Thomas J Dishion

Thomas J Dishion
Arizona State University | ASU · Department of Psychology

Ph.D.

About

477
Publications
170,647
Reads
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34,605
Citations
Additional affiliations
August 2011 - present
Arizona State University
Position
  • Managing Director
July 2000 - present
University of Oregon
Position
  • Researcher
Description
  • I was the founding director of the CFC, but I am now at the ASU Department of Psychology and Prevention Research Center. I am an investigator on 3 randomized trials at the CFC

Publications

Publications (477)
Article
Background Paediatric obesity is a multifaceted public health problem. Family based behavioural interventions are the recommended approach for the prevention of excess weight gain in children and adolescents, yet few have been tested under “real‐world” conditions. Objectives To evaluate the effectiveness of a family based intervention, delivered i...
Article
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 (positi...
Article
Hundreds of studies have documented an association between depression in mothers and behavior problems in children. Theory and empirical findings suggest this association may be confounded by other factors, but little attention has been paid to this issue. We used propensity score methods in a sample of 731 low-income families assessed repeatedly f...
Article
Background Parenting interventions like the Family Check-Up have demonstrated effects on child physical and behavioral health outcomes. However, access to these programs is limited, particularly for populations experiencing health disparities. Primary care settings have become recognized as a potential delivery system in which these programs may be...
Article
Motivational interviewing (MI) is a therapeutic style in which a provider elicits client motivation and helps strengthen commitment to change (Miller and Rollnick 2002). The original Family Check-Up (FCU; Dishion and Stormshak 2007)—and the adapted version for improving health behaviors in primary care, the Family Check-Up 4 Health (FCU4Health; Smi...
Article
The present study tested the moderating role of interparental relationship quality and child inhibitory control on the stability of paternal depression over time and associations between paternal depression and child internalizing problems in early childhood. Participants were a subsample (n = 166) of families from the Early Steps Multisite study,...
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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...
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Aims: To translate evidence-based programs (EBP) for a new setting, attention must be given to the characteristics of the intervention and the local setting, as well as evidence that is compelling to decision-makers. This paper describes the history of a partnership and stakeholder recommendations to inform the adaptation of an EBP for primary car...
Article
High-quality evidence about the costs of effective interventions for children can provide a foundation for fiscally responsible policy capable of achieving impact. This study estimated the costs to society of the Family Check-up, an evidence-based brief home-visiting intervention for high-risk families implemented in the Early Steps multisite effic...
Article
This study examined the long-term effects of a randomized controlled trial of the Family Check-Up (FCU) intervention initiated at age 2 on inhibitory control in middle childhood and adolescent internalizing and externalizing problems. We hypothesized that the FCU would promote higher inhibitory control in middle childhood relative to the control gr...
Article
Alcohol problems are influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. Evidence from twin models and measured gene-environment interaction studies has demonstrated that the importance of genetic influences changes as a function of the environment. Research has also shown that family-centered interventions may protect genetically susceptible you...
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This study investigates suicide risk in late childhood and early adolescence in relation to a family-centered intervention, the Family Check-Up, for problem behavior delivered in early childhood. At age 2, 731 low-income families receiving nutritional services from Women, Infants, and Children programs were randomized to the Family Check-Up interve...
Article
Building on prior work using Tom Dishion's Family Check-Up, the current article examined intervention effects on dysregulated irritability in early childhood. Dysregulated irritability, defined as reactive and intense response to frustration, and prolonged angry mood, is an ideal marker of neurodevelopmental vulnerability to later psychopathology b...
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Several research teams have previously traced patterns of emerging conduct problems (CP) from early or middle childhood. The current study expands on this previous literature by using a genetically-informed, experimental, and long-term longitudinal design to examine trajectories of early-emerging conduct problems and early childhood discriminators...
Article
Objective We will test the effectiveness of the Family Check-Up 4 Health (FCU4Health) intervention in a type I hybrid trial to simultaneously evaluate clinical effectiveness and the implementation process. Description FCU4Health is an adaptation of the Family Check-Up (FCU), an evidence-based family-centered intervention. The program targets paren...
Article
The confluence model theorizes that dynamic transactions between peer rejection and deviant peer clustering amplify antisocial behavior (AB) within the school context during adolescence. Little is known about the links between peer rejection and AB as embedded in changing networks. Using longitudinal social network analysis, we investigated the int...
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We used provider (n = 112) data that staff at the agency disseminating the Family Check-Up (FCU; REACH Institute) collected to profile provider diversity in community settings and to examine whether provider profiles are related to implementation fidelity. Prior to FCU training, REACH Institute staff administered the FCU Provider Readiness Assessme...
Data
Appendix S2 The pooled factor analysis of the measurement model.
Data
Appendix S1 Early stressful events that were included in the sum score.
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Assessment of fidelity that is effective, efficient, and differentiates from usual practices is critical for effectively implementing evidence-based programs for families. This quasi-experiemntal study sought to determine whether observational ratings of fidelity to the Family Check-Up (FCU) could differentiate between levels of clinician training...
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Development involves synergistic interplay among genotypes and the physical and cultural environments, and integrating genetics into experimental designs that manipulate the environment can improve understanding of developmental psychopathology and intervention efficacy. Consistent with differential susceptibility theory, individuals can vary in th...
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The current project explores maternal inter‐parental (IP) romantic partner satisfaction in relation to mother‐child conflict and later peer and teacher relations from early to middle childhood among a sample of low‐income, ethnically diverse mothers (N = 271) who were part of a longitudinal study testing the effectiveness of the Family Check‐Up int...
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Discrimination has been shown to be related to diminished psychological adjustment and greater risk for substance use when personally experienced by adolescents and when their caregivers experience discrimination. Our research considers the impact of primary caregiver experiences of racial‐ and socioeconomic‐based discrimination in early (age 3–5 y...
