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Incredible Years: Parents, Teachers, and Children Training Series (IY)

Date Published: 

The Incredible Years is a comprehensive set of curricula designed to promote social competence and prevent, reduce, and treat aggression and related conduct problems in young children (ages 4

Target Audience: 

Parents, teachers, and young children, ages 2

Special Populations/Available Adaptations: 

Designed to serve both broad and selected populations, the Incredible Years Series has been tested in several diverse communities, specifically in those with African-American and Hispanic populations. Their results show this program is very effective across diverse groups when the appropriate adaptations are made.

Program Components: 

Incredible Years has three separate components: the Parent Training Series, the Teacher Training Series, and the Dina Dinosaur Child Training Program (Small Group Treatment version or the Classroom-based Prevention version).

The Parent Training Series strengthens parent competencies, including monitoring, positive discipline, and confidence, while fostering parent involvement in children

Training and Technical Assistance: 

It is highly recommended that those planning to use the Incredible Years intervention participate in an "authorized workshop" by a certified trainer. Workshops are offered one to three times a year in Seattle and are restricted to 25 participants. On-site workshops are available by contract (contact The Incredible Years for more information). Group leaders and mentors come from many disciplines, including counseling, social work, psychology, psychiatry, nursing, and education. Prospective leaders and mentors should have training in child development, behavior management, and group process. In order to ensure that the Incredible Years Program is delivered in faithful alignment with the program principles, there is a four-level, hierarchical certification process. The first level begins with the completion of Group Leader Training that enables one to run an Incredible Years program. After demonstrated success with their first two groups, Group Leaders may progress to Certified Group Leader (1 level up from Group Leader), Certified Group Mentor, and finally Certified Incredible Years Trainer. Only the initial group leader training is required for certification as group leader in any Incredible Years Program, but leaders are encouraged to participate in a series of workshops and mentoring sessions while continuing to lead the program. Separate training and certification processes are required for each branch of the Incredible Years program: Parent, Teacher, and Child Training. Certified trainers are available for on-going consulting. New group leaders can submit videotapes for review and feedback from the Incredible Years certified trainers as part of their certification process.

Contact Information: 

The Incredible Years
1411 Eighth Avenue
West Seattle, WA 98119 
Telephone: (888) 506-3562 or (206) 285-7565
Web site:

Program and Training Costs: 

Training product costs are available at the Incredible Years Web site.

Training & Technical Assistance Costs

Registration Fees for Seattle Training:

  • Parent Program (three days)
Evaluation Results: 

Parenting Series
Six randomized control group evaluations of the parenting series were conducted by the program developer and colleagues at the University of Washington, as well as five independent replications by other investigators. All evaluations indicated significant:

  • Increases in positive parental affect, such as praise, and reduced use of criticism and negative commands
  • Increases in parent use of effective limit-setting , evidence by the replacement of spanking and harsh discipline with non-violent discipline techniques and increased monitoring of children
  • Reductions in parental depression
  • Increases in parental self-confidence
  • Increases in positive family communication and problem-solving
  • Reduced conduct problems in children
Evaluation Components: 

The Incredible Years website has a section dedicated to evaluation tools, which includes a combination of parent reports of parenting style and their children's behavior problems, as well as teacher reports that can be completed prior to starting these programs, and again upon completion of the programs. In addition, there are program evaluations to be completed at the end of the programs. To assist in these evaluation activities, the Incredible Years program provides a variety of tools and forms.

Agency/Institution Recognition: 
  • Blueprints Model Program
  • American Youth Policy Forum Effective Program
  • Communities That Care- Developmental Research and Programs Effective Program
  • Mihalic & Aultman-Bettridge (2004) Exemplary Program
  • Sherman et al. (1997) Effective Program
  • Strengthening America's Families Exemplary 1
  • Surgeon General's Report (2001) Promising 2
  • Title V (OJJDP) Exemplary Program

Barrera, M., Biglan, A., Taylor, T. K., Gunn, B., Smolkowski, K., Black, C., Ary, D. V., & Fowler, R. C. (2002). Early elementary school intervention to reduce conduct problems: A randomized trial with Hispanic and non-Hispanic children. Prevention Science, 3(2), 83