Years research staff have trained more than 10,000 professionals worldwide. Research articles for both U.S. and non-U.S. evaluation studies are available.

The parent training intervention focuses on strengthening parenting competencies and fostering parents’ involvement in children’s school experiences to promote children’s academic and social skills and reduce delinquent behaviors. The Dinosaur child training curriculum aims to strengthen children’s social and emotional competencies, such as understanding and communicating feelings, using effective problem-solving strategies, managing anger, practicing friendship and conventional skills, and behaving appropriately in the classroom. The teacher training intervention focuses on strengthening teachers’ classroom management strategies, promoting children’s prosocial behavior and school readiness, and reducing children’s classroom aggression and noncooperation with peers and teachers. The intervention also helps teachers work with parents to support their school involvement and promote consistency between home and school. In all three training interventions, trained facilitators use videotaped scenes to structure the content and stimulate group discussions and problem solving.

The cost of implementing Incredible Years depends on the amount of training needed and the components to be implemented. One-time start-up costs include $400-$500 per leader for leader training and $1,500 per series for program materials (the cost for the child program is slightly higher due to the price of puppets). Ongoing costs include $500 annually for each leader to receive consultation, $476 for each parent in parent groups, $775 for each child in child treatment groups, $15 for each child receiving the Dinosaur curriculum in school, and $30 for each teacher receiving the teacher training.

Read the intervention summary on the NREPP website (This link will open a new window)

The National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP) is a searchable online registry of mental health and substance abuse interventions that have been reviewed and rated by independent reviewers.

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