Evidence-Based Programs

Family Check-Up®

Family Check-Up® is a federally registered trademark owned by the University of Oregon.

The Family Check-Up ® (FCU) model is a strengths-based, family-centered intervention that promotes family management and addresses child and adolescent adjustment problems. The intervention has two phases: 1) the FCU, which involves an initial assessment and feedback; 2) parent management training, which focuses on positive behavior support, healthy limit setting, and relationship building. The intervention model is adaptive and tailored to address the specific needs of each child and family and can be integrated into a variety of service settings, including public schools, WIC, primary health care, and community mental health.


Visit the Family Check-Up® website to learn more about the model and training opportunities.

Visit FamilyCheckUp.com


The Family Check-Up is listed as a model program on several registries, including:


Ecological Approach to Family Intervention and Treatment (ECO-FIT) Integrated with PBS: An Effectiveness Trial in Middle Schools

Period of funding: 03/01/09-02/28/15

Principal Investigators: Thomas J. Dishion (Arizona State University), John Seeley (Oregon Research Institute), and Beth Stormshak (University of Oregon).

Funded by: Institute of Education Sciences

Description: This project evaluates the viability of the Family Check-Up® model for widespread implementation in public middle schools within the state of Oregon. Specifically, it examines the extent to which family-centered services for students in 44 public middle schools in the state of Oregon will enhance the educational and social and emotional outcomes of students. The Family Check-Up® model as applied to public schools is referred to as Positive Family Support.

Development, Ecology, and Prevention of Adult Addictive Behavior

Period of funding: 09/15/11-05/31/16

Principal Investigators: Thomas J. Dishion (Arizona State University), Danielle Dick (Virginia Commonwealth University)

Funded by: National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health

Description: This project is a follow-up assessment at age 26–27 of 998 urban youth who were involved in a randomized prevention trial of the Family Check-Up® intervention beginning at age 11. This study considers the joint role of genetic and environmental factors on the progression of adult alcohol and other drug use (AOD), antisocial and high-risk sexual behavior, and the response of identified risk processes to family intervention. The research will lead to a better understanding of the development of alcohol and drug abuse, as well as the optimal strategies for prevention.

Early Family Prevention of Adolescent Alcohol, Drug Use and Psychopathology

Period of funding: 05/01/14-04/30/19

Funded by: National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health

Principal Investigators: Daniel Shaw (University of Pittsburgh), Tom Dishion (Arizona State University), Kathy Lemery-Chalfant (Arizona State University), Melvin Wilson (University of Virginia) and Leslie Leve (University of Oregon)

Description: This project examines the onset of substance use, HIV-relevant risky sexual behavior, and other related problems during adolescence. This project continues the study of 731 multiethnic families involved in a randomized trial of the Family Check-up®, initiated when children were age 2 and continued through age 10.5. The families were initially recruited from WIC offices in Eugene, Oregon, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Charlottesville, Virginia. Specifically, the efficacy of the Family Check-Up® is being evaluated as it relates to reducing adolescent substance use, high-risk sexual behavior linked to HIV, and other serious problem behavior at ages 14 and 16.

Parenting to Prevent Substance Use in Late Adolescence

Period of funding: 08/15/12-05/31/17

Principal Investigators: Beth Stormshak (University of Oregon), Tom Dishion (Arizona State University)

Funded by: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Description: This project studies how parent–youth relationships in late adolescence may be protective or may contribute to escalating substance use and abuse during the transition to adulthood. A late-adolescence version of the Family Check-Up® intervention being used in the study is designed to prevent escalation of substance use, focus on parent–youth relationships that foster independent living, discourage unhealthy peer relationships and activities that promote drug use, and provide support to enhance adaptive behavior and healthy adult outcomes during the transition to adulthood.


