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The Family Check-Up With High-Risk Indigent Families: Preventing Problem Behavior by Increasing Parents' Positive Behavior Support in Early Childhood

NCJ Number
Child Development Volume: 79 Issue: 5 Dated: 2008 Pages: 1395-1414
Thomas J. Dishion; Daniel Shaw; Arin Connell; Frances Gardner; Chelsea Weaver; Melvin Wilson
Date Published
20 pages

The authors present their research study examining the impacts of a Family Check-Up intervention program, involving more than 700 eligible families in three geographical regions who were enrolled in a national food supplement program.


Seven hundred thirty-one income-eligible families in three geographical regions who were enrolled in a national food supplement program were screened and randomized to a brief family intervention. At child ages two and three years, the intervention group caregivers were offered the Family Check-Up and linked parenting support services. Latent growth models on caregiver reports at child ages two, three, and four years revealed decreased behavior problems when compared with the control group. Intervention effects occurred predominantly among families reporting high levels of problem behavior at two-year-old children. Families in the intervention condition improved on direct observation measures of caregivers’ positive behavior support at child ages two and three; improvements in positive behavior support mediated improvements in children’s early problem behavior. Publisher Abstract Provided