The Incredible Years Basic Parent Program for Preschoolers at Risk for Developmental Disabilities in the Hong Kong Community Setting
Parents of children with developmental disabilities experience a greater level of stress than parents of typically developing children. Parental stress disrupts parental functioning, setting a vicious cycle of coercive parent-child interactions and further stress. The current study aims to break this vicious cycle by evaluating the effectiveness of the Incredible Years Basic Parent Training (IYPT) for Chinese preschoolers at risk for developmental disabilities in a community clinic setting in Hong Kong. Fifty-two parents of children with developmental delays (age 3-6 years) were randomly assigned to either a parenting program (EXP) or a waitlist-control (WLC) condition. Multi-informants and multi-measures of child and parenting behaviors were taken before and after the 12-week intervention. Medium intervention effects were found in primary-caregiver parents’ self-reported parental stress index. Medium-to-large intervention effects were found in both primary-caregiver parent-report and spouse-report measures of children’s oppositional behaviors. While primary-caregiver parents did not report a significant change in their parenting practices, their kins/spouses nonetheless reported improvements of a small effect size in the primary-caregiver parents’ parenting practices. Blinded observations of parent-child interactions during a structured play activity indicated significant short-term effects on positive parenting and coaching. Parents had a high attendance rate and reported high satisfaction with the program. Treatment effects did not seem to correlate with demographic and other characteristics of the parents, suggesting that the treatment effect was robust across different profiles of parents. Preliminary results suggest that the Incredible Years Basic Parent Training is an effective and feasible intervention in the community settings for Chinese preschoolers at risk for developmental disabilities and their parents in Hong Kong.