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University of Washington
Parenting Clinic


 

For parents, therapists,
and teachers 
of children 4-8 years.

The University of Washington's Parenting Clinic provides programs that promote children's social competence and reduce behavior problems. We have designed this Web site to provide information for teachers, therapists and parents of young children ages 4 to 8 years old.

On this page, you will find general information about the Parenting Clinic and who we are.

This article describes our current programs.

Carolyn Webster-Stratton's Research Featured in The Wall Street Journal:
A Pragmatic Approach for Troubled Kids
By Leila Abboud, Staff Reporter of The Wall Street Journal

Carolyn Webster-Stratton's Research Featured in The University of Washington's Annual Faculty Lecture for 2006:
Helping Young Aggressive Children "Beat the Odds": Parents, Teachers, Schools and Dinosaurs

Links to a list of our prior grants, publications that describe and validate our work, a description of our current grants and interventions can be found by clicking the navigation buttons to the left. We have also provided on-line links to our evaluation tools. These are password-protected. To get a user name and password, contact Dr. Carolyn Webster-Stratton via email at cws@u.washington.edu

An important long term goal of the Parenting Clinic is to promote emotional and social competence and to prevent, reduce, and treat behavior and emotional problems in young children. This work forms the basis of the Incredible Years project. An informative 24 page booklet describing the Incredible Years Project can be downloaded by clicking here.

  1. To develop and evaluate comprehensive treatment programs for young children (ages 4-8 years) with early onset conduct problems.

  2. To develop and evaluate cost effective, community-based programs designed to promote children's social competence and prevent children from developing later conduct problems.

Our Long Term Goals

By preventing and treating early onset conduct problems, one of the most important predictors of later development of violence and drug abuse, we believe we will prevent children from continuing on the trajectory to drug abuse, school drop out, and violence in adolescence and adulthood.

Research indicates that aggression in young children is escalating and at younger ages. Studies indicate that anywhere from 7-25% of preschool and early school-age children meet the diagnostic criteria for oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and/or conduct disorder (CD). These trends have disturbing implications because the early onset of these problems is predictive of substance abuse, juvenile delinquency, antisocial behavior, and violence in adolescence and adulthood. People with histories of chronic aggression that began in early childhood are more likely than others to commit murder, rape, robbery, arson, and to engage in substance abuse and violent acts. The problem of escalating aggression in young children is a universal concern.

 

OUR HISTORY

Treatment Programs

Over the past 25 years (1980-present) the Parenting Clinic has offered treatment to over 1000 families with young children (ages 3-8 years) who were diagnosed with conduct problems. Many of these children also had other developmental problems such as language and learning delays and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

The treatments (the Incredible Years Programs) we have offered over the years have involved various combinations and forms of intensive parent training programs and individual family counseling, comprehensive teacher training and school consultation, and group child training in social skills, problem-solving, and anger management (Dinosaur School). Results of 6 randomized control-group studies over the years have indicated that the Incredible Years Parent Program was successful in helping over 2/3 of the children. Two-to-three year follow-up studies indicated that treated children were in the normal range for behavior according to standardized assessment tools, including teacher and parent reports and independent observations of children at home and at school.

Adding the Incredible Years Child Dinosaur Training and Teacher Training Programs to the Parent Program significantly enhanced the effectiveness of these treatment outcomes for children, resulting in reductions in classroom aggression with peers and teachers and strengthening social competence at school.

These program evaluations have been funded by National Center for Nursing Research and National Institute of Mental Health.

 

Prevention Programs

In the past 15 years we have taken these clinic-based, empirically validated treatment programs and begun to evaluate their efficacy as school-based prevention programs for all children. We have evaluated the parent and teacher interventions in 3 control group studies with over 2400 Head Start and elementary school children, parents, and teachers in the Puget Sound and Seattle region. Results of these studies have indicated significant decreases in peer aggression in the classroom, negative behavior toward teachers, and behavior problems with parents at home. Parents and teachers showed increases in positive management strategies, decreases in harsh and punitive discipline, and stronger home-school bonds and involvement.

These evaluations have been funded by Head Start Partnership grants and the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, National Institute of Health and National Institute for Drug Abuse.

WHO WE ARE

Interdisciplinary teams composed of nurses, psychologists, social workers, and teachers provide services to families and schools.

Dr. Carolyn Webster-Stratton, a licensed clinical psychologist and Professor of Nursing, is a two-time recipient of the National Institute of Mental Health Research Scientist Award.
This award has allowed her to focus on this mission of research evaluating violence prevention programs as well as programs designed to promote children's social and emotional literacy. She has extensive clinical experience helping over 1000 families whose children were diagnosed with conduct problems and attention deficit disorder. She has offered her training programs to teachers, parents and children as school and community-based interventions. Dr. Webster-Stratton participates in training group leaders in all the intervention programs, supervising delivery of the interventions. The Incredible Years curricula which she developed have been adopted by many children's mental health centers, child protective agencies, Head Start centers and schools throughout the United States and in over 15 countries. See our Publications page for a list of her articles and books.

Dr. Webster-Stratton has disclosed a potential financial conflict of interest because she disseminates the Incredible Years interventions and stands to gain from a favorable study. Because of this, she has voluntarily agreed to distance herself from certain critical research activities (i.e., recruiting, consenting, primary data handling and analysis) and the University of Washington has approved these arrangements.

Dr. Jamila Reid, a clinical psychologist, is co-director of the Parenting Clinic and also participates in the research evaluation, training, supervising and delivering the child interventions.

 

 
Julie Anderson, MSW, a social worker and research coordinator at the Parenting Clinic, is a therapist for the parent groups.

 

INTERVENTION TEAM

Our team of child and parent group leaders includes:

  Carolyn Webster-Stratton Jani Driver, Intern
  Julie Anderson Lisa Emerson, Intern
  Trilby Cohen  
  Jamila Reid  

 

OUR ASSESSMENT TEAMS

Home Assessment Team

A team of observers have been extensively trained to test and observe children at home interacting with their parents and peers. Team members assess a child's social competence by means of observations and asking how the child would respond to conflict situations. Team members include:

  Nat Houtz  
  Kathy Rogers  
  Doris Harkness  

Classroom Assessment Team

Our classroom assessment team has been extensively trained in observing children in the classroom. This team of people goes into the classroom with small computers to code children's interactions during structured and unstructured school times. They are looking at how the children interact with each other, respond to negative and positive requests by teachers or peers, and handle conflict situations. Observers can determine the amount of time a child is isolated from other children, rejected by peers, or disengaged from the work activity at school. Team members include:

  Claudine Hernandez  
  Lisa Wallace-Gloria  
  Erin Fanning  

Our Administrative Team

Our administrative team consists of those who organize, manage, and analyze all the extensive data that we collect to evaluate these programs. In addition, this group of people provides input into the overall organization, hiring, and budget management of Parent Clinic operations. In addition to Dr. Webster-Stratton and Dr. Reid, these include:

  • Kathy Rogers supervises teams of home and school observers and directly manages the data.
  • Margaret Trudeau manages the clinic budgets.
  • Diane Elliott develops tables and manuscripts describing our results and assists with grant writing and progress reports.

 
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