Arruabarrena, I., Rivas, G., Cañas, M., & De Paúl, J. (2021). The Incredible Years Parenting and Child Treatment Programs: A Pilot randomized Controlled Trial in a Child Welfare Setting in Spain (in press). University of the Basque Country, Spain.
Incredible Years (IY) is a well-established multicomponent group-based parenting program designed to promote young children’s emotional and social competence, to prevent and treat child behavioral and emotional problems, and to improve parenting practices and the parent-child relationship. This study presents the first randomized controlled trial carried out in Spain to test the effectiveness of the IY Parenting and Child treatment programs in a sample of families involved in child welfare due to substantiated or risk for child maltreatment. One hundred and eleven families with 4- to 8-year-old children were randomly allocated to IY or to a Control group who received standard services. Baseline, post-intervention, and 12-month follow-up assessments were compared. Results showed that compared to the Control group, the IY intervention made a significant positive difference in parents´ reported use of praise/incentives, and a significant reduction in reported use of inconsistent discipline, parenting stress, depressive symptomatology, and perception of child behavior problems. A full serial mediation effect was found between participation in IY, changes in parenting practices, subsequent reduction of parenting stress, and final reduction of child abuse potential. No moderating influence on IY effects was found. Findings provide evidence that transporting IY with fidelity is feasible in Child Welfare and Child Protection Services in Spain.