Caregiver Social Support and Engagement in the Family Check-Up Across Early and Middle Childhood




Luciano G. Dolcini-Catania

Type of Product



  • Family Check-Up (FCU)


The present study used a longitudinal design to examine the relationship between caregiver social support and engagement in the Family Check-Up (FCU) parenting intervention between child ages 2 to 5, 7.5 to 10.5, and 2 to 10.5. It also assessed the relationship between participation in the FCU feedback session and changes in caregiver social support satisfaction between child ages 2 to 9.5. This study used family data from the intervention arm (n = 367) of the Early Steps Multisite Study, which is a randomized control trial of the FCU among 731 low-income ethnically diverse families using Women, Infants, and Children Nutritional Supplement Services (WIC) in urban, suburban, and rural locations. Social support satisfaction did not predict engagement in subsequent FCU feedback sessions or follow-up treatment across all age ranges. Received social support did not predict FCU engagement for child ages 2 to 5 and 7.5 to 10.5, but higher received social support at age 2 was significantly associated with greater number of received feedback sessions and follow-up treatment sessions across ages 2 to 10.5. These findings suggest that greater received support may have promoted long-term investment in the FCU and that identifying ways to engage and support caregivers with low levels of social support may provide a critical opportunity to address treatment barriers and improve engagement. Future directions are also considered, including qualitative and mixed-methods approaches and the use of more functional measures of social support.

Data Collection Methods

  • Standardized assessment tools
  • Surveys or questionnaires



For More Information

Dolcini-Catania, L. G. (2021). Caregiver social support and engagement in the Family Check-Up across early and middle childhood [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. University of Pittsburgh. http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/40379/


  • Participant Recruitment, Retention, Engagement, and Dosage