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					Incredible Years Training Series
The Future of School Psychology Task Force on Family-School Partnerships
Jon Lasser and Kathryn Woods

The Incredible Years training series is an empirically validated prevention/intervention that is designed for young children, parents, and teachers (Bates, 2005). This program may be used for externalizing and internalizing problems and a broad range of behavioral, emotional, and social problems exhibited in childhood.
See IY Handout 1 for More Information

Rationale for a Multi-Tiered Approach to Family-School Partnerships
Family-school partnerships provide a context for families and educators to collaboratively identify and prioritize concerns across a continuum of opportunities and intensities Prevention and intervention efforts and supports are delivered toward a universal and targeted audience A multi-tiered approach enables families and educators to provide services based on a student’s responsiveness to previous preventions, interventions, and supports

See IY Handout 2 for More Information

Explanation for a Multi-Tiered Approach to Family-School Partnerships
Provides various levels of family-school supports based on a student’s identified need and responsiveness to previous efforts
Universal – Family-school collaboration provided to support all students and families (e.g., 4 As, Parent-School Collaboration, Parent Involvement, Parent Education) Targeted – Family-school collaboration provided to support identified students and families unresponsive to previous universal efforts (e.g., Parent Education and Intervention, Parent Consultation) Intensive – Family-school collaboration provided to students and families unresponsive to previous targeted efforts (e.g., Parent Consultation [conjoint behavioral consultation] and Parent Intervention)

The Multi-Tiered Approach to Family-School Partnerships
Tier 3: Intensive, Individual Interventions
Individualized supports for families and students unresponsive to the first two tiers (e.g., Parent Consultation [conjoint behavioral consultation] and Family Intervention)

Tier 3 1-7%

Tier 2: Targeted Group Interventions
Specific preventions and remedial interventions for targeted groups of families and students identified as “at risk” and unresponsive to the first tier (e.g., Parent Training and Intervention, Parent Consultation)

Tier 2 5-15%

Tier 1: Universal Interventions
Engaging all families as collaborative partners (e.g., 4 As, Family-School Collaboration, Parent Involvement, Parent Education)

Tier 1 80-90%

Incredible Years Training Series
Developed by Carolyn Webster-Stratton, the Incredible Years series helps parents and teachers improve the social competence of children between the ages of 2 and 10 Based on cognitive social learning, the training is designed to prevent, treat, and reduce conduct problems (Webster-Stratton, 2000)

For Which Populations is Incredible Years Useful?
Designed for parents and teachers of pre-school children
Research was conducted with Head Start programs in the Seattle area

Studies show that this is a promising, effective program
Schools can arrange for teacher training that is parallel to the parent program to maintain consistency across learning environments

Incredible Years trainings that target parents are divided into three groups: BASIC Parent Training Program Early Childhood (3-6) School Age (6-10) ADVANCE Parent Training Program EDUCATION Parent Training Program

(Webster-Stratton, 2000)

Training targets parenting skills: Play/Involvement (e.g., How to play with a child, helping children learn) Praise/Rewards (e.g., The art of effective praising, tangible rewards) Limit setting (e.g., How to set limits, helping children learn to accept limits) Handling misbehavior (e.g., Avoiding and ignoring misbehavior, preventive strategies) Skills are taught and practiced through videotape modeling, role plays, and homework activities

Training targets interpersonal skills:  Problem solving (e.g., Understanding the important steps to problem solving)  Anger management (e.g., Understanding how angry and depressive emotions and thoughts can affect behaviors with others)  Communication (e.g. Active listening and speaking up, communicating more positively to oneself and to others)  Depression control (e.g., Learning coping strategies to stop negative self-talk and increase positive self-talk)  Giving and getting support (e.g., Knowing how to get feedback from others, Learning how to be more supportive of others)  Skills are taught and practiced through videotape modeling, role plays, and homework activities

Training targets academic skills:  Academic stimulation (e.g., Making learning enjoyable through play)  Learning routine after school (e.g., Setting up a predictable routine, Understanding how television interferes with learning)  Homework support (e.g., Understanding how to show “active interest” in children’s learning at home and school)  Reading (e.g., teaching parents how to read to their children)  Limit setting (e.g., Understanding how to follow through with limits)  Involvement at school (e.g., Knowing ways to support teachers in their teaching efforts)  Teacher conferences (e.g., Understanding how to focus on finding solutions to children’s school difficulties (rather than blame)  Skills are taught and practiced through videotape modeling, role plays, and homework activities

Additional Programs
In addition to the BASIC, ADVANCE, and EDUCATION series, Incredible Years also offers trainings that are not profiled in this presentation: Teacher Training Program Child Training Program (Dina Dinosaur Social Skills) More detailed information about these additional programs can be found at

Short-Term Program Goals
Reduce conduct problems at home and in the classroom Fewer negative behaviors, noncompliance Decreased peer aggression and disruptive behavior Promote social, emotional, and academic competence Increased social skills, understanding of feelings, conflict management skills, and academic engagement

Long-Range Program Goals
Develop treatment for early onset conduct problems Provide universal prevention of conduct problems

Program Materials
Videotapes for BASIC, ADVANCE, and EDUCATION series Self-administered manual for BASIC series Leader manuals for each program Weekly refrigerator notes for parents (key points) Parent assignments for home activities Book for parents Refrigerator magnets for parents Posters of the program model

