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Family Check-Up® For Children

Meets DHHS criteria for an evidenced based model

Last Updated: June 2017

In Brief for Positive Parenting Practices Outcomes

Impact Studies Rated High


Chang, H., Shaw, D. S., Dishion, T. J., Gardner, F., & Wilson, M. N. (2015). Proactive parenting and children's effortful control: Mediating role of language and indirect intervention effects. Social Development, 24(1), 206-223.
Show Study Effects Details
Outcome Effect Sample Timing of Follow-Up Sample Size Program Group Comparison Group Mean Difference or Odds Ratio
Statistical Significance
Effect Size
Outcome Type
Proactive Parenting, Age 3, SEM Favorable WIC sites in Pittsburgh, PA, Eugene, OR, and Charlottesville, VA Age 3 731 caregivers Not reported Not reported Not reported Statistically significant, p<0.011 Not reported Primary

1 Authors used structural equation models to estimate the impact, and reported a coefficient and p-value.

Show Study Outcome Measure Summary
Outcome Description of Measure Data Collection Method Properties of the Outcome Measure Outcome Type
Proactive Parenting, Age 3, SEM An average score of six items measuring a parent's behavior to anticipate problems or prevent children from becoming upset. Uses the Coder Impressions Inventory to score videotaped interactions between the caregiver and child. Coding of videotaped interactions a = .87 Primary

Chang, H., Shaw, D. S., Shelleby, E. C., Dishion, T. J., & Wilson, M. N. (2016). The long-term effectiveness of the family check-up on peer preference: Parent-child interaction and child effortful control as sequential mediators. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology. Advance online publication.
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Outcome Effect Sample Timing of Follow-Up Sample Size Program Group Comparison Group Mean Difference or Odds Ratio
Statistical Significance
Effect Size
Outcome Type
Positive Engagement, Ages 3 to 5, SEM Favorable WIC sites in Pittsburgh, PA, Eugene, OR, and Charlottesville, VA Ages 3-5 731 caregiver-child dyads Not reported Not reported Not reported Statistically significant, p<0.011 Not reported Primary

1 Authors used structural equation models to estimate the impact, and reported a coefficient and p-value. Model controls for income, ethnicity, gender, and baseline (age 2) measure of the outcome.

Show Study Outcome Measure Summary
Outcome Description of Measure Data Collection Method Properties of the Outcome Measure Outcome Type
Positive Engagement, Ages 3 to 5, SEM A summary score describing duration of positive and neutral engagement between parent and child. Coding of videotaped interactions (Relationship Affect Coding System) Inter rater agreement ranges from 93% to 94% Primary

Dishion, T. J., Mun, C. J., Drake, E. C., Tein, J. Y., Shaw, D. S., & Wilson, M. (2015). A transactional approach to preventing early childhood neglect: The family check-up as a public health strategy. Development and Psychopathology, 27(4 Pt. 2), 1647.
Show Study Effects Details
Outcome Effect Sample Timing of Follow-Up Sample Size Program Group Comparison Group Mean Difference or Odds Ratio
Statistical Significance
Effect Size
Outcome Type
Dyadic Positive Engagement, Age 3, SEM Favorable WIC sites in Pittsburgh, PA, Eugene, OR, and Charlottesville, VA Age 3 731 caregiver-child dyads Not reported Not reported Not reported Statistically significant, p<0.011 Not reported Primary

1 Authors used structural equation models to estimate the impact, and reported a coefficient, standard error, and p-value. Model controls for income, ethnicity, gender, and baseline (age 2) measure of outcome.

Show Study Outcome Measure Summary
Outcome Description of Measure Data Collection Method Properties of the Outcome Measure Outcome Type
Dyadic Positive Engagement, Age 3, SEM Proportion of time parents and children engage in mutually positive engagement (positive or neutral behaviors), measured using the Relationship Affect Coding System (RACS). Coding of videotaped interactions Age 2 (baseline): kappa score = 0.93; coder agreement = 93%. Age 3 (outcome): kappa score = 0.93, coder agreement = 04% Primary

