The Incredible Years

Categories

Categories associated with best practice:

  • Health Equity
  • Illegal Drugs Icon 3
  • Infancy (ages 0-2) icon
  • Early Childhood (ages 3-5) icon
  • Children (ages 6-12) icon
  • Before-After School Icon 1
  • Best Practices
  • Community/ Neighbourhood
  • daycare
  • Education and literacy
  • Elementary School Icon 1
  • Health Care Setting
  • Health Literacy
  • Healthy child development
  • Mental Health Icon 2
  • Personal health practices and coping skills
  • Preventing Violence Icon 1
  • Social Relationships That Respect Diversity

Determinants of Health: Personal health practices and coping skills, Education, literacy and life-long learning, Social relationships (including those that respect diversity), Healthy child development

Overview

The Incredible Years (IY) is a set of three comprehensive, multifaceted, and developmentally based curricula for parents, teachers, and young children aged 12 years and younger. The program is designed to promote emotional and social competence. It is also designed to prevent, reduce, and treat aggression and emotional problems which are risk factors for developing substance abuse problems, becoming involved with deviant peer groups, dropping out of school, and engaging in delinquency and violence.

The Incredible Years curricula may be implemented by schools, school districts, and related programs (including Head Start, day care, and kindergarten) as early prevention programs for teachers, parents and children. Additionally, the child and parent programs may be used in mental health centers as a treatment for families with children who are diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder/Conduct Disorder (ODD/CD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or for high risk families.

Multiple randomized controlled trials involving both at risk children and children diagnosed with ODD/CD have demonstrated that the Incredible Years is effective in promoting positive classroom management strategies, improving parenting skills, reducing child externalizing and internalizing problems at school and at home, and increasing children’s emotional literacy, social skills, problem solving, and compliance.

Primary Source Document

Webster-Stratton C, Reid MJ, Stoolmiller M, Preventing conduct problems and improving school readiness: Evaluation of the Incredible Years Teacher and Child Training Programs in high-risk schools Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry

Contact information of developer(s) and/or implementer(s)

Carolyn Webster?Stratton, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus at the University of Washington

Seattle, Washington

Intervention Focus

Intervention Goal / ObjectiveLevel(s) TargetedEquity Focus
Promote child social competence, emotional regulation, positive attributions, academic readiness and problem solving.
  • Individual level
  • Interpersonal level
People living in conditions of disadvantage are not explicitly stated to be a target population of the intervention.
Improve parent-child interactions, build positive parent-child relationships and attachment, improve parental functioning, promote less harsh and more nurturing parenting, and increase parental social support and problem solving.
  • Individual level
  • Interpersonal level
People living in conditions of disadvantage are not explicitly stated to be a target population of the intervention.
Improve teacher classroom management skills and teacher-parent partnerships.
  • Individual level
  • Interpersonal level
People living in conditions of disadvantage are not explicitly stated to be a target population of the intervention.
Prevent conduct problems, delinquency, violence and drug abuse.
  • Individual level
  • Interpersonal level
People living in conditions of disadvantage are not explicitly stated to be a target population of the intervention.
Treat child aggressive behaviour problems and ADHD.
  • Individual level
  • Interpersonal level
People living in conditions of disadvantage are not explicitly stated to be a target population of the intervention.

Health Issue(s) that is/are addressed by the Intervention

Health Promotion

  • Heathy Literacy
  • Mental Health

Risk Reduction

  • Prevent/reduce illegal drug use/abuse
  • Prevent violence
  • Other

Specific Activities of the Intervention

  • Curriculum changes in school
  • Group process/program

Priority/Target Population for Intervention Delivery

Life Stage

  • Infancy (birth to 2 years)
  • Early childhood (age 3-5 years)
  • Children (age 6-12 years)

Settings

Educational Settings

  • Early learning environment (ages 0-5)
  • Before/after school childcare (ages 5-12)
  • Elementary school

Community Setting

  • Workplace
  • Community/neighbourhood
  • Health care setting
  • Other

Outcomes

Outcomes and Impact Chart
Level of ImpactDescription of OutcomeEquity Focus
Organizational LevelThe intervention slope was negative (-.1500) and significant (p = .0004) indicating a greater improvement in classroom atmosphere in the intervention than the control condition (effect size was large = 1.03).Outcomes are reported for people living in conditions of disadvantage, and are not compared to people living in more advantaged conditions.
Interpersonal LevelFour of 5 constructs (harsh/critical; inconsistent/permissive; warm/ affectionate; social/emotional) had significant main effects such that teachers in the intervention condition became less harsh/critical and inconsistent/ permissive, more warm/affectionate, and placed more emphasis on social/emotional teaching. Observations of teacher classroom management behaviours found a significant main effect (fixed effect for Intervention slope = -.181, .001 < p < .01) on the teacher critical coding area.Outcomes are reported for people living in conditions of disadvantage, and are not compared to people living in more advantaged conditions.
Interpersonal LevelThe intervention had a medium impact on the average parent-teacher bond within teachers at initially low levels of bonding and small impact on the average parent—teacher bond within teachers with average to slightly above average initial levels of bonding. Outcomes are reported for people living in conditions of disadvantage, and are not compared to people living in more advantaged conditions.
Individual LevelThe fixed effect for the intervention slope was negative (-.0349) and significant (p =.0000), indicating a greater improvement in school readiness in the intervention than the control condition. The intervention had a large impact on average student scores for teachers with students with average levels of poor school readiness and a very, very large impact on average student scores for teachers with students with very poor initial levels of school readiness.Outcomes are reported for people living in conditions of disadvantage, and are not compared to people living in more advantaged conditions.
Interpersonal LevelResults of observations of students in the classrooms showed both significant improvement and significant differential improvement in emotional self-regulation, social competence and conduct problems compared with the control students’ behaviors. The effect size was particularly strong for those students from classrooms with the poorest initial scores.Outcomes are reported for people living in conditions of disadvantage, and are not compared to people living in more advantaged conditions.

Adaptability

Implementation History

  • Multiple implementations - Different settings/populations/providers - The intervention showed significant adaptability as it has been implemented in different settings or with different populations or by different provider(s). This can include multiple implementations during the same time period. Each implementation of the intervention must have been substantially the same and must have demonstrated positive results for the primary objectives of the intervention.

Expertise Required for Implementation within the Context of the Intervention

  • Requires specialized skills that are easily available within the context - The intervention requires the participation of personnel with advanced skills (e.g. medical doctors, epidemiologists, social workers) but that are easily available within the intervention context.

Are there supports available for implementation

Yes.

Are there resources and/or products associated with the interventions

Yes. Materials include: the Incredible Years book or CD for each parent; books for teachers and children; 9?14 DVDs to show vignettes during the course; handouts and home activities assignments; group buzz exercises; refrigerator notes. Training, consultation and accreditation services available.