Incredible Years® – School Age Basic Program

Mental Health Promising

The Incredible Years - School Age Basic program (“IY-School Age”) can be offered as a group-based prevention or treatment program designed for parents of children (6 to 12 years). The program typically targets higher risk populations and parents of children diagnosed with problems such as oppositional defiant disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). IY-School Age aims to strengthen parent-child interactions and attachment and reduce harsh discipline. It also aims to foster parents’ abilities to promote children’s social, emotional, and academic development and reduce behavior problems. IY-School Age focuses on 3 developmentally appropriate topics during the sessions: (1) promoting positive behavior, (2) reducing inappropriate behaviors, and (3) supporting children’s education. 

 

During each group session, parents watch 8 to 10 situational video vignettes. They engage in discussions facilitated by the group leaders and problem solve about best parenting practices. Parents are encouraged to complete activities at home to apply the skills they learned with the group.


IY-School Age is rated as a promising practice because at least one study achieved a rating of moderate or high on study design and execution and demonstrated a favorable effect on a target outcome.


Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed: Aug 2020


Sources

The program or service description, target population, and program or service delivery and implementation information was informed by the following sources: the program or service developer’s website, the program or service manual, and the studies reviewed.


This information does not necessarily represent the views of the program or service developers. For more information on how this program or service was reviewed, visit the Review Process page or download the Handbook.

Target Population

IY-School Age is designed for parents of children 6 to 12 years. The program typically targets higher risk populations and parents of children with behavior problems.

Dosage

Parents typically receive 12 to 20 weekly group sessions of IY-School Age. Each group session lasts about 2 hours.

Location/Delivery Setting
Recommended Locations/Delivery Settings

The IY-School Age program is typically delivered in a community setting.

Location/Delivery Settings Observed in the Research

  • Youth Center
  • Mental Health Center, Treatment Center, Therapist Office

Education, Certifications and Training

Incredible Years® offers a 3-day in-person training for IY-School Age group leaders. The training is highly recommended for all group leaders and is required for group leaders who plan to become certified. It is recommended that at least one of the 2 leaders working with a group has a master’s degree or comparable education/background. Group leaders who have attended IY-School Age training can become certified by demonstrating positive participant evaluations, positive trainer/mentor evaluations of videotape review, positive peer review, and satisfactory completion of session protocols. Group leaders come from a variety of backgrounds, including social work, psychology, nursing, medicine or education. Additionally, they should have taken at least one course in child development or social learning theory.

Program or Service Documentation
Book/Manual/Available documentation used for review

IY-School Age uses the Incredible Years Parents, Teachers and Children’s Training Series manual. It is implemented in conjunction with the Curriculum Set below that is specific to the IY-School Age program.

Webster-Stratton, C. (2011). Incredible Years parents, teachers and children’s training series: Program content, methods, research, and dissemination, 1980 – 2011. Incredible Years, Inc.

Incredible Years, Inc. (2019). School age basic curriculum set.

Available languages

Materials for IY-School Age are available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Norwegian, Danish, and Finnish.

Other supporting materials

Program Overview

Certification Training Progression

Parent Group Leader Resources

Contact Information for Developers

Website: http://www.incredibleyears.com/

Phone: (206) 285-7565

Email: incredibleyears@incredibleyears.com

Results of Search and Review Number of Studies Identified and Reviewed for Incredible Years® – School Age Basic Program
Identified in Search 28
Eligible for Review 4
Rated High 1
Rated Moderate 2
Rated Low 1
Reviewed Only for Risk of Harm 0
Outcome Effect Size
and Implied Percentile Effect
N of Studies (Findings) N of Participants Summary of Findings
Child safety: Child welfare administrative reports 0.00
0
1 (1) 736 Favorable: 1
No Effect: 0
Unfavorable: 0
Child well-being: Behavioral and emotional functioning 0.45
17
1 (2) 35 Favorable: 0
No Effect: 2
Unfavorable: 0
Adult well-being: Positive parenting practices 0.61
22
2 (13) 85 Favorable: 5
No Effect: 8
Unfavorable: 0

Note: For the effect sizes and implied percentile effects reported in the table, a positive number favors the intervention group and a negative number favors the comparison group. Effect sizes for some outcomes were not able to be calculated by the Prevention Services Clearinghouse.

