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Parenting course ‘lessens’ depression

Resource type: News

Irish Times | [ View Original Source (opens in new window) ]

Archways and the Incredible Years programme are Atlantic grantees via the Clondalkin Partnership. 


PARENTS WERE less critical and more confident in dealing with their children after taking part in a parenting programme, a new study has found.

Parents who participated in the 12-14 week parenting programme also said that their outlook on life had generally improved and they felt less depressed, according to Dr Sinead McGilloway, senior lecturer, Department of Psychology in NUI Maynooth, and principal investigator of the Incredible Years programme in Ireland.

The Incredible Years is an early intervention programme for children with emotional and behavioural problems.

Dr McGilloway presented the first findings from an evaluation of the parenting training programme in Dublin yesterday. About 150 parents from Dublin and Kildare took part in the study.

The study also found that the children showed marked improvements in their behaviour, following their parents’ participation in the parenting programme.

“The parents said that their children had fewer temper tantrums, less hitting and destroying objects, and that they were generally more obedient and agreeable children,” said Dr McGilloway.

The Incredible Years programme, which is currently used in 11 locations throughout Ireland, also includes training for teachers and the children themselves.

The importance of play, praise, tangible rewards, limit-setting, ignoring bad behaviour, timeout and teaching children to problem solve are key aspects of the programme.

Dr Carolyn Webster-Stratton, who first developed the Incredible Years programme in the University of Washington in Seattle, also addressed the conference at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham.

“These first results from the evaluation are very positive. They show the effectiveness and transferability of the programme to an Irish context,” she said.

The conference, which was organised by Archways – the national administrators and trainers of the Incredible Years programme in Ireland – was opened by Barry Andrews, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs.

He said: “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.”

The Incredible Years programme is funded by Atlantic Philanthropies and the Government through money made available from the Dormant Accounts Funds.

© 2009 The Irish Times

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Archways, Clondalkin Partnership, Incredible Years