Predictors of Participation in the Family Check-Up Program: a Randomized Trial of Yearly Services from Age 2 to 10 Years

Justin D. Smith*, Cady Berkel, Katherine A. Hails, Thomas J. Dishion, Daniel S. Shaw, Melvin N. Wilson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations


A key challenge of community-based prevention programs is engaging families in the context of services settings involving children and families. The Family Check-Up (FCU) program is designed to engage families in parenting support appropriate to their level of need by use of assessment-enhanced motivational interviewing. This study involved families screened for risk who were seeking services at women, infant, and children’s offices in three geographical regions (N = 731). Families in the randomized intervention group (N = 367) were offered the FCU yearly, from age 2 through 10. The results of multivariate modeling indicated that caregivers reporting high levels of perceived caregiving stress (i.e., depression, low parenting satisfaction, daily hassles) participated at a higher rate in two critical components (feedback and follow-up support interventions) of the FCU program over the 8-year trial period than caregivers reporting lesser degrees of stress. The implications of these findings are discussed in the context of family-centered programs for the prevention of child behavior problems and directions for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)652-662
Number of pages11
JournalPrevention Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018



  • Engagement
  • Family Check-Up
  • Parenting stress
  • Participation
  • Retention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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