Hickey, G., McGilloway, S., Hyland, L., Leckey, Y., Kelly, P., Bywater, T., Comiskey, C., Lodge, A., Donnelly, M., O’Neill, D. (2015). Exploring the effects of a universal classroom management training programme on teacher and child behaviour: A group randomised controlled trial and cost analysis. Journal of Early Childhood Research, 15(2), 174-194.
Teachers frequently struggle to cope with conduct problems in the classroom. The aim of this study was to assess the effectiveness of the Incredible Years Teacher Classroom Management Training Programme for improving teacher competencies and child adjustment. The study involved a group randomised controlled trial which included 22 teachers and 217 children (102 boys and 115 girls). The average age of children included in the study was 5.3 years (standard deviation = 0.89). Teachers were randomly allocated to an intervention group (n = 11 teachers; 110 children) or a waiting-list control group (n = 11; 107 children). The sample also included 63 ‘high-risk’ children (33 intervention; 30 control), who scored above the cut-off (>12) on the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire for abnormal socioemotional and behavioural difficulties. Teacher and child behaviours were assessed at baseline and 6 months later using psychometric and observational measures. Programme delivery costs were also analysed. Results showed positive changes in teachers’ self-reported use of positive classroom management strategies (effect size = 0.56), as well as negative classroom management strategies (effect size = −0.43). Teacher reports also highlight improvements in the classroom behaviour of the high-risk group of children, while the estimated cost of delivering the Incredible Years Teacher Classroom Management Training Programme was modest. However, analyses of teacher and child observations were largely non-significant. A need for further research exploring the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the Incredible Years Teacher Classroom Management Training Programme is indicated.