Incredible Years (Parent Version)

The Incredible Years® parenting programs focus on strengthening parenting competencies and fostering parent involvement in children’s school experiences, to promote children’s academic, social and emotional skills and reduce conduct problems. The parenting programs are grouped according to age: babies (0-12 months), toddlers (1-3 years), preschoolers (3-6 years), and school age (6-12 years). The Incredible Years® Parent Programs help parents meet the social and emotional needs of young children. The programs strengthen parenting skills and fosters involvement in children’s lives to promote children’s academic, social and emotional competencies and reduce conduct problems.

Last reviewed: 2023

Intended Outcomes:

Young children with high rates of aggressive behavior problems have been shown to be at greatest risk for continuing on the trajectory to deviant peer groups, school drop out, delinquency, substance abuse, and violence. Ultimately the aim of the teacher, parent and child training programs is to prevent and reduce the occurrence of aggressive and oppositional behavior, thus reducing the chance of developing later delinquent behaviors. Each of the programs in the Incredible Years® Series seeks to alter the quality of relationships between parents and children, teachers and children, teachers and parents, group facilitators and parents, and children with their peers.

The Incredible Years® Parents, Teachers, and Children Training Series has two long-range goals:
  • To provide cost-effective, early prevention programs that all families and teachers of young children can use to promote social, emotional, and academic competence and to prevent children from developing conduct problems.
  • To provide comprehensive interventions for teachers and parents that are targeted at treating and reducing the early onset of conduct problems in young children.

Additional program goals:

  • Increase positive and nurturing parenting.
  • Reduce critical and violent discipline approaches by replacing spanking with positive strategies such as ignoring, using logical and natural consequences, redirecting, adequate monitoring, and problem-solving.
  • Improve parents’ problem-solving skills, anger management, and communication skills.
  • Increase family support networks and school involvement.
  • Help parents and teachers work collaboratively to ensure consistency across settings.
  • Increase parents’ involvement in children’s academic-related activities at home.

Continuum of Care:
Indicated Prevention, Selective Prevention, Universal Prevention

Topic Areas:
Behavioral Health/Mental Health, Disruptive Behaviors, Substance Use

Childhood (4-12), Early Childhood (0-3)

Geographic Locations:
Rural, Urban

Delivery Settings:
Community-Based, Virtual

Cultural Considerations:
Significant and well-articulated attention was given to disparities in outcomes

Parents who may need assistance dealing with common behavior problems in children, such as temper tantrums, back talk, conflict over homework or chores, etc. with a focus on changing the youth's behavior through a parent-mediated approach.

The Incredible Years® certification is recommended for public health professionals, early interventionists, early childhood teachers, Early Head Start providers, home visitors, family service workers, and others who work with parents or other caregivers of children.


Is Training Required?
Yes, see developer info

Who can provide the required training?
Training can be completed online or in-person. Please see the following site for more information:

Program Costs (materials, training, etc.):
Yes, refer to program website

Program/Practice Website:

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research:

Leijten, P., Gardner, F., Landau, S., Harris, V., Mann, J., Hutchings, J., Beecham, J., Bonin, E. M., & Scott, S. (2018). Research Review: Harnessing the power of individual participant data in a meta-analysis of the benefits and harms of the Incredible Years parenting program. Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines, 59(2), 99–109.

Menting, A. T., Orobio de Castro, B., & Matthys, W. (2013). Effectiveness of the Incredible Years parent training to modify disruptive and prosocial child behavior: a meta-analytic review. Clinical psychology review, 33(8), 901–913.

Hutchings, J., Griffith, N., Bywater, T., & Williams, M. E. (2017). Evaluating the Incredible Years Toddler Parenting Programme with parents of toddlers in disadvantaged (Flying Start) areas of Wales. Child: care, health and development, 43(1), 104–113.

Leijten, P., Raaijmakers, M. A., 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 : the official journal for the Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, American Psychological Association, Division 53, 46(1), 59–73.

Hutchings, J., Bywater, T., Williams, M. E., Whitaker, C., Lane, E., & Shakespeare, K. (2011). The extended school aged Incredible Years parent programme. Child and adolescent mental health, 16(3), 136–143.

Additional Sources:

Well-Supported by Research

WV Rating:
Well-Supported by Research
»WV Ratings Info

Rationale for Rating:

The Incredible Years Parent Version has been well-studied over time, and has been studied around the world. It has demonstrated statistically significant and clinically significant positive results at improving disruptive behavior. It has been found to be either "Possibly Efficacious" or greater in recent studies.

Contraindications or Concerns:
Incredible Years is developed primarily for children with disruptive behavior and ADHD.

Other Registries/Ratings

The California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare:
Well-Supported by Research Evidence

Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development:

Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness:
Unclear 0

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Model Programs Guide:
Promising - More than one study

Washington State Institute for Public Policy:
Found on the registry. See link for more information.

Washington State Institute for Public Policy Registry Link: