European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

, Volume 23, Issue 9, pp 783–794 | Cite as

Reducing child conduct disordered behaviour and improving parent mental health in disadvantaged families: a 12-month follow-up and cost analysis of a parenting intervention

  • Sinead McGillowayEmail author
  • Grainne NiMhaille
  • Tracey Bywater
  • Yvonne Leckey
  • Paul Kelly
  • Mairead Furlong
  • Catherine Comiskey
  • Donal O’Neill
  • Michael Donnelly
Original Contribution


The effectiveness of the Incredible Years Basic parent programme (IYBP) in reducing child conduct problems and improving parent competencies and mental health was examined in a 12-month follow-up. Pre- to post-intervention service use and related costs were also analysed. A total of 103 families and their children (aged 32–88 months), who previously participated in a randomised controlled trial of the IYBP, took part in a 12-month follow-up assessment. Child and parent behaviour and well-being were measured using psychometric and observational measures. An intention-to-treat analysis was carried out using a one-way repeated measures ANOVA. Pairwise comparisons were subsequently conducted to determine whether treatment outcomes were sustained 1 year post-baseline assessment. Results indicate that post-intervention improvements in child conduct problems, parenting behaviour and parental mental health were maintained. Service use and associated costs continued to decline. The results indicate that parent-focused interventions, implemented in the early years, can result in improvements in child and parent behaviour and well-being 12 months later. A reduced reliance on formal services is also indicated.


Conduct disorder Child development Parenting Parenting intervention Parent–child relationships Cost analysis 



This research was funded by the Atlantic Philanthropies, with some small additional support from the Dormant Accounts Fund in Ireland. We would like to extend a sincere thanks to Archways ( for their support and facilitation of this research and to all of the families who participated in this research. We would also like to thank all of the community-based organisations and the parent group facilitators for their co-operation and support throughout the research process. We also acknowledge with thanks, the invaluable and continuing support and advice that we have received from the Expert Advisory committee which included: Dr Mark Dynarski; Dr Paul Downes; Dr Tony Crooks; Ms Catherine Byrne; and Professor Judy Hutchings. We also acknowledge with gratitude, the help provided by Dr Yvonne Barnes-Holmes during the observational element of this study.

Ethical standard

This study was granted ethical approval from the Ethics Committee of the National University of Ireland Maynooth.

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sinead McGilloway
    • 1
    Email author
  • Grainne NiMhaille
    • 1
  • Tracey Bywater
    • 2
  • Yvonne Leckey
    • 1
  • Paul Kelly
    • 1
  • Mairead Furlong
    • 1
  • Catherine Comiskey
    • 3
  • Donal O’Neill
    • 5
  • Michael Donnelly
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyNational University of Ireland MaynoothMaynoothIreland
  2. 2.Institute for Effective EducationUniversity of YorkYorkUK
  3. 3.School of Nursing and MidwiferyTrinity College DublinDublinIreland
  4. 4.Centre for Public HealthQueen’s University BelfastBelfastNorthern Ireland
  5. 5.Department of EconomicsNational University of Ireland MaynoothMaynoothIreland

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