Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 42, Issue 7, pp 1117–1128 | Cite as

Direct and Indirect Effects of the Family Check-Up on Self-Regulation from Toddlerhood to Early School-Age

  • Hyein Chang
  • Daniel S. Shaw
  • Thomas J. Dishion
  • Frances Gardner
  • Melvin N. Wilson


We examined the development of children’s inhibitory control from toddlerhood to early school-age (i.e., ages 2 to 7.5 years), investigated the effects of the Family Check-Up on the growth of inhibitory control, and explored whether such effects transferred to the school context. Participants were 731 low-income children (49 % female). Results indicated that parental reports of inhibitory control showed positive, nonlinear increase with the growth decelerating over time. Moreover, children in the intervention condition demonstrated higher levels of growth in parental ratings of inhibitory control compared to the control condition. More importantly, the intervention had indirect effects on teacher reports of children’s self-control and oppositional defiant behavior as well as examiner ratings of self-control through its promotion of growth in inhibitory control. The findings are discussed with respect to implications for more specifically targeting the promotion of self-regulation in early childhood in addition to reduction in early problem behavior.


Inhibitory control Self-regulation Family intervention Preschool 



This research was supported by grants 023245 and 2003723 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to the second, third, and fifth authors. This paper was also supported by Samsung Research Fund, Sungkyunkwan University, 2012 to the first author. We are grateful to the staff and study families of the Early Steps Project for making this research possible.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hyein Chang
    • 1
  • Daniel S. Shaw
    • 2
  • Thomas J. Dishion
    • 3
  • Frances Gardner
    • 4
  • Melvin N. Wilson
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of PsychologySungkyunkwan UniversitySeoulSouth Korea
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyArizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  4. 4.Department of Social Policy and Social WorkUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK
  5. 5.Department of PsychologyUniversity of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA

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