One-year follow-up of The Incredible Years Parents and Babies Program: A pilot randomized controlled trial

Maiken Pontoppidan, Tróndur Møller Sandoy, Sihu K. Klest

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The foundation of a healthy life begins in pregnancy and early adversity can have detrimental long-term consequences for affected children.

This paper examines the effects of the Incredible Years Parents and Babies program (IYPB) at one-year follow-up when offered as a universal parenting intervention to parents with newborn infants.

We conducted a pragmatic, two-arm, parallel pilot randomized controlled trial; 112 families with newborns were randomized to IYPB intervention (n = 76) or usual care (n = 36). The IYPB program is a group intervention with eight two-hour sessions. Follow-up outcomes collected a year after the intervention ended include parental stress, depression, well-being, reflective function, sense of competence, and child cognitive and socio-emotional development.

There were no intervention effects on any of the primary or secondary parent-reported outcomes at one-year follow-up when the children were 18 months old. When examining the lowest-functioning mothers in moderator analyses, we found that mothers assigned to the IYPB group reported significantly lower scores for the interest and curiosity subscale of the parent reflective function scale than control mothers (β=-1,07 [-2.09,-0.06]).

We found no long-term effects of the IYPB when offered as a universal intervention for a relatively well-functioning group of parents with infants in a setting with a high standard of usual care. The intervention was developed for more vulnerable families in settings with a low level of universal care and the program may be effective for families in those circumstances.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-134
Number of pages12
JournalScandinavian Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2020


  • Parenting
  • parenting interventions
  • early intervention
  • early childhood
  • infant
  • Incredible Years


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