Dishion, T. J., Shaw, D., Connell, A., Gardner, F., Weaver, C., & Wilson, M. (2008). The family check-up with high-risk indigent families: Preventing problem behavior by increasing parents’ positive behavior support in early childhood. Child Development, 79(5), 1395–1414.
Show Study Effects Details
Outcome Effect Sample Timing of Follow-Up Sample Size Program Group Comparison Group Mean Difference or Odds Ratio
Statistical Significance
Effect Size
Outcome Type
Positive Behavior Support, Age 3, SEM Favorable WIC sites in Pittsburgh, PA, Eugene, OR, and Charlottesville, VA Age 3 731 caregivers Not reported Not reported Not reported Statistically significant, p<0.051 0.33 Primary
Positive Parenting, Age 3, SEM, Figure 5 Favorable WIC sites in Pittsburgh, PA, Eugene, OR, and Charlottesville, VA Age 3 731 caregivers Not reported Not reported Not reported Statistically significant, p<0.051 Not reported Primary
Positive Parenting, Age 3, SEM, Figure 6 Favorable WIC sites in Pittsburgh, PA, Eugene, OR, and Charlottesville, VA Age 3 731 caregivers Not reported Not reported Not reported Statistically significant, p<0.051 Not reported Primary

1 Authors used structural equation models to estimate the impact, and reported a coefficient, standard error, and p-value. Model controls for income, ethnicity, gender, and baseline (age 2) measure of child behaviors and outcome.

Show Study Outcome Measure Summary
Outcome Description of Measure Data Collection Method Properties of the Outcome Measure Outcome Type
Positive Behavior Support, Age 3, SEM A construct reflecting how well the caregiver supported the child's positive behaviors; combines scores on four measures (parent involvement, positive reinforcement, engaged parent-child interaction time, proactive parenting). Coding of videotaped interactions Not reported by author Primary
Positive Parenting, Age 3, SEM, Figure 5 A combination of four measures (parent involvement, caregiver prompting and reinforcing positive behavior, engaged parent child interactions, proactive parenting) of how well the caregiver supported the child's positive behaviors. In-person ratings and coding from videotaped interactions Not reported by author Primary
Positive Parenting, Age 3, SEM, Figure 6 A combination of four measures (parent involvement, caregiver prompting and reinforcing positive behavior, engaged parent child interactions, proactive parenting) of how well the caregiver supported the child's positive behaviors. In-person ratings and coding from videotaped interactions Not reported by author Primary

Hyde, L. W., Shaw, D. S., Gardner, F., Cheong, J., Dishion, T. J., & Wilson, M. (2013). Dimensions of callousness in early childhood: Links to problem behavior and family intervention effectiveness. Development and Psychopathology, 25(2), 347–363.
Show Study Effects Details
Outcome Effect Sample Timing of Follow-Up Sample Size Program Group Comparison Group Mean Difference or Odds Ratio
Statistical Significance
Effect Size
Outcome Type
Positive Behavior Support, Age 3, SEM Favorable WIC sites in Pittsburgh, PA, Eugene, OR, and Charlottesville, VA Age 3 726 caregivers Not reported Not reported Not reported Statistically significant, p<0.011 Not reported Primary

1 Authors used structural equation models to estimate the impact, and reported a coefficient, standard error, and p-value.

Show Study Outcome Measure Summary
Outcome Description of Measure Data Collection Method Properties of the Outcome Measure Outcome Type
Positive Behavior Support, Age 3, SEM A construct reflecting how well the caregiver supported the child's positive behaviors, combines scores on four measures (parent involvement, positive reinforcement, engaged parent-child interaction time, proactive parenting). In-person ratings and coding from videotaped interactions using the Relationship Process Code Average videotape coding percent agreement=0.87, kappa=0.86 Primary

Lunkenheimer, E. S., Dishion, T. J., Shaw, D. S., Connell, A. M., Gardner, F., Wilson, M. N., & Skuban, E. M. (2008). Collateral benefits of the family check-up on early childhood school readiness: Indirect effects of parents’ positive behavior support. Developmental Psychology, 44(6), 1737–1752.
Show Study Effects Details
Outcome Effect Sample Timing of Follow-Up Sample Size Program Group Comparison Group Mean Difference or Odds Ratio
Statistical Significance
Effect Size
Outcome Type
Positive Behavior Support, Age 3, SEM Favorable WIC sites in Pittsburgh, PA, Eugene, OR, and Charlottesville, VA Age 3 731 caregivers Not reported Not reported Not reported Statistically significant, p<0.051 Study reported = 0.24 Primary

1 Authors used structural equation models to estimate the impact, and reported an estimate, coefficient, standard error, and p-value.

