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‘Putting children first’: the role of psychology in applied youth mental health research – ‘Putting children first’: the role of psychology in applied youth mental health research – The ‘Incredible Years Ireland’ Study Dr Sinéad Mc. Gilloway, Department of Psychology , NUI Maynooth

Overview PART ONE • Background/context: youth mental health and emotional and behavioural difficulties • Overview PART ONE • Background/context: youth mental health and emotional and behavioural difficulties • The Incredible Years program: theory, practice and research • Supporting ‘at-risk’ families: the international policy context ------------PART TWO • The NUIM-led National Evaluation of Incredible Years: - the research team - research objectives - research design and methodology • Conclusion

Youth mental health: why worry? • “Society…has a choice whether or not to acknowledge Youth mental health: why worry? • “Society…has a choice whether or not to acknowledge the importance of mental health of its children [and young people] and invest in it appropriately or not…if we are to change things, action is needed now. ” (Mental Health Foundation, 1999) • Mental health problems amongst young people have increased substantially in almost all developed countries since World War II • Approximately one in five children and adolescents have mental ill health but…. the majority rarely reach specialist services • Problems range from: *emotional and conduct disorders; anxiety; depression; substance abuse; self harm; eating disorders; and psychotic illnesses

The Irish context: a legacy of vulnerability • Increase in juvenile offending (typically high The Irish context: a legacy of vulnerability • Increase in juvenile offending (typically high levels of mental ill health and EBD amongst offenders) continuing high school drop-out rates • Increasing numbers of 15 to 17 yr-olds detained in adult prisons • Increase in the use of adult inpatient care by teenagers (and the lack of appropriate facilities) • Suicide: more young people (15 -34 yrs) in Ireland die from suicide than in any other EU member state • Impact of bullying on school children

EBD: a source of growing concern • Emotional and behavioural difficulties (EBD)include: - withdrawn EBD: a source of growing concern • Emotional and behavioural difficulties (EBD)include: - withdrawn or disruptive behaviour - marked and persistent concentration difficulties - poor social interaction - poorly developed life/social skills • Approximately 10% of children in UK and US (higher in boys); as many as 35% in areas of high social deprivation • Children with EBD often rejected by peers -> unhappiness, low self-esteem, difficulty in forming friendships

 • Conduct difficulties are detectable, preventable and treatable but… • Resistant to intervention • Conduct difficulties are detectable, preventable and treatable but… • Resistant to intervention if not treated early; 75% treatment success rate for <10 s; 25% for adolescents • Predictive of: juvenile delinquency; low levels of educational attainment; school drop-out; entry into the Criminal Justice System; and adult mental health problems • Considerable long-term costs -> health, education, social services and CJS • “Preventing, reducing and halting aggressive behaviour at school entry…is a beneficial and cost-effective means of interrupting the progression from early conduct problems to later delinquency and academic failure. ” (Webster-Stratton & Reid, 2004)

The good news… • Behaviourally based (early)interventions have been shown to be very effective The good news… • Behaviourally based (early)interventions have been shown to be very effective in addressing problem parenting and promoting social competence • Behavioural disorders can be detected at an early age due to well known risk factors: - low income/poor living conditions - disadvantaged neighbourhoods - young and/or lone parent households - parental mental health problems - low parental educational levels/criminal history - large families

Risk factors related to conduct problems Parenting Factors Child Factors Contextual/ family Factors School Risk factors related to conduct problems Parenting Factors Child Factors Contextual/ family Factors School and Peer Factors Early Onset Conduct Problems

The Incredible Years Parent, Teacher and Child Training Series • The Incredible Years program The Incredible Years Parent, Teacher and Child Training Series • The Incredible Years program comprises three linked programmes aimed at addressing parent and child behaviours whilst also helping teachers to better manage problem behaviour • Developed and refined by Professor Carolyn Webster. Stratton, University of Washington, Seattle over a 30 -year period • Two long-term goals: (1) to develop comprehensive treatment programmes for young children with early onset conduct problems; (2) to develop cost-effective, communitybased prevention programmes for families and teachers to promote social, emotional and academic competence

The Incredible Years Programmes Teacher Programme Child Dinosaur Programme Treatment Infant Toddler Parent Programme The Incredible Years Programmes Teacher Programme Child Dinosaur Programme Treatment Infant Toddler Parent Programme 1 -2 yrs School Readiness Child Dinosaur Programme Classroom BASIC Parent Programme 2 -4 yrs 3 -6 yrs School Aged BASIC Parent Programme 6 – 8 yrs 9 -12 yrs ADVANCED Parent Programme

