The Positive Family Support Project – Partnering With Families for a Successful Transition to School

Overview

The Positive Family Support Project seeks to understand some of the factors that increase success for children in early elementary school, such as positive family support at home. This study will inform us on ways to help children learn and succeed in school.

Full Title of Study: “Testing the Efficacy of an Ecological Approach to Family Intervention and Treatment During Early Elementary School to Prevent Problem Behavior and Improve Academic Outcomes”

Study Type

  • Study Type: Interventional
  • Study Design
    • Allocation: Randomized
    • Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
    • Primary Purpose: Prevention
    • Masking: None (Open Label)
  • Study Primary Completion Date: July 2019

Detailed Description

The transition to elementary school is a critical time for the development of key skills that are necessary for school success, including sustained attention, self-regulation, initiating and sustaining successful peer relationships, and academic competence. Parent support at home, such as positive parenting and support for learning, is associated with school readiness indicators that predict successful adaptation to the school context. For many children at risk for poor developmental outcomes this transition can be difficult and may lead to early academic problems, which in turn may define a trajectory that culminates in more severe forms of problem behavior and learning difficulties. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of implementing the Family Check-Up (FCU), a school-based, ecological approach to family intervention, during the transition into elementary school.

Interventions

  • Behavioral: Family Check-Up
    • Parents fill out questionnaires about their child and families and then participate in a videotaped interaction with their child. Clinicians then observe the video and analyze the questionnaires to establish family needs based on supports, stress, parenting, values, and strengths. Therapists then use this information to inform the intervention process and provide feedback to families with the use of motivational interviewing. parents identify goals for parenting and/or child behavior and to connect them with resources when needed. Feedback includes a discussion of goal attainment and plans to achieve goals. Goal achievement includes options such as (a) periodic follow-up and support, (b) brief support for change on a specific topic, and (c) community referral (e.g., substance abuse referral; domestic violence referral; referral for individual therapy for depression; referral for family therapy and support for families in conflict).

Arms, Groups and Cohorts

  • Experimental: Family Check-Up Intervention
    • Prior to the feedback session, trained clinicians will observe family interactions by reviewing the video-taped observations and questionnaires filled out by parents. Therapists then use this data to inform the intervention process and provide feedback to parents based on norms for this age period. Feedback sessions will include a discussion of goal attainment and plans to achieve goals, with specific attention to the parent’s role in supporting positive behavior. Options for obtaining goals are based on the literature about empirically supported interventions for this age group and include (a) periodic follow-up and support, (b) brief support for change on a specific topic, and (c) community referral (e.g., substance abuse referral; domestic violence referral; referral for individual therapy for depression; referral for family therapy and support for families in conflict).
  • No Intervention: Control
    • Control families will receive services as usual that are being provided to the families within their school

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • Change in parenting skills measured by standardized questionnaires
    • Time Frame: Up to 3 years
    • Change in parenting skills for parents participating in the intervention arm measured by standardized questionnaires
  • Change in child self-regulation and behavioral control measured by standardized questionnaires
    • Time Frame: Up to 3 years
    • Change in child self-regulation in the classroom for children participating in the intervention arm in comparison to children participating in the control arm measured by standardized questionnaires
  • Increase chances for child school success as measured by early literacy standardized testing scores
    • Time Frame: Up to 3 years
    • Increase chances for success in school for children participating in the intervention arm in comparison to children participating in the control arm as measured by early literacy standardized testing scores
  • Increase positive child social relationships as measured by standardized questionnaires
    • Time Frame: Up to 3 years
    • Increase positive social relationships in child participating in the intervention arm in comparison with children in the control arm as measured by standardized questionnaires

Secondary Measures

  • Decrease in family stress/hardship as measured by standardized questionnaires
    • Time Frame: Up to 3 years
    • Decrease in family stress and or hardship for families participating in the intervention arm as measured by standardized questionnaires

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

700 Kindergarten children and their families entering Kindergarten in the Clackamas School District in 2014 and 2015

Exclusion Criteria

Gender Eligibility: All

Minimum Age: N/A

Maximum Age: N/A

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • University of Oregon
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Principal Investigator: Beth Stormshak, Principal Investigator – University of Oregon

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