Family Check-Up Effects Across Diverse Ethnic Groups: Reducing Early-Adolescence Antisocial Behavior by Reducing Family Conflict

Justin D. Smith, Naomi B. Knoble, Argero A. Zerr, Thomas J. Dishion, Elizabeth A. Stormshak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

Multicultural responsiveness and adaptation have been a recent area of emphasis in prevention and intervention science. The changing demographics of the United States demand the development of intervention strategies that are acceptable and effective for diverse cultural and ethnic groups. The Family Check-Up (FCU) was developed to be an intervention framework that is flexible and adaptive to diverse cultural groups (Dishion & Stormshak, 2007). We empirically evaluated the extent to which the intervention is effective for improving youth adjustment and parent-child interactions for diverse cultural groups. A sample of 1,193 families was drawn from 2 large-scale randomized prevention trials conducted in diverse urban middle schools. We formulated 3 groups on the basis of youth self-identification of ethnicity (European American, African American, Hispanic) and examined group differences in the hypothesized mediating effect of family conflict (FC) on later antisocial behavior (ASB). Path analysis revealed that youths in the intervention condition reported significantly less ASB over a 2-year period (Grades 6-8). Moreover, youth-reported reductions in FC at 12 months were an intervening effect. Ethnicity did not moderate this relationship. Consistent with one of the primary tenets of coercion theory, participation in the FCU acts on ASB through FC across diverse ethnic groups, lending support to the multicultural competence of the model. Limitations of this study are discussed, along with areas for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)400-414
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
Volume43
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

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