Research led by NUI Maynooth proves the Power of Positive Parenting

Resource type: News

Archways / Incredible Years programme |

Archways and the Incredible Years programme are Atlantic Children & Youth Programme grantees via the Clondalkin Partnership.


Archways, is today (Monday, 21st Sept) launching the first set of findings from the Incredible Years BASIC parent training programme for children aged 3-6yrs. The Incredible Years (IY) Programme is a prevention and early intervention programme for children with emotional and behavioural difficulties. Since the programme was piloted in Clondalkin in 2003, it is now being implemented in 11 locations throughout the country and has impacted on some 11,000 children.


Barry Andrews, Minister for Children & Youth Affairs said “I am very pleased to open the Incredible Years Conference.


The ultimate objective of Incredible Years is to ensure that problems identified early in a child’s life are resolved before they manifest themselves as issues, which require much greater interventions from all service providers. My Office supports the key principles of identification of need, focussed outcomes, robust implementation and a rigorous evaluation framework in early intervention projects. Indeed, these principles are cornerstones of the Prevention and Early Intervention Programme for Children, jointly overseen by my Office and the Atlantic Philanthropies.”


As part of their work to introduce the Incredible Years programme into Ireland, Archways commissioned an international team of academic researchers led by Dr Sinéad McGilloway, Department of Psychology, NUI Maynooth. This first set of findings produced by this evaluation team, focused on the effectiveness of the programme for Irish parents who have children aged 3-6 yrs with emotional and behavioural difficulties.


The research was undertaken to:


1. Assess child and parent outcomes both ,before and six months after taking part in the IY programme


2. To explore the experiences and views of parents who participated


3. To ascertain the cost effectiveness of the programme.


Aileen O’Donoghue, CEO, Archways said, “Without Intervention childhood behavioural problems can have serious implications for an individual’s future. Indeed the presence of stable and embedded emotional and behavioural difficulties in childhood has been shown to predict a developmental trajectory towards negative outcomes in adolescence and adulthood, such as drug and alcohol misuse, truancy, school failure and drop out, delinquency and criminal behaviour and violence.


These effects, clearly, are not limited to the individual, as these behaviours have the potential to cause disruption and harm to others and consequently affect the wider community within which these individuals reside.


As demonstrated in this study, the Incredible Years programme has a proven capacity to bring about positive change in the behaviour of children experiencing these difficulties and as such can lead to the prevention, interruption or elimination of this negative life cycle.”


The results of the evaluation found that parents reported a substantial reduction in behavioural problems in their children. Specifically, they reported decreases in problem behaviours such as non-compliance (i.e. refusal to carry out tasks/obey instructions), temper tantrums and negative physical behaviours (e.g. hitting, destroying objects). This decline in problem behaviour was accompanied by marked reductions in hyperactive-type behaviours. Parents also noted improvements in their children’s social behaviour and in their social interaction/communication skills.


The research went on to find that parents had changed as a result of taking part in the programme they were less critical and more confident in their parenting role. They also believed that their outlook on life had generally improved and that their participation in the programme had positive effects on their health and well being. Furthermore, there was a significant reduction in levels of depression for those who completed the programme when compared with those who did not. The results of the analysis showed that the Incredible Years Programme offers a cost effective solution to managing emotional and behavioural difficulties in young children. The cost of the programme was found to be modest when compared to early intervention programmes elsewhere. The programme was also found to have considerable longer term benefits with regard to the potential future cost savings arising from reductions in antisocial criminal behaviour, unemployment and the use of special needs education resources.


Archways has received substantial support from The Atlantic Philanthropies for the implementation and evaluation of the Incredible Years programme. Under its Children and Youth Programme, Atlantic is supporting several evidence based prevention and early intervention programmes in Ireland, north and south, working in partnership with state and other funders. This project was also supported by Government with support from the Dormant Accounts Fund.


Photo: Archways yesterday (Monday, 21st Sept) launched the first set of findings from the Incredible Years BASIC parent training programme for children aged 3-6 yrs. The Incredible Years (IY) Programme is a prevention and early intervention programme for children with emotional and behavioural difficulties. The programme has impacted on some 11,000 children and the research results showed a proven capacity to bring about positive change in the behaviour of young children.


Pictured is Barry Andrews, TD Minister for Children & Youth Affairs with Aileen O’Donoghue, CEO Archways (on right), and Prof Carolyn Webster Stratton, Founder of the Incredible Years Programme.


For more coverage please see the Irish Examiner and Irish Times articles.

Related Resources

Issues:

Children & Youth

Global Impact:

Republic of Ireland

Tags:

Archways, Clondalkin Partnership, Incredible Years