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The Impact of Implementing an "Incredible Years" Group Within a Family Living Unit in a Transitional Living Shelter: The Case of "Cathy"

Karen C. Rogers
Michelle Bobich
Patrick Heppell


Young children who experience homelessness have a markedly increased risk of behavior disorders.  This case study illustrates the impact of the "Incredible Years" (IY) program, an evidence-supported group psychotherapy intervention, on "Cathy," a 4-year-old Latina girl with externalizing behaviors who was living in a transitional program for homeless women and children.  Adaptations of the model to address the child and family’s trauma history and to allow for its implementation in a residential program are delineated. Qualitative and quantitative data support that the IY group had a positive impact on Cathy and her family and led to significant symptom decreases in externalizing behaviors and PTSD symptoms, as well as an improvement in the quality of child and parent interactions. Additionally, recommendations for future studies and treatment considerations and adaptations for this underserved population are addressed. 

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