Show Study Outcome Measure Summary
Outcome Description of Measure Data Collection Method Properties of the Outcome Measure Outcome Type
Positive Behavior Support, Age 3, SEM A construct reflecting how well the caregiver supported the child's positive behaviors; combines scores on four measures (parent involvement, positive reinforcement, engaged parent-child interaction time, proactive parenting). Observations of parent/child interactions Not reported by author Primary

Shaw, D. S., Connell, A., Dishion, T. J., Wilson, M. N., & Gardner, F. (2009). Improvements in maternal depression as a mediator of intervention effects on early childhood problem behavior. Development and Psychopathology, 21, 417–439.
Show Study Effects Details
Outcome Effect Sample Timing of Follow-Up Sample Size Program Group Comparison Group Mean Difference or Odds Ratio
Statistical Significance
Effect Size
Outcome Type
Positive Parenting, Age 3, SEM, Figure 5 Favorable WIC sites in Pittsburgh, PA, Eugene, OR, and Charlottesville, VA Age 3 731 mothers Not reported Not reported Not reported Statistically significant, p<0.051 Not reported Primary
Positive Parenting, Age 3, SEM, Figure 6 Favorable WIC sites in Pittsburgh, PA, Eugene, OR, and Charlottesville, VA Age 3 731 mothers Not reported Not reported Not reported Statistically significant, p<0.051 Not reported Primary
Positive Parenting, Age 3, SEM, Figure 7 Favorable WIC sites in Pittsburgh, PA, Eugene, OR, and Charlottesville, VA Age 3 731 mothers Not reported Not reported Not reported Statistically significant, p<0.051 Not reported Primary

1 Authors used structural equation models to estimate the impact, and reported a coefficient, standard error, and p-value.

Show Study Outcome Measure Summary
Outcome Description of Measure Data Collection Method Properties of the Outcome Measure Outcome Type
Positive Parenting, Age 3, SEM, Figure 5 A combination of four measures (parent involvement, caregiver prompting and reinforcing positive behavior, engaged parent child interactions, proactive parenting) of how well the caregiver supported the child's positive behaviors. In-person ratings and coding from videotaped interactions Cronbach’s a = 0.61 Primary
Positive Parenting, Age 3, SEM, Figure 6 A combination of four measures (parent involvement, caregiver prompting and reinforcing positive behavior, engaged parent child interactions, proactive parenting) of how well the caregiver supported the child's positive behaviors. In-person ratings and coding from videotaped interactions Cronbach’s a = 0.61 Primary
Positive Parenting, Age 3, SEM, Figure 7 A combination of four measures (parent involvement, caregiver prompting and reinforcing positive behavior, engaged parent child interactions, proactive parenting) of how well the caregiver supported the child's positive behaviors. In-person ratings and coding from videotaped interactions Cronbach’s a = 0.61 Primary

Shaw, D. S., Dishion, T. J., Supplee, L., Gardner, F., & Arnds, K. (2006). Randomized trial of a family-centered approach to the prevention of early conduct problems: 2-year effects of the family check-up in early childhood. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 74(1), 1–9.
Show Study Effects Details
Outcome Effect Sample Timing of Follow-Up Sample Size Program Group Comparison Group Mean Difference or Odds Ratio
Statistical Significance
Effect Size
Outcome Type
HOME Involvement Favorable Pittsburgh sample Age 3 and Age 4 92 boys’ families Mean at age 3 = 2.00 (SD = 1.06),  Mean at age 4 = 2.05 (SD = 1.10)   Mean at age 3 = 1.72 (SD = 1.03), Mean at age 4 = 1.49 (SD = 1.16 ) Difference in growth rates = 0.82 Statistically significant,
p < 0.05
1
HomVEE effect size at age 3 = 0.27, at age 4 = 0.49 Primary

1 Statistical significance is based on the authors’ analysis using a two-way repeated measures analysis of covariance. Authors report using a one-tailed test.

Show Study Outcome Measure Summary
Outcome Description of Measure Data Collection Method Properties of the Outcome Measure Outcome Type
HOME: Involvement scale The HOME assesses parenting practices and aspects of the home environment. Three items were drawn from the HOME, Involvement scale: (1) parent keeps child in visual range, (2) parent talks to child while doing housework, and (3) parent structures child’s play. Observation by a trained examiner during a home visit Cronbach’s α = 0.53 at age 2, Cronbach’s α = 0.56 at age 3 , Cronbach’s α = 0.68 at age 4 Primary

