Family-based prevention of adolescents' co-occurring internalizing/externalizing problems through early childhood parent factors

Frances L. Wang, Julia S. Feldman, Kathryn Lemery-Chalfant, Melvin N. Wilson, Daniel S. Shaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: We evaluated whether initiating the Family Check-Up (FCU) during early childhood prevented a severe form of psychopathology in adolescence-co-occurring internalizing and externalizing problems-and whether effects operated indirectly through early childhood maternal depression and parents' positive behavior support. METHOD: Participants were drawn from a randomized controlled trial of the FCU (50.2% FCU; 49.5% girls; 46.6% Caucasian, and 27.6% Black; 13.4% Hispanic/Latino). At Ages 2 and 3, mothers self-reported depression, and primary caregivers' (PCs') positive behavior support was coded by trained observers. PCs, alternate caregivers (ACs), and teachers reported on 14-year-olds' problem behaviors. Latent profile analyses (LPAs) identified problem behavior groups for each reporter, which were outcomes in multinomial logistic regressions (PC, n = 672; AC, n = 652; teacher, n = 667). RESULTS: LPAs identified a low-problem, internalizing-only, externalizing-only, and co-occurring-problem group for each reporter. For PC- and AC-reported outcomes, the FCU predicted a lower likelihood that adolescents belonged to the co-occurring group relative to the low-problem, externalizing-only (p < .05), and internalizing-only (p < .05 for PC, p < 0.10 for AC) groups; these effects operated through maternal depression (p < .05). For teacher-reported outcomes, the FCU predicted a lower likelihood that adolescents belonged to the co-occurring group relative to the low-problem, internalizing-only, and externalizing-only (p < 0.05) groups; effects operated through positive behavior support (p < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Early delivery of the FCU indirectly prevented adolescents' co-occurring internalizing/externalizing problems in both home and school contexts by improving the quality of the early home environment. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1056-1067
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of consulting and clinical psychology
Volume87
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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