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Wellbeing: A Complete Reference Guide, Volume I, Wellbeing in Children and Families by Cary L. Cooper, Susan H. Landry

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18

The Family Check-Up

A Tailored Approach to Intervention with High-Risk Families

Anne M. Gill

University of Pittsburgh, U.S.A.

Thomas J. Dishion

Arizona State University, U.S.A.

Daniel S. Shaw

University of Pittsburgh, U.S.A.

Overview

The link between problem behavior in early childhood and more serious problem behavior in later childhood and adolescence has been well documented (Huesmann & Eron, 1992; Loeber & Dishion, 1983; Moffitt, Caspi, Harrington, & Milne, 2002; Reinke & Petras, 2008; Shaw & Gross, 2008). Children who demonstrate a persistent course of problem behavior in early childhood are more likely to develop serious externalizing, internalizing, or comorbid problems during the school-age period and beyond, extending into adulthood (Moffitt & Caspi, 2001; Shaw & Gross, 2008).

There are several risk factors that account for the emergence of problem behavior in early childhood including poverty, stress, and parent mental illness and substance use (Aguilar, Sroufe, Egeland, & Carlson, 2000; Henry, Caspi, Moffitt, & Silva, 1996; Shaw, Gilliom, Ingoldsby, & Nagin, 2003). However, at the core of the risk process are parent–child interactions associated with the amplification of problem behavior. In particular, coercive family interactions between the child and caregiver are associated with increased risk for early onset problem behavior and problem maintenance (Patterson, 1982; Patterson, Reid, & Dishion, 1992). Coercive interactions between the parent and child create a ...

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