The short-term impact of the family check-up: A brief motivational intervention for at-risk families

TitleThe short-term impact of the family check-up: A brief motivational intervention for at-risk families
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication1999
AuthorsRao, SA
Academic DepartmentDissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering
PublisherUnpublished doctoral dissertation
Publication Languageeng
ISBN Number0419-4217
Accession Number1999-95002-482
KeywordsAt Risk Populations, Behavior Problems, Motivation, Parenting Skills, participation in Family Check-Up, problem youth behavior & parents' use of constructive family management practices, at-risk families with 11–14 yr old children, Treatment Outcomes

Modeled after the Drinker's Check-Up (Miller & Rollnick, 1991), the Family Check-Up (FCU) is a brief, motivational intervention for at-risk families (Dishion & Kavanagh, in press). This pilot study hypothesized that the FCU will reduce problem youth behavior and motivate parents to use more constructive farmly management practices. Forty families participated in the FCU study. The community sample consisted of 20 boys and 20 girls between the ages of 11 and 14 (M = 12.75). Families were randomly assigned to either the Family Check-Up condition (FCU; n = 20) or the wait-list control condition (CON; n = 20). The study was comprised of the following phases: (a) Intake Session, (b) Time 1 Questionnaire Packet, (c) Family Task Session, (d) Feedback Session, and (e) Time 2 Questionnaire Packet. There were no statistically reliable differences between the two conditions on demographic indicators. Repeated measures multivariate analyses of variance (MANOVA) procedures yielded significant decreases in problem youth behavior in treatment families compared to control families. Moreover, parents perceived improvements in family management skills as well as significant reductions in their youngster's behavior problems. Pearson correlation analyses found strong associations between perceived change in parenting practices and youth problem behavior. Correlation analyses further revealed significant convergent validity for the new measures of problem behavior used in this study. Thus, the results suggest that parenting practices significantly contribute to changing problem youth behavior. This study supports the idea that the motivational interviewing approach encourages parents to improve their family management strategies and experience reductions in problem behavior. Future research should focus on the extension of these findings to other indices of youth problem behavior in addition to parent report, as well as examine the long-term effects of this brief intervention. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved)

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