Sitnick, S. L., Shaw, D. S., Gill, A., Dishion, T., Winter, C., Waller, R., Gardner, F., & Wilson, M. (2015). Parenting and the family check-up: Changes in observed parent-child interaction following early childhood intervention. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 44(6), 970–984.
Show Study Effects Details
Outcome Effect Sample Timing of Follow-Up Sample Size Program Group Comparison Group Mean Difference or Odds Ratio
Statistical Significance
Effect Size
Outcome Type
Dyadic Coercion - Age 3 (T-test) No Effect WIC sites in Pittsburgh, PA, Eugene, OR, and Charlottesville, VA Age 3 635 families Unadjusted mean = 0.09 Unadjusted mean = 0.09 MD = -0.011 Not statistically significant, p>0.05 HomVEE = 0.071 Primary
Dyadic Coercion - Age 4 (T-test) No Effect WIC sites in Pittsburgh, PA, Eugene, OR, and Charlottesville, VA Age 4 561 families Unadjusted mean = 0.09 Unadjusted mean = 0.09 MD = 0.011 Not statistically significant, p>0.05 HomVEE = -0.011 Primary
Dyadic Coercion - Age 5 (T-test) No Effect WIC sites in Pittsburgh, PA, Eugene, OR, and Charlottesville, VA Age 5 572 families Unadjusted mean = 0.06 Unadjusted mean = 0.07 MD = -0.011 Not statistically significant, p>0.05 HomVEE = 0.121 Primary
Dyadic Coercion, Age 3, Correlation No Effect WIC sites in Pittsburgh, PA, Eugene, OR, and Charlottesville, VA Age 3 635 families Not reported Not reported Not reported Not statistically significant, p>0.05 Not reported Primary
Dyadic Coercion, Age 4, SEM Unfavorable WIC sites in Pittsburgh, PA, Eugene, OR, and Charlottesville, VA Age 4 731 families Not reported Not reported Not reported Statistically significant, p<0.052 Not reported Primary
Dyadic Coercion, Age 4, Correlation No Effect WIC sites in Pittsburgh, PA, Eugene, OR, and Charlottesville, VA Age 4 561 families Not reported Not reported Not reported Not statistically significant, p>0.05 Not reported Primary
Dyadic Coercion, Age 5, Correlation No Effect WIC sites in Pittsburgh, PA, Eugene, OR, and Charlottesville, VA Age 5 572 families Not reported Not reported Not reported Not statistically significant, p>0.05 Not reported Primary
Positive Engagement, Age 3, SEM Favorable WIC sites in Pittsburgh, PA, Eugene, OR, and Charlottesville, VA Age 3 731 families Not reported Not reported Not reported Statistically significant, p<0.012 Not reported Primary
Positive Engagement, Age 3, Correlation Favorable WIC sites in Pittsburgh, PA, Eugene, OR, and Charlottesville, VA Age 3 635 families Not reported Not reported Not reported Statistically significant, p<0.01 Not reported Primary
Positive Engagement, Age 3, T-test Favorable WIC sites in Pittsburgh, PA, Eugene, OR, and Charlottesville, VA Age 3 635 families Unadjusted mean = 0.37 Unadjusted mean = 0.34 MD = 0.03 Statistically significant, p<0.01 HomVEE = -0.24 Primary
Positive Engagement, Age 4, Correlation No Effect WIC sites in Pittsburgh, PA, Eugene, OR, and Charlottesville, VA Age 4 561 families Not reported Not reported Not reported Not statistically significant, p>0.05 Not reported Primary
Positive Engagement, Age 4, T-test No Effect WIC sites in Pittsburgh, PA, Eugene, OR, and Charlottesville, VA Age 4 561 families Unadjusted mean = 0.28 Unadjusted mean = 0.27 MD = 0.01 Not statistically significant, p>0.05 HomVEE = -0.03 Primary
Positive Engagement, Age 5, Correlation Favorable WIC sites in Pittsburgh, PA, Eugene, OR, and Charlottesville, VA Age 5 572 families Not reported Not reported Not reported Statistically significant, p<0.05 Not reported Primary
Positive Engagement, Age 5, T-test Favorable WIC sites in Pittsburgh, PA, Eugene, OR, and Charlottesville, VA Age 5 572 families Unadjusted mean = 0.38 Unadjusted mean = 0.36 MD = 0.02 Statistically significant, p<0.05 HomVEE = -0.17 Primary

1 Negative value is favorable to the intervention.

2 Authors used structural equation models to estimate the impact, and reported a beta coefficient, standard error, and p-value. The following covariates were reported: child race, ethnicity, and gender; family income; mother's education; site location; positive engagement (age 2), coercion (age 2), OPP/AGG (age 2).