Outcome Effect Size
and Implied Percentile Effect
N of Studies (Findings) N of Participants Summary of Findings Months after treatment
when outcome measured
Child safety: Child welfare administrative reports 0.00
0
1 (1) 736 Favorable: 1
No Effect: 0
Unfavorable: 0
-
Sicotte, 2018
Time to CPS Case Closure Favorable *
not calculated
- 736 - 0
Child well-being: Behavioral and emotional functioning 0.45
17
1 (2) 35 Favorable: 0
No Effect: 2
Unfavorable: 0
-
Letarte, 2010
Eyberg Child Behavior Inventory: Intensity Scale 0.46
17
- 35 - 0
Eyberg Child Behavior Inventory: Problem Scale 0.43
16
- 35 - 0
Adult well-being: Positive parenting practices 0.61
22
2 (13) 85 Favorable: 5
No Effect: 8
Unfavorable: 0
-
Lessard, 2016
Parenting Practice Interview: Appropriate Discipline 0.04
1
- 50 - 0
Parenting Practice Interview: Harsh and Inconsistent Discipline 1.00 *
34
- 50 - 0
Parenting Practice Interview: Positive Verbal Discipline 0.22
8
- 50 - 0
Parenting Practice Interview: Monitoring 0.50
19
- 50 - 0
Parenting Practice Interview: Physical Punishment 0.27
10
- 50 - 0
Parenting Practice Interview: Praise and Incentives 0.69 *
25
- 50 - 0
Parenting Practice Interview: Clear Expectations 0.31
11
- 50 - 0
Harsh/Negative Parenting Practices (Videotaped Observation) 0.57
21
- 50 - 0
Positive Parenting Practices (Videotaped Observation) 0.62 *
23
- 50 - 0
Letarte, 2010
Parenting Practice Interview: Praise and Incentives 0.99 *
33
- 35 - 0
Parenting Practice Interview: Clear Expectations 0.28
11
- 35 - 0
Parenting Practice Interview: Appropriate Discipline 0.72
26
- 35 - 0
Parenting Practice Interview: Positive Verbal Discipline 1.54 *
43
- 35 - 0

*p <.05

Note: For the effect sizes and implied percentile effects reported in the table, a positive number favors the intervention group and a negative number favors the comparison group. Effect sizes and implied percentile effects were calculated by the Prevention Services Clearinghouse as described in the Handbook of Standards and Procedures, Section 5.10.4 and may not align with effect sizes reported in individual publications. Effect sizes for some outcomes were not able to be calculated by the Prevention Services Clearinghouse.

Only publications with eligible contrasts that met design and execution standards are included in the individual study findings table.

Full citations for the studies shown in the table are available in the "Studies Reviewed" section.

Sometimes study results are reported in more than one document, or a single document reports results from multiple studies. Studies are identified below by their Prevention Services Clearinghouse study identification numbers.

Studies Rated High

Study 10685

Lessard, J., Normandeau, S., & Robaey, P. (2016). Effects of the Incredible Years program in families of children with ADHD. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 25(12), 3716-3727. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-016-0509-3


Studies Rated Moderate

Study 10686

Letarte, M. J., Normandeau, S., & Allard, J. (2010). Effectiveness of a parent training program 'Incredible Years' in a child protection service. Child Abuse & Neglect, 34(4), 253-261. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2009.06.003

Study 10708

Sicotte, R., Letarte, M., Hélie, S., & Mallette, I. L. (2018). Moderating role of the form of maltreatment experienced by children on the effectiveness of a parent training program. Child Maltreatment, 23(4), 334-343. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077559518790695


Studies Rated Low

Study 10674

Javier, J. R., Coffey, D. M., Schrager, S. M., Palinkas, L. A., & Miranda, J. (2016). Parenting intervention for prevention of behavioral problems in elementary school-age Filipino-American children: A pilot study in churches. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 37(9), 737-745. https://doi.org/10.1097/DBP.0000000000000342

This study received a low rating because it did not meet design confound standards.


Studies Not Eligible for Review

Study 10653

Axberg, U., & Broberg, A. G. (2012). Evaluation of "The Incredible Years" in Sweden: The transferability of an American parent-training program to Sweden. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 53(3), 224-232. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9450.2012.00955.x

This study is ineligible for review because it is not a study of the program or service under review (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.6).

Study 10658

Chhangur, R. R., Weeland, J., Overbeek, G., Matthys, W., Castro, B., Giessen, D., & Belsky, J. (2017). Genetic moderation of intervention efficacy: Dopaminergic genes, The Incredible Years, and externalizing behavior in children. Child Development, 88(3), 796-811. https://doi.org/10.1111/cdev.12612

Chhangur, R. R., Weeland, J., Overbeek, G., Matthys, W., & Orobio de Castro, B. (2012). ORCHIDS: An observational randomized controlled trial on childhood differential susceptibility. BMC Public Health, 12, 917-917. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-12-917

Overbeek, G. (2017). Parenting intervention effects on children’s externalizing behavior: The moderating role of genotype and temperament. Current Opinion in Psychology, 15, 143-148. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.copsyc.2017.02.025

van Aar, J., Leijten, P., Orobio de Castro, B., Weeland, J., Matthys, W., Chhangur, R., & Overbeek, G. (2019). Families who benefit and families who do not: Integrating person- and variable-centered analyses of parenting intervention responses. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 58(10), 993-1003. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaac.2019.02.004

Weeland, J., Chhangur, R. R., van der Giessen, D., Matthys, W., Orobio de Castro, B., & Overbeek, G. (2017). Intervention effectiveness of The Incredible Years: New insights into sociodemographic and intervention-based moderators. Behavior Therapy, 48(1), 1-18. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.beth.2016.08.002

This study is ineligible for review because it is not a study of the program or service under review (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.6).