See IY Handout 3 for More Information

Content and Mechanics
What follows are brief summaries of each program’s content and format, followed by more general notes on how the trainings are executed. More detailed information can be found in the Incredible Years materials, available at

Early Childhood BASIC Parent Training (ages 3-6)
Four units:
Play Praise and Rewards Effective Limit Setting Handling Misbehavior

Early Childhood BASIC Parent Training (ages 3-6)
Leader’s manual (video narration, discussion topics/questions, homework, handouts, etc.) Participants’ books 10 videotapes (vignettes of parents interacting with children)

Early Childhood BASIC Parent Training (ages 3-6)
Groups of ten to fourteen participants meet for twelve to fourteen 2-hour session Leaders use video vignettes as the basis for group discussion Parenting skills are discussed and new skills are roleplayed Home practice activities are assigned

Early Childhood BASIC Parent Training (ages 3-6)
Sample Objectives: Following through with commands effectively Avoiding power struggles

Anticipating and avoiding frustrations
Handling crying, grabbing, not eating, and refusing to go to bed

ADVANCE Parent Training Programs (ages 4-10)
For parents that have completed BASIC series Three units: How to Communicate Effectively with Adults and Children Problem Solving for Parents Problem Solving with Young Children

ADVANCE Parent Training Programs (ages 4-10)
Materials: Leader’s manual Six videotapes

ADVANCE Parent Training Programs (ages 4-10)
Method: Parents meet for ten to twelve 2-hour sessions Review of BASIC program material

Parents learn application of communication and problem solving principles to relationships with children and adults

ADVANCE Parent Training Programs (ages 4-10)
Sample Objectives: Recognizing how to validate another’s feelings Increasing positive and polite communication with others Promoting consistent verbal and nonverbal messages

EDUCATION Parent Training Program (ages 5-10)
One unit in five parts: How to Support Your Child’s Education 1) Promoting Your Child’s Self-Confidence 2) Fostering Good Learning Habits 3) Dealing With Children’s Discouragement 4) Participating in Children’s Homework 5) Using Parent-Teacher Conferences to advocate for your child

EDUCATION Parent Training Program (ages 5-10)
Materials: Two video tapes Manual

EDUCATION Parent Training Program (ages 5-10)
Method: Similar to other programs in methods Provided after and builds upon BASIC program

Emphasizes home-school collaboration
See Overview Module for More Information on Partnering with Families

EDUCATION Parent Training Program (ages 5-10)
Sample Objectives: Understanding the importance of continuity from home to school

Understanding how to show “active interest” in children’s learning at home and school
Setting up a predictable routine

Making learning enjoyable through play

About the Trainings
Parents encouraged to bring a partner or close friend for support Training is collaborative, non-hierarchical, & nonblaming Leaders are collaborators rather than “experts”

Use of leader and parent knowledge, strength, and perspectives equally
Leaders reflect, reframe, reinforce, support, & accept Humor, optimism, and encouragement are tools

About the Trainings (cont.)
Some teaching of concepts and role-playing
60% of group meetings are discussions, problem-solving, and support 25% video tape modeling 15% teaching

Additional Components
Weekly parent evaluations of sessions (evaluation materials provided with the Incredible Years program) Phone calls from leader to parents every two weeks to assist with homework, informally assess application of skills, and build leader-parent relationships Parent “buddies” assigned for progress sharing and support through phone calls

See IY Handout 4 for More Information

Home-School Partnership
An important objective is to foster parental involvement in children’s preschool experience

Home-School Partnership




Emphasis on parents working with teachers Train parents to work with teachers to improve children’s learning and behavior Occurs in tandem with Incredible Years teacher training Teachers and parents collaborate to meet the needs of each child and help the child transition successfully into kindergarten

Why Use Groups?



Efficient Effective Parents can provide peer support to one another. Parents benefit from knowing that others have had similar experiences. Parents can learn from each other about successful strategies.

 

Research on Incredible Years program met standards of Evidence Based Interventions* Yielded positive outcomes for children
increased positive parenting behaviors  decreased negative parenting behaviors  increased parent-teacher bonding  increased teachers’ classroom management  decreased children’s conduct problems at home and school (Bates, 2005)

*Task Force on Evidence-Based Intervention in School Psychology

Key Points for Implementation
   

Offer groups at times that are good for parents

May need to offer day and evening groups

Create conditions that enable participation (e.g., transportation, childcare, snacks, etc.) Focus on strengths and competencies of parents Frame child success as an outcome of home-school collaboration



Bates, S.L. (2005). Evidence-based familyschool interventions. School Psychology Quarterly, 20, 352-370. Webster-Stratton, C. (1998). Preventing conduct problems, promoting social competence: A parent and teacher training partnership in Head Start. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 30, 283-302.

Bates, S. L. (2005). Evidence-based family-school interventions with preschool children. School Psychology Quarterly, 20, 352-370. Webster-Stratton, C. (June, 2000). The Incredible Years Training Series. Juvenile Justice Bulletin. US Department of Justice.

Additional Internet Resources
PARTNERS website:
Partners Project (n.d.). Home page. Retrieved March 18, 2007 from parenting-clinic/partners_project.asp
See IY Handout 5 for More Information