In early June, a cohort of parents with children attending Mission Elementary School in Oceanside received their certificates in Incredible Parenting after completing the Incredible Years Parenting Program®.  The ceremony, held at the school, was attended by their children with congratulations coming from the PFCS Prevention and Early Intervention Team, Chris DuVall PEI Program Manager, Mission Elementary teachers and administrators and of course Dina, the IY Dinosaur. The graduation style ceremony is the culmination of a 10-week series of classes and activities.  The goal of the parent program for school aged children is to enhance positive parenting interactions, coaching and attachment with children, and proactive discipline.

Targeted outcomes that the program has been shown to impact immediately and 1 to 3 years following program completing include:

  • Improved parenting and interpersonal skills;
  • Improved child behavior at home;
  • Improved child behavior at school.

The Incredible Years parenting program meets criteria for a well-established evidence-based intervention.[1]  Multiple principles of Incredible Years enhance its cultural sensitivity: (a) it uses a group format that emphasizes parents’ common issues rather than individual difficulties, (b) it explicitly respects cultural differences (e.g., parent groups determine their own rules, parents determine their own weekly goals), and (c)it explores and addresses possible cultural barriers to the intervention content (e.g., discussing barriers to child-directed play or praise is part of the program.[2] In terms of empirical evidence, the Incredible Years program has shown that it improves parenting behavior and reduces child behavior problems in families fromdifferent socio- economic and ethnic backgrounds.  It is part of a continuum of services provided by the Prevention and Early Intervention Team at PFCS. Funding for Prevention and Early Intervention comes from the County of San Diego, Health and Human Services.

Parenting programs are a key strategy for the prevention and early treatment of children’s conduct problems.  PFCS also offers IY Parenting Programs at other schools in Oceanside and Vista.  Graduaton ceremonies for those parents were held earlier in the school year. For more information contact Chris DuVall, [email protected].

For more information on the Incredible Years Parent, Child, and Teacher Programs, refer to the logic models created by the EPISCenter at Penn State University and Carolyn Webster-Stratton, Professor, University of Washington.

[1] Patty Leijten, Maartje A. J. Raaijmakers, Bram Orobio de Castro, Els van den Ban & Walter Matthys (2015): Effectiveness of the Incredible Years ParentingProgram for Families with Socioeconomically Disadvantaged and Ethnic Minority Backgrounds, Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, DOI: 10.1080/15374416.2015.1038823

[2] Webster-Stratton, C. (2009). Affirming diversity: Multi-cultural collaboration to deliver the incredible years parent programs. International Journal of Child Health and Human Development, 2, 17–32.