The BASIC Parent Training Intervention • Focuses on strengthening parenting skills to prevent, reduce The BASIC Parent Training Intervention • Focuses on strengthening parenting skills to prevent, reduce and treat conduct problems among children aged 3 - 6 years and to increase their social competence • 12 -14 weekly sessions -> collaborative approach and skill development through group discussion, videotape/DVD modelling, role play, and practice/rehearsal

Key components of IY parent training • New parenting skills must be modelled and Key components of IY parent training • New parenting skills must be modelled and rehearsed • Sanctions (non-violent) for negative behaviour, relationship building, praise and rewards • Home based ‘practice’ or homework • Collaborative ethos – emphasising principles rather than prescribing techniques • Address difficulties in adult relationships/other family problems • Must be delivered early

The theoretical framework of the Incredible Years • Based on the psychological principle that The theoretical framework of the Incredible Years • Based on the psychological principle that behaviour is learned through social interaction • Underpinned by Bandura’s Social Learning Theory (1978) -> reciprocal determinism P B E

 • Social interaction reinforces ways of thinking and behaving • Bandura emphasised the • Social interaction reinforces ways of thinking and behaving • Bandura emphasised the process of learning through observation (ie. most human behaviour is learned by following a model) • Modelling influenced by: (1) characteristics of the model; (2) observer attributes; and (3) reward consequences • Aim of Incredible Years: “…to increase positive behaviours through a variety of rewards whilst reducing unwanted behaviours through response cost or other strategies, resulting in their disappearance. ” (Hutchings and Webster. Stratton, 2004)

The logic model of the Incredible Years Parenting which is: Harsh Inconsistent Coercive PT The logic model of the Incredible Years Parenting which is: Harsh Inconsistent Coercive PT Improved Parenting skills Leads to: Lowered capacity to engage with others & Poor decision making CT Improved Social Skills Leads to: Anti-social Behaviour and Emotional Difficulties Leads to: Poor Perform. In school TT Improved Classroom Management

Incredible Years: the empirical context • Based on approx. 20 years of research and Incredible Years: the empirical context • Based on approx. 20 years of research and development (mainly in the US) using rigorous methodologies (eg. RCTs) and including longerterm follow-ups • The findings have shown Incredible Years to be highly effective in reducing child aggression and other behaviour problems whilst increasing social competence at home and at school • For example, BASIC PT programme has been strongly supported through 9 published RCTs • - based on parent reports and direct observation of child behaviour and parenting style

The Welsh Surestart Study • Three RCTs of the parent (PT) and teacher (TT) The Welsh Surestart Study • Three RCTs of the parent (PT) and teacher (TT) programmes Parent Training • 46% reduction in conduct problems and negative child behaviour in the intervention group versus 7% in the control group • Reduction in violent incidents and significant improvements in parenting skills and parental mental health • Longer term findings show maintenance of all gains in the intervention group

Teacher Training • Intervention teachers gave clearer instructions to children than in the control Teacher Training • Intervention teachers gave clearer instructions to children than in the control group and allowed more time for compliance before repeating instructions; • Pupils in intervention classes more compliant with more socially positive behaviour • Teachers reported satisfaction with the programme and believed that the strategies taught were effective and improved pupils’ behaviour

Supporting high risk families: the policy context • Several recent UK government initiatives: - Supporting high risk families: the policy context • Several recent UK government initiatives: - Surestart program in England (2001) - Welsh Assembly Government Parenting Action Plan (2005) - ‘Reaching Out’: the Action Plan on Social Exclusion (2006) - National Academy for Parenting Practitioners (NAPP) (2007) - NICE guidelines • Norway: – extensive government funding to implement the Incredible Years programme on a national basis (The programme has also been implemented in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Scandinavia, Germany, Portugal) • US: – “blueprint” and “model” programme for violence and substance abuse prevention (US Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; the Centre for Substance Abuse Prevention)

Part Two The Incredible Years Ireland Research Study Part Two The Incredible Years Ireland Research Study

The Research Team NUI Maynooth • • • Dr Sinead Mc. Gilloway (Psychology) Dr The Research Team NUI Maynooth • • • Dr Sinead Mc. Gilloway (Psychology) Dr Anne Lodge (Education) Dr Catherine Comiskey (Maths) Dr Yvonne Barnes-Holmes (Psychology) Professor Donal O’Neill (Economics) Bangor University, Wales • Dr Tracey Bywater (Psychology and Incredible Years Wales Centre) Queen’s University Belfast • Dr Michael Donnelly (Public Health & Epidemiology) University of Washington • Collaborative support from Professor Carolyn Webster-Stratton

