Effects of the Family Check-Up 4 Health on Parenting and Child Behavioral Health: A Randomized Clinical Trial in Primary Care

Cady Berkel, Emily Fu, Allison J. Carroll, Charlton Wilson, Angelica Tovar-Huffman, Anne Mauricio, Jenna Rudo-Stern, Kevin J. Grimm, Thomas Dishion, Justin D. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The Family Check-Up 4 Health (FCU4Health) is an adaptation of the Family Check-Up (FCU) for delivery in primary care settings. While maintaining the original FCU’s focus on parenting and child behavioral health, we added content targeting health behaviors. This study evaluated whether the adapted FCU maintained positive effects on parenting (positive behavior support, limit setting, parental warmth) and child behavioral health (self-regulation, conduct problems, emotional problems). Pediatric (6–12 years) primary care patients with a BMI ≥ 85th%ile (n = 240) were recruited from primary care clinics in Phoenix. Children were 75% Latino, 49% female, and 73% Medicaid recipients. This type 2 effectiveness-implementation hybrid trial compared families randomized to FCU4Health (n = 141) or usual care (n = 99). FCU4Health was delivered over a period of 6 months. This study focuses on a priori secondary outcomes included parenting and child behavioral health targets of the original FCU, assessed at baseline and 3, 6, and 12 months. Significant improvements were found for the FCU4Health condition, compared to usual care, in parenting from baseline to the 3-month assessment [β =.17 (.01;.32)]. Parenting predicted improvements in child self-regulation at 6-months [β =.17 (.03;.30)], which in turn predicted reductions in conduct problems [β = −.38 (−.51; −.23)] and emotional problems [β = −.24 (−.38; −.09)] at 12 months. Ethnicity and language of delivery (English or Spanish) did not moderate these effects. The FCU4Health can improve parenting and child behavioral health outcomes when delivered in primary care. Trial Registration Trial registration number: NCT03013309 ClinicalTrials.gov

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)464-474
Number of pages11
JournalPrevention Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2021


  • Adaptation
  • Behavioral health
  • Ethnicity
  • Parenting
  • Primary care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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