Study 10659

Dionne, R., Davis, B., Sheeber, L., & Madrigal, L. (2009). Initial evaluation of a cultural approach to implementation of evidence-based parenting interventions in American Indian communities. Journal of Community Psychology, 37(7), 911-921. https://doi.org/10.1002/jcop.20336

This study is ineligible for review because it is not a study of the program or service under review (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.6).

Study 10660

Drugli, M. B., Fossum, S., Larsson, B., & Morch, W. T. (2010). Characteristics of young children with persistent conduct problems 1 year after treatment with the Incredible Years program. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 19(7), 559-565. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00787-009-0083-y

Drugli, M. B., Larsson, B., & Clifford, G. (2007). Changes in social competence in young children treated because of conduct problems as viewed by multiple informants. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 16(6), 370-378. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00787-007-0609-0

This study is ineligible for review because it is not a study of the program or service under review (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.6).

Study 10663

Gardner, F., Burton, J., & Klimes, I. (2006). Randomised controlled trial of a parenting intervention in the voluntary sector for reducing child conduct problems: Outcomes and mechanisms of change. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 47(11), 1123-1132. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7610.2006.01668.x

This study is ineligible for review because it is not a study of the program or service under review (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.6).

Study 10668

Herman, K. C., Borden, L. A., Reinke, W. M., & Webster-Stratton, C. (2011). The impact of the Incredible Years parent, child, and teacher training programs on children's co-occurring internalizing symptoms. School Psychology Quarterly, 26(3), 189-201. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0025228

This study is ineligible for review because it is not a study of the program or service under review (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.6).

Study 10669

Homem, T. C., Gaspar, M. F., Seabra-Santos, M. J., Canavarro, M. C., & Azevedo, A. (2014). A pilot study with the Incredible Years Parenting Training: Does it work for fathers of preschoolers with oppositional behavior symptoms? Fathering, 12(3), 262-282. http://dx.doi.org/10.3149/fth.1203.262.

This study is ineligible for review because it is not a study of the program or service under review (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.6).

Study 10670

Hughes, J. R., & Gottlieb, L. N. (2004). The effects of the Webster-Stratton parenting program on maltreating families: Fostering strengths. Child Abuse & Neglect, 28(10), 1081-1097. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2004.02.004

This study is ineligible for review because it is not a study of the program or service under review (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.6).

Study 10678

Kim, E., Cain, K. C., & Webster-Stratton, C. (2008). The preliminary effect of a parenting program for Korean American mothers: A randomized controlled experimental study. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 45(9), 1261-1273. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2007.10.002

This study is ineligible for review because it is not a study of the program or service under review (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.6).

Study 10681

Larsson, B., Fossum, S., Clifford, G., Drugli, M. B., Handegård, B. H., & Mørch, W.-T. (2009). Treatment of oppositional defiant and conduct problems in young Norwegian children: Results of a randomized controlled trial. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 18(1), 42-52. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00787-008-0702-z

This study is ineligible for review because it is not a study of the program or service under review (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.6).

Study 10684

Leijten, P., Melendez-Torres, G. J., Knerr, W., & Gardner, F. (2016). Transported versus homegrown parenting interventions for reducing disruptive child behavior: A multilevel meta-regression study. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 55(7), 610-617. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaac.2016.05.003

Leijten, P., Raaijmakers, M. A. J., Orobio de Castro, B., van den Ban, E., & Matthys, W. (2017). Effectiveness of the Incredible Years parenting program for families with socioeconomically disadvantaged and ethnic minority backgrounds. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 46(1), 59-73. https://doi.org/10.1080/15374416.2015.1038823

This study is ineligible for review because it is not a study of the program or service under review (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.6).

Study 10687

Linares, L. O., Montalto, D., Li, M., & Oza, V. S. (2006). A promising parenting intervention in foster care. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 74(1), 32-41. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-006X.74.1.32

This study is ineligible for review because it is not a study of the program or service under review (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.6).

