Stormshak and colleagues (2011) found that for families who engaged in Family Check-Up (FCU) intervention services, students showed significantly less growth in antisocial behavior during middle school compared with students from families in the control group.
Results showed that there was significantly less growth in substance abuse among students in the FCU intervention group, compared with the students in the control group, during the middle-school to high-school transition. Substance abuse included alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana use.
Grade Point Average (GPA)
Results from Stormshak, Connell, and Dishion (2009) indicated that students who received the FCU intervention services sustained a stable GPA from the start of middle school into high school. Students in the control group, who did not receive the FCU intervention services, demonstrated a substantial decline in GPA during the transition.
Results indicated that school absences for both groups increased over the study period. Students in the control group demonstrated a significant growth in school absences over the transition from middle school to high school, while the FCU intervention services appeared to prevent acceleration in school absences for students in the intervention group over the transition period.
Stormshak and colleagues (2011) conducted an evaluation of the Family Check-Up (FCU) intervention using a sample of (N=593) students, ages 11–13, from three schools in an urban area of the country. All three schools were Title I schools, and approximately 20% of the school population qualified for special education services. Youth and families were recruited in sixth grade across two cohorts. Parents of all sixth-grade students were invited to participate in the study, and 80% of all parents agreed to do so. The sample comprised 51% male participants and 49% female participants. The ethnicity of the sample was as follows: European American (36%), Latino ⁄ Hispanic (18%), African American (16%), Asian (8%), American Indian (3%), and biracial ⁄ mixed ethnicity (19%).
An unbalanced approach to randomization was used to enhance the power to detect intervention effects specifically for families electing to engage with the selected level of intervention. As such, 386 families (65%) were randomly assigned to the intervention condition, and 207 families (35%) were randomly assigned to the control condition in which families experienced ‘‘school as usual,’’ including regular services offered by the schools, but no access to any of the intervention services available to families in the intervention condition.
Assessments in the form of a questionnaire, which measured a variety of problem behaviors, were given to students over the 3-year time frame, from grades 6 to 8, in the spring semester of each year. The outcomes of interest included substance abuse and antisocial behavior of adolescents.
Outcomes were analyzed using a complier average casual effect (CACE) analysis. The CACE model, most commonly used a studies that include randomized control trials, addressing issues of noncompliance by the reduction of threats and biases. The CACE analysis measured the impact of the intervention on adolescent self-reported substance abuse and antisocial behavior. Substance abuse included alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana usage over the 3-year period. Engagement status was focused on the families in the intervention group who either elected to receive services or opted out of the intervention. Using the CACE model, the effects of the intervention were examined on a linear rate of change in problem behaviors within the families who engaged in the FCU.
In the 2009 study by Stormshak, Connell, and Dishion, FCU intervention services were examined in a longitudinal study using students and their families recruited from the 6th grade of three different middle schools in a diverse, northwestern metropolitan community of the United States. Students were assessed over three years, between grades 6 and 9, and participated in a follow-up session in grade 11. The overall purpose of the study was to assess the long-term impact on academic outcomes associated with the FCU intervention, particularly grade point average (GPA) and school absences.
Parents of all sixth grade students in two cohorts were approached for participation using an active consent protocol, and 90% (N=998) agreed to participate in the study. The control group (N=498) and the intervention group (N=500) were assigned randomly during the spring semester of the 6th grade. Approximately 80% of these youth were retained across the majority of the study (wave 2, n=857; wave 3, n=829; wave 4, n=820; wave 6, n=794).. Of the intervention group, 25 percent (N=115) were successfully engaged and received the intervention, whereas the remaining families decided to not engage in the intervention; however, there is no specific information on the characteristics of the families who were randomized to the FCU intervention group but did not engage in services.
The study authors collected data on outcome measurements using a student survey questionnaire, which was given in the spring semester from the 6th through 9th grades, and again in the 11th grade. The measurements included yearly GPA and yearly school absences. Although both groups completed the follow-up in the 11th grade, there was a significant loss in student participation (control group, N=99; intervention group, N=106). The CACE analysis was used to conduct a series of analyses for youth outcomes, examining indicated levels of the FCU intervention on yearly GPA and yearly school absences over the span of the study.
These sources were used in the development of the program profile:Study 1
Veronneau, Marie-Helene, Michael Myers, Thomas Dishion, Kathryn Kavanagh, and Allison Caruthers. 2011. “An Ecological Approach to Promoting Early Adolescent Mental Health and Social Adaptation: Family-Centered Intervention in Public Middle Schools.” Child Development
Stormshak, Elizabeth, Arin Connell, and Thomas Dishion. 2009. “An Adaptive Approach a Family-Centered Intervention in Schools: Linking Intervention Engagement to Academic Outcomes in Middle and High Schools.” Preventive Science
These sources were used in the development of the program profile:
Jo, B. 2002. “Estimation of Intervention Effects with Noncompliance: Alternative Model Specifications.” Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics
Metzler, C.W., A. Biglan, J.C. Rusby, and J.R. Sprague. 2001. “Evaluation of a Comprehensive Behavior Management Program to Improve School-Wide Positive Behavior Support.” Education and Treatment of Children
Soberman, L. “Psychometric Validation of a Brief Teacher Screening Instrument (TRISK).”
PhD diss.,University of Oregon, 1994.
Stormshak, Elizabeth A., and Thomas Dishion. 2009. “A School-Based, Family-Centered Intervention to Prevent Substance Use: A Family Check-Up.” The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse