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The incredible years therapeutic social and emotional skills programme: a pilot study

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Publication details

JournalSchool Psychology International
DateE-pub ahead of print - 15 Aug 2011
DatePublished (current) - Jun 2012
Issue number3
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)285–293
Early online date15/08/11
Original languageEnglish


The Incredible Years (IY) universal child Classroom Dinosaur and Teacher Classroom Management programmes are delivered in all 102 primary schools in Gwynedd County, Wales. This article describes a pilot study of the IY Therapeutic (small group) Dinosaur School social and emotional coaching programme, developed as a treatment programme, in one such school. The aim was to assess the added benefit of this programme for young high-risk children in order to inform a larger randomized controlled trial. Twenty-four children, aged between 5- and 9-years-old, were identified as likely to benefit from the programme. Twelve children received ten two-hour sessions, the other 12 were wait-list control. The-programme was reduced to ten weeks to fit the school and research timetable. A full set of pre- and post-intervention data was collected for 19 children, using child and researcher completed measures. No significant differences between conditions were found post-intervention. Sub-sample analysis of 12 children rated by teachers as high-risk demonstrated significant benefits for the intervention children by comparison with control in terms of increases in problem-solving skills. These findings suggest an important role for psychologists in training and supporting schools in implementing the evidence-based IY interventions as is currently happening across Wales. The study also provided guidance on targeting and evaluation measures for a more rigorous study using the full programme.

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