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ADHD Assessment & Treatment Centres

Parent program improves behaviour in young child with ADHD

A 2017 study by Murray, Lawrence and LaForett found that a program focusing on strengthening parenting skills also improves symptoms of ADHD in 3-8 year olds. Based on systematic literature review, the study evaluated the effectiveness of Incredibles Years (IY) program for children with or at risk for ADHD and those with conduct problems or disruptive behaviour. The study identified 17 publications with 11 unique intervention studies, including three with samples demonstrating elevated ADHD symptoms or meeting criteria for ADHD.

The Incredible Years Basic Parent Program is designed for parents of high-risk children and those who display behavioral problems. It assists parents in strengthening relationships with their children, giving praise and incentives, setting limits and ground rules, and properly dealing with misbehavior. Here, the key caregiver strategy that all the programs teach is helping young children to develop persistence, as well as academic, social, and emotional skills. As parents and others prompt and praise targeted behaviors, children learn to regulate their own emotions and behavior, and they become motivated to use these skills.

Though prior research has shown that this program improves behaviour difficulties in children, this review presents new evidence about the effectiveness on children with ADHD specifically. The results demonstrated that parents reported improvements for their children’s ADHD behaviours and also their social skills and interactions. In addition, it was found that for effective treatment, early intervention is crucial for young children with ADHD. This is due to the unfavourable short and long-term outcomes associated with ADHD.

At the Sydney ADHD Clinic we run various parenting programs- enquire now.


Murray, D. W., Lawrence, J. R., & LaForett, D. R. (2017). The Incredible Years® programs for ADHD in young children: A critical review of the evidence. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders. Advance online publication.

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