Our role? • To undertake and complete to the highest possible standards, a three-year Our role? • To undertake and complete to the highest possible standards, a three-year national evaluation of the Incredible Years programme in Ireland • To act as the objective, honest ‘broker’ when conducting the research and when disseminating findings • To work collaboratively with Archways and others (eg. schools/teachers) in executing the research and to promote a sense of ownership amongst all key stakeholders

Research objectives 1. To assess the effectiveness of the parent training programme on child Research objectives 1. To assess the effectiveness of the parent training programme on child and parent behaviour 2. To consider the impact of the teacher training programme on child behaviour 3. To assess some combination of parent, teacher and/or child training on behaviour 4. To examine the cost-effectiveness of the programme 5. To monitor and appraise all aspects of implementation fidelity

Key research questions • To what extent does the Incredible Years programme lead to Key research questions • To what extent does the Incredible Years programme lead to improvements in the behaviour of young Irish children(2 -7 yrs)? • How effective is the programme in improving parental well being and parental and teacher skills and competencies? • Are improvements maintained over time? • Do some programme elements work better than others?

 • How cost-effective is the programme? • How do the results compare with • How cost-effective is the programme? • How do the results compare with work undertaken elsewhere? • What are the experiences of key stakeholders and what factors facilitate or inhibit the effective implementation of the programme? • Are there any problems or issues in delivering the programme that are peculiar to an Irish context?

Research Design • A largely experimental evaluation based on a pragmatic Randomised Control Trial Research Design • A largely experimental evaluation based on a pragmatic Randomised Control Trial (RCT) design 1. Multi-site longitudinal follow-up study involving three RCTS on: (a) parent training (PT); (b) teacher training(TT); and (3) a combination of parent, teacher and child training(PT/TT/CT) 2. A smaller implementation sub-study on the process of implementing the Incredible Years programme (including aspects of fidelity) 3. An economic evaluation based on a costeffectiveness analysis for each trial

Methodology • Participants randomly allocated to intervention or waiting list control group on basis Methodology • Participants randomly allocated to intervention or waiting list control group on basis of inclusion criteria • Six sites: four in Dublin (PT); one in Limerick (TT) and one in Cork (PT/TT/CT) • Participants in the RCTs will be assessed at baseline and 6 and 12 months later (approx. 2 visits at each data collection point) • Study based on mixed methods including questionnairebased assessments, some observational work and interviews (1: 1 or group-based) with key stakeholders

Principal outcomes: (1) RCTs • • • Child conduct problems Child social and problem Principal outcomes: (1) RCTs • • • Child conduct problems Child social and problem solving skills Parent competencies Parent psychological well being/mental health Teacher competencies (classroom management) Changes in parent-child and teacher-child interaction (behavioural observation)

(2) Implementation sub-study • Stakeholder views • Qualitative interviews and brief self-report measures) (including (2) Implementation sub-study • Stakeholder views • Qualitative interviews and brief self-report measures) (including parent and teacher satisfaction) • Implementation fidelity (eg. quality of programme delivery, participant responsiveness)

(3) Economic Evaluation • Routinely available costs (eg. materials, training) • Costs of health, (3) Economic Evaluation • Routinely available costs (eg. materials, training) • Costs of health, education and social services used by parents, children and teachers during study period • Incredible Years Group Leader cost diaries • Overall outcome -> incremental costs of intervention relative to other interventions

Developing the evidence base • Increasing recognition that health and social care policies and Developing the evidence base • Increasing recognition that health and social care policies and practices need to be informed by robust evidence derived from high quality research • Such research informs process of service delivery and the formulation of key government policies • Evidence-based programmes are more likely to have an impact because they tend: - to be taken more seriously - to be more likely to influence service providers and policy makers - to receive funding - to make a difference

Conclusion • The need to address emotional and behavioural problems in our children is Conclusion • The need to address emotional and behavioural problems in our children is a social and political imperative • Incredible Years Ireland Study (IYIS) – will be one of the largest evaluations outside the US • One of only a very few studies undertaken in a community setting and targeting parents, teachers and children • Will attempt to build upon and develop existing research -> transferability and effectiveness • Considerable potential to inform service delivery and to provide best possible evidence to influence policy and practice within an Irish context

Contact details and funding sources sinead. mcgilloway@nuim. ie This research is supported by Archways Contact details and funding sources sinead. [email protected] ie This research is supported by Archways with funding from the Atlantic Philanthropies and Dormant Accounts Fund