Study 10689

McGilloway, S., Mhaille, G. N., Bywater, T., Furlong, M., Leckey, Y., Kelly, P., Comiskey, C., & Donnelly, M. (2012). A parenting intervention for childhood behavioral problems: A randomized controlled trial in disadvantaged community-based settings. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 80(1), 116-127. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0026304

McGilloway, S., NiMhaille, G., Bywater, T., Leckey, Y., Kelly, P., Furlong, M., Comiskey, C., O’Neill, D., & Donnelly, M. (2014). Reducing child conduct disordered behaviour and improving parent mental health in disadvantaged families: A 12-month follow-up and cost analysis of a parenting intervention. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 23(9), 783-794. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00787-013-0499-2

O'Neill, D., McGilloway, S., Donnelly, M., Bywater, T., & Kelly, P. (2013). A cost-effectiveness analysis of the Incredible Years parenting programme in reducing childhood health inequalities. The European Journal of Health Economics, 14(1), 85-94. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10198-011-0342-y

This study is ineligible for review because it is not a study of the program or service under review (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.6).

Study 10692

Menting, A. T. A., de Castro, B. O., Wijngaards-de Meij, L. D. N. V., & Matthys, W. (2014). A trial of parent training for mothers being released from incarceration and their children. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 43(3), 381-396. https://doi.org/10.1080/15374416.2013.817310

This study is ineligible for review because it is not a study of the program or service under review (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.6).

Study 10697

Patterson, J., Barlow, J., Mockford, C., Klimes, I., Pyper, C., & Stewart-Brown, S. (2002). Improving mental health through parenting programmes: Block randomised controlled trial. Archives of Disease In Childhood, 87(6), 472-477. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136%2Fadc.87.6.472

This study is ineligible for review because it is not a study of the program or service under review (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.6).

Study 10701

Reedtz, C., Handegård, B. H., & Mørch, W. T. (2011). Promoting positive parenting practices in primary pare: Outcomes and mechanisms of change in a randomized controlled risk reduction trial. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 52(2), 131-137. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9450.2010.00854.x

This study is ineligible for review because it is not a study of the program or service under review (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.6).

Study 10704

Sampaio, F., Enebrink, P., Mihalopoulos, C., & Feldman, I. (2016). Cost-effectiveness of four parenting programs and bibliotherapy for parents of children with conduct problems. Journal of Mental Health Policy and Economics, 19(4), 201-212.

This study is ineligible for review because it is not a study of the program or service under review (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.6).

Study 10705

Scott, S., Spender, Q., Doolan, M., Jacobs, B., & Aspland, H. (2001). Multicentre controlled trial of parenting groups for childhood antisocial behaviour in clinical practice. BMJ: British Medical Journal, 323(7306), 194-194. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.323.7306.194

This study is ineligible for review because it is not a study of the program or service under review (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.6).

Study 10706

Scott, S., & O'Connor, T. G. (2012). An experimental test of differential susceptibility to parenting among emotionally-dysregulated children in a randomized controlled trial for oppositional behavior. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 53(11), 1184-1193. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7610.2012.02586.x

This study is ineligible for review because it is not a study of the program or service under review (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.6).

Study 10709

Silva, I. S., & da Fonseca Gaspar, M. F. (2014). Supporting Portuguese residential child care staff: An exploratory study with the Incredible Years Basic Parent Programme. Psychosocial Intervention, 23(1), 33-41. https://doi.org/10.5093/in2014a4

This study is ineligible for review because it is not a study of the program or service under review (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.6).

Study 10711

Stattin, H., Enebrink, P., Özdemir, M., & Giannotta, F. (2015). A national evaluation of parenting programs in Sweden: The short-term effects using an RCT effectiveness design. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 83(6), 1069-1084. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0039328

This study is ineligible for review because it is not a study of the program or service under review (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.6).

Study 10712

Stewart-Brown, S., Patterson, J., Mockford, C., Barlow, J., Klimes, I., & Pyper, C. (2004). Impact of a general practice based group parenting programme: quantitative and qualitative results from a controlled trial at 12 months. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 89(6), 519-525. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2214.2004.00456_5.x

This study is ineligible for review because it is not a study of the program or service under review (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.6).

Study 10713

Taylor, T. K., Schmidt, F., Pepler, D., & Hodgins, C. (1998). A comparison of eclectic treatment with Webster-Stratton's parents and children series in a children's mental health center: A randomized controlled trial. Behavior Therapy, 29(2), 221-240. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0005-7894(98)80004-X

This study is ineligible for review because it is not a study of the program or service under review (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.6).

Study 10716

Webster-Stratton, C., & Herman, K. C. (2008). The impact of parent behavior-management training on child depressive symptoms. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 55(4), 473-484. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0013664

This study is ineligible for review because it is not a study of the program or service under review (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.6).