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The Incredible Years Parent–Toddler Programme and parental language: a randomised controlled trial

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JournalChild: Care, Health & Development
DateE-pub ahead of print - 19 May 2014
DatePublished (current) - Jan 2015
Issue number1
Volume41
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)103-111
Early online date19/05/14
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Background:
Parental language is associated with children's later language development. Parenting programmes, based on social learning theory, enhance a range of parenting behaviours, yet there is limited evidence for their effect on parental language.

Aim:
To assess the benefits of a behavioural-based parenting programme, which features components of language and communication, to enhance parental language.

Method:
Parents of toddlers, aged 12 to 36 months, were recruited from eight Flying Start early intervention centres across Wales. Participants were randomised 2:1 either to a parenting programme (n = 60) or to a wait-list control group (n = 29). Researchers were blind to participant allocation throughout the trial. Fifteen-minute video-recorded observations of parents and children interacting during free-play, both at a pre-intervention and at 6-month follow-up, provided the data for the study. Five observed measures of parental language were assessed; quantity and variety, encouraging, critical, child-led and parent led interactions.

Intervention:
The Incredible Years Parent–Toddler Programme (IYPTP) is a 12-week group-based behavioural intervention that teaches effective relationship and behavioural management skills including social, emotional and persistence coaching to enable parents to better support their children's development.

Results:
Of 89 dyads that completed pre-intervention assessments 81 (54 intervention and 27 control) met the criteria for the current study. Intention to treat analysis indicated that child-led language interactions significantly benefited from the intervention [regression coefficient (B) = −1.44, 95% confidence intervals (CI) = −2.59 to −0.29, P = 0.015, effect size (ES) = 0.47] and a positive trend for encouraging language in favour of the intervention sample was evident. Per-protocol sample analysis replicated these findings with encouraging language reaching statistical significance (B = 1.07, 95% CI = 0.11 to 2.03, P = 0.03, ES = 0.52). No further benefits were evident.

Conclusions:
The IYPTP has limited evidence as an effective programme for enhancing some aspects of parental language.

    Research areas

  • Early intervention, Flying Start, Parental language, Parenting programme, Randomised controlled trial, Toddlers

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