Child Birth Order as a Moderator of Intervention Effectiveness for the Early Childhood Version of the Family Check-Up




Chelsea M. Weaver Krug, Katherine A. Hails, Daniel S. Shaw, Thomas J. Dishion, and Melvin N. Wilson

Brief Type

Journal Publication


  • Family Check-Up (FCU)


Child birth order (CBO) in the family has received little attention in the field of prevention science. CBO is relevant to early interventionists from a public health perspective, as the most widely disseminated home-visiting program has traditionally targeted mothers and their first-born children. The current paper revisits a previous publication by Shaw et al. (2009) on the effectiveness of the Family Check-Up (FCU) to evaluate CBO (firstborn vs. middle vs. youngest) as a moderator of treatment effects of the FCU in relation to improvements in parenting, maternal depressive symptoms, and child outcomes from ages 2 to 4 in a sample of low-income, ethnically diverse families (N = 709) with multiple children. Results suggest that the FCU elicited improvements in observed parenting from ages 2 to 3 primarily for target children who were the youngest or middle children, but not for firstborns. Findings are discussed in the context of implications for prevention science research, dissemination, and public policy. (author abstract)

Data Collection Methods

  • Interviews
  • Parent-child observations
  • Standardized assessment tools
  • Video-recorded observations



For More Information

Krug, C. M. W., Hails, K. A., Shaw, D. S., Dishion, T. J., & Wilson, M. N. (2020). Child birth order as a moderator of intervention effectiveness for the early childhood version of the Family Check-Up. Prevention Science, 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11121-020-01096-5
Author Contact Information:
Chelsea M. Weaver Krug


  • Participant Characteristics