  • Brennan, L. M., Shelleby, E. C., Shaw, D. S., Gardner, F., Dishion, T. J., & Wilson, M.N. (2013). Indirect effects of the Family Check-Up® on school-age academic achievement through improvements in parenting in early childhood. Journal of Educational Psychology, 105(3), 762.
  • Connell, A. M., & Dishion, T. J. (2008). Reducing depression among at-risk early adolescents: Three-year effects of a family-centered intervention embedded within schools. Journal of Family Psychology, 22, 574-585.
  • Connell, A., M., Dishion, T. J., & Klostermann, S. (2011). Family Check-Up® effects on adolescent arrest trajectories: Variation by developmental subtype. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 22(2), 367-380.
  • Dishion, T. J., Shaw, D., Connell, A., Gardner, F., Weaver, C., & Wilson, M. (2008). The Family Check‐Up With High‐Risk Indigent Families: Preventing Problem Behavior by Increasing Parents’ Positive Behavior Support in Early Childhood. Child development, 79(5), 1395-1414.
  • Dishion, T. J., Brennan, L. M., McEachern, A., Shaw, D. S., Wilson, M. N., & Weaver, C. M. (2014). Prevention of problem behavior through annual Family Check-Ups in early childhood: Intervention effects from the home to the beginning of elementary school. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology.
  • Dishion, T. J., Nelson, S. E., & Kavanagh, K. (2003). The Family Check-Up® with high-risk young adolescents: Preventing early-onset substance use by parent monitoring. Behavior Therapy, 34(4), 553-571.
  • Lunkenheimer, E. S., Dishion, T. J., Shaw, D. S., Connell, A. M., Gardner, F., Wilson, M. N., & Skuban, E. M. (2008). Collateral benefits of the Family Check-Up® on early childhood school readiness: Indirect effects of parents' positive behavior support. Developmental Psychology, 44(6), 1737.
  • McEachern, A. D., Fosco, G. M., Dishion, T. J., Shaw, D. S., Wilson, M. N., & Gardner, F. (2013). Collateral benefits of the Family Check-Up® in early childhood on caregiver’s social support and relationship satisfaction. Journal of Family Psychology.
  • Shaw, D. S., Connell, A., Dishion, T. J., Wilson, M. N., & Gardner, F. (2009). Improvements in maternal depression as a mediator of intervention effects on early childhood problem behavior. Development and psychopathology, 21(02), 417-439.
  • Smith, J. D., Dishion, T. J., Moore, K. J., Shaw, D. S., & Wilson, M. N. (2013). Effects of video feedback on early coercive parent–child interactions: The intervening role of caregivers’ relational schemas. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 42(3), 405-417.
  • Smith, J. D., Dishion, T. J., Shaw, D. S., & Wilson, M. N. (2013). Indirect effects of fidelity to the Family Check-Up® on changes in parenting and early childhood problem behaviors. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 81(6), 962.
  • Spirito, A., Sindelar-Manning, H.l., Colby, S.M., Barnett, N.P., Lewander, W., Rohsenow, D.J, and Monti, P. (2011). Individual and family motivational interventions for alcohol-positive adolescents treated in an emergency department. Archives of Pediatric Medicine, 165, 269-274.
  • Stormshak, E. A., Connell, A., & Dishion, T. J. (2009). An adaptive approach to family-centered intervention in schools: Linking intervention engagement to academic outcomes in middle and high school. Prevention Science, 10, 221-235.
  • Stormshak, E. A., Connell, A. M., Véronneau, M.-H., Myers, M. W., Dishion, T. J., Kavanagh, K., & Caruthers, A. S. (2011). An ecological approach to promoting early adolescent mental health and social adaptation: Family-centered intervention in public middle schools. Child Development, 82(1), 209-225.
  • Van Ryzin, M. J., & Dishion, T. J. (2012). The impact of a family-centered intervention on the ecology of adolescent antisocial behavior: Modeling developmental sequelae and trajectories during adolescence. Development and psychopathology, 24(03), 1139-1155.