Show Study Outcome Measure Summary
Outcome Description of Measure Data Collection Method Properties of the Outcome Measure Outcome Type
Dyadic Coercion - Age 3 (t-test) A summary score describing mutually coercive behaviors between parent and child. Coding of videotaped interactions (Relationship Affect Coding System) Overall Kappa score=0.93, Kappa at age 3=0.94 Primary
Dyadic Coercion - Age 4 (t-test) A summary score describing mutually coercive behaviors between parent and child. Coding of videotaped interactions (Relationship Affect Coding System) Overall Kappa score=0.93, Kappa at age 4=0.93 Primary
Dyadic Coercion - Age 5 (t-test) A summary score describing mutually coercive behaviors between parent and child. Coding of videotaped interactions (Relationship Affect Coding System) Overall Kappa score=0.93, Kappa at age 5=0.94 Primary
Dyadic Coercion, Age 3, Correlation A summary score describing mutually coercive behaviors between parent and child. Coding of videotaped interactions (Relationship Affect Coding System) Overall Kappa score=0.93, Kappa at age 3=0.94 Primary
Dyadic Coercion, Age 4, SEM A summary score describing mutually coercive behaviors between parent and child. Coding of videotaped interactions (Relationship Affect Coding System) Overall Kappa score=0.93, Kappa at age 4=0.93 Primary
Dyadic Coercion, Age 4, Correlation A summary score describing mutually coercive behaviors between parent and child. Coding of videotaped interactions (Relationship Affect Coding System) Overall Kappa score=0.93, Kappa at age 4=0.93 Primary
Dyadic Coercion, Age 5, Correlation A summary score describing mutually coercive behaviors between parent and child. Coding of videotaped interactions (Relationship Affect Coding System) Overall Kappa score=0.93, Kappa at age 5=0.94 Primary
Positive Engagement, Age 3, SEM A summary score describing duration of positive and neutral engagement between parent and child. Coding of videotaped interactions (Relationship Affect Coding System) Overall Kappa score=0.93, Kappa at age 3=0.94 Primary
Positive Engagement, Age 3, Correlation A summary score describing duration of positive and neutral engagement between parent and child. Coding of videotaped interactions (Relationship Affect Coding System) Overall Kappa score=0.93, Kappa at age 3=0.94 Primary
Positive Engagement, Age 3, T-test A summary score describing duration of positive and neutral engagement between parent and child. Coding of videotaped interactions (Relationship Affect Coding System) Overall Kappa score=0.93, Kappa at age 3=0.94 Primary
Positive Engagement, Age 4, Correlation A summary score describing duration of positive and neutral engagement between parent and child. Coding of videotaped interactions (Relationship Affect Coding System) Overall Kappa score=0.93, Kappa at age 4=0.93 Primary
Positive Engagement, Age 4, T-test A summary score describing duration of positive and neutral engagement between parent and child. Coding of videotaped interactions (Relationship Affect Coding System) Overall Kappa score=0.93, Kappa at age 4=0.93 Primary
Positive Engagement, Age 5, Correlation A summary score describing duration of positive and neutral engagement between parent and child. Coding of videotaped interactions (Relationship Affect Coding System) Overall Kappa score=0.93, Kappa at age 5=0.94 Primary
Positive Engagement, Age 5, T-test A summary score describing duration of positive and neutral engagement between parent and child. Coding of videotaped interactions (Relationship Affect Coding System) Overall Kappa score=0.93, Kappa at age 5=0.94 Primary
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Impact Studies Rated Moderate


Brennan, L. M., Shelleby, E. C., Shaw, D. S., Gardner, F., Dishion, T. J., & Wilson, M. (2013). Indirect effects of the family check-Up on school-age academic achievement through improvements in parenting in early childhood. Journal of Educational Psychology, 105(3), 762.
Show Study Effects Details
Outcome Effect Sample Timing of Follow-Up Sample Size Program Group Comparison Group Mean Difference or Odds Ratio
Statistical Significance
Effect Size
Outcome Type
Positive Behavior Support, Age 3, SEM Favorable WIC sites in Pittsburgh, PA, Eugene, OR, and Charlottesville, VA Age 3 725 families Not reported Not reported Not reported Statistically significant, p<0.051 Study reported = 0.331 Primary

1 Authors used structural equation models to estimate the impact, and reported a coefficient, standard error, effect size, and p-value. Covariates included positive behavior support at age 2, child gender, child race/ethnicity (minority status = 1), project site, primary caregiver education, and average child aggression at ages 2-3.

Show Study Outcome Measure Summary
Outcome Description of Measure Data Collection Method Properties of the Outcome Measure Outcome Type
Positive Behavior Support, Age 3, SEM A construct reflecting how well the caregiver supported the child's positive behaviors; combines scores on four measures (parent involvement, positive reinforcement, engaged parent-child interaction time, proactive parenting). Coding of videotaped interactions Not reported by author Primary
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