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Promoting Behavioral Health Equity through Implementation of the Incredible Years within Primary Care

Carson, M.C., Montaño, Z., Kelman, A., Coffey, D.M., Javier, J.R. (2019). Promoting Behavioral Health Equity through Implementation of the Incredible Years within Primary Care. Translational Issues in Psychological Science 5(4), 390–401.


Mental health disparities continue to be a concern for racial and ethnic minorities in the United States. Further, approximately 20% of children in the United States have a mental health disorder with less than half of these youth receiving mental health treatment (Polanczyk, Salum, Sugaya, Caye, & Rohde, 2015; Stancin & Perrin, 2014; U.S. Surgeon General, 1999). Integrated primary care has been identified as an ideal place where youth and families can receive mental health services. There is evidence supporting that when psychologists are in primary care, behavioral health outcomes improve and the costs per patient are reduced (Chiles, Lambert, & Hatch, 1999). The objective of this paper is to describe the steps taken to co-locate The Incredible Years® Parenting Program (IY; Webster-Stratton, 2008) an evidence-based parenting group, in a pediatric primary care setting at a major metropolitan children’s hospital. The parenting group was delivered as a prevention and early intervention program for an underserved population, specifically focused on parents of children ages 3-6 years, to reduce health disparities and improve access to needed behavioral health care. A case study illustrates the potential benefits to mental health and physical health outcomes through co-location, and ultimately integration, of behavioral health services in primary care. Policy implications for sustainability of group parenting interventions in primary care, the impact on decreasing health disparities, and future directions along this line of research are discussed.

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