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Awarded Grant to Prevent Violence and Violence-Related Injury

A Family Intervention to Prevent Child Maltreatment

FOA Number: CDC-RFA-CE08-003: Research Grants for Preventing Violence and Violence Related Injury
Project Period: 09/01/2008 – 08/31/2011
Application/Grant Number: CE001389
Principal Investigator: Elizabeth A Stormshak, PhD
University of Oregon
195 W. 12th Ave
Eugene, OR 97401
Phone: (541)346-3538
FAX: (541)346-4858
E mail:


The goal of the proposed research is to test the implementation effectiveness of the Family Check Up (FCU), an ecologically based child and family intervention designed to reduce problem behavior and coercive family interactions and prevent child maltreatment. The FCU and related interventions build on 15 years of programmatic research that began with the design and testing of the Adolescent Transitions Program (ATP) group parenting curriculum and that culminated into a general ecological approach to child and family intervention called the EcoFIT model (Dishion & Kavanagh, 2003; Dishion, Reid, & Patterson, 1988; Dishion & Stormshak, 2007; Stormshak & Dishion, 2002). In this research, we plan to collaborate with 4 major mental health providers in an urban community to improve their services for families by use of the EcoFIT model and FCU intervention. The Family Check Up is a 3 session intervention designed to engage and motivate families in treatment. It is an empirically validated, family centered approach to treatment that has been used to effectively reduce the growth of problem behavior, enhance parenting skills, and reduce family violence. Eight therapists will receive intensive training and support in the FCU intervention and EcoFIT model. One hundred twenty families with youth ages 10–15 will be randomly assigned to receive the FCU or treatment as usual in the agency. Measures will include a multirater assessment battery of parenting, family violence, child behavior and adjustment collected at baseline, after the Family Check Up, weekly during treatment, and monthly for 3 months following termination. Of particular interest is increasing the potential for therapists to focus on family management skills known to increase successful child adjustment and to decrease the coercive family processes associated with child maltreatment. Outcomes of interest will include successful therapist adoption of the FCU and EcoFIT model, fidelity of implementation, increased family enrollment and retention in the program, improvements in family management skills, increased positive parenting skills, and the prevention of child maltreatment.