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Using coercive strategies to resolve conflicts with romantic partners has toxic effects on relationships. Coercion predicts relationship dissatisfaction, instability, and intimate partner violence. The early adult romantic relationships model hypothesizes that such strategies first emerge within the family and continue to affect romantic relationsh...
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The college transition is uniquely challenging for many first-year students. Few studies have investigated developmental change in students’ adjustment across this brief, but significant transition, nor the daily interpersonal dynamics that are associated with adjustment across this same time. Guided by ecological and stage-environment fit framewor...
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Backgrounds and aims Despite the link between stress and addictive behavior in adulthood, little is known about how early life stress in families predicts the early emergence of substance use in adolescence. This study tested a developmental cascade model, proposing that early stressful life events and negative parent‐child interaction covary, and...
Article
Objective: The Family Check-Up (FCU) is a preventive intervention found to significantly reduce child conduct problems (CP). This study examined the extent to which parents reported that their child's CP were a problem for them at baseline (baseline CP) as a moderator of FCU effects into middle childhood and moderated mediation models to explore p...
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Implementation experts have recently argued for a process of “scaling out” evidence-based interventions, programs, and practices (EBPs) to improve reach to new populations and new service delivery systems. A process of planned adaptation is typically required to integrate EBPs into new service delivery systems and address the needs of targeted popu...
Article
This study is a qualitative analysis of facilitators and barriers in the dissemination of Family Check-Up (FCU), a U.S.-developed preventive intervention in Sweden. The FCU is inherently culturally flexible because it was designed to be tailored to each family's needs and context, including cultural norms and values. We present the FCU implementati...
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Nuanced understanding of adolescents' interpersonal relationships with family and peers is important for developing more personalized interventions that prevent problem behaviors and adjustment issues. We used latent profile analysis (LPA) to classify a community sample of 784 adolescents with respect to their observed relationship dynamics with fr...
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This study examined the impact of residential instability and family structure transitions on the development of internalizing and externalizing problems from age 2 through 10.5. Child's race was examined as a moderator. Caregiver reports of internalizing and externalizing behaviors were obtained on 665 children at ages 5 and 10.5. Early‐childhood...
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This study examined the mediating effect of friends’ characteristics (problem behavior and academic achievement) in the association between students’ background (family and individual factors) and later academic adjustment, as operationalized by problem behavior and academic achievement. We recruited 998 participants in three public middle schools...
Article
The original version of this article contained a mistake: The affiliations 1, 4 for author Thomas J. Dishion are incorrect and should be corrected to 2, 4.
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Background Pediatric obesity is a multi-faceted public health concern that can lead to cardiovascular diseases, cancers, and early mortality. Small changes in diet, physical activity, or BMI can significantly reduce the possibility of developing cardiometabolic risk factors. Family-based behavioral interventions are an underutilized, evidence-based...
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Coping Power is an evidence-based preventive intervention for youth with aggressive behavior problems that has traditionally been delivered in small group formats, but because of concerns about potentially diminished effects secondary to aggregation of high-risk youth, an individual format of Coping Power has been developed. The current study exami...
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This study examined the mediated effect of early adolescence familial context on early adulthood problematic substance use through effortful control in late adolescence. The sample consisted of a community sample of 311 adolescents and their families comprising the control group within a randomized trial intervention. Parental monitoring and parent...
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This study examined longitudinal changes in peer network selection and influence associated with self-reported antisocial behavior (AB) and violent behavior (VB) over the course of middle school in a sample of ethnically diverse adolescents. Youth and families were randomly assigned to a school-based intervention focused on the prevention of substa...
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Presents an obituary for Gerald (“Jerry”) Roy Patterson, who passed away on August 22, 2016. Jerry was an intellectual powerhouse who made fundamental contributions to developmental psychology, clinical psychology, school psychology, prevention science, and special education. In 1965 Jerry became the director of clinical training at the University...
Chapter
This chapter provides an introduction to the role of deviant peers in the development of conduct problems associated with oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and conduct disorder (CD). It then briefly outlines the developmental and ecological context for understanding peer influence processes in adolescence as well as risk factors for deviant peer...
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Adolescence is a sensitive period for the development of romantic relationships. During this period the maturation of frontolimbic networks is particularly important for the capacity to regulate emotional experiences. In previous research, both functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and dense array electroencephalography (dEEG) measures have...
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This study applied latent class analysis to a family-centered prevention trial in early childhood to identify subgroups of families with differential responsiveness to the Family Check-Up (FCU) intervention. The sample included 731 families with 2-year-olds randomized to the FCU or control condition and followed through age 5 with yearly follow-up...
Article
Background: There is limited empirical integration between peer clustering theory and the Gateway framework. The goal of the present study was to test the hypothesis that friendship associations partly predict gateway escalations in the use of drugs from adolescence to adulthood. Method: This longitudinal study analyzed 3 waves of data from a co...
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Full-text available
Coping Power is an evidence-based preventive intervention program for youth with aggressive behavior problems that has traditionally been delivered in small group formats. Because of concerns about iatrogenic effects secondary to aggregation of high risk youth, the current study examined whether genetic risk may moderate intervention outcome when y...
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Full-text available
Given the public health importance of depression, the identification of prevention programs with long-term effects on reducing the rate of depression is of critical importance, as is the examination of factors that may moderate the magnitude of such prevention effects. This study examines the impact of the Family Check-Up, delivered in public secon...
Article
Marital quality and social support satisfaction were tested as moderators of the association between maternal depressive symptoms and parenting during early childhood (18–36 months) among 2 large, divergent, longitudinal samples (n = 526; n = 570). Unexpectedly, in both samples the association between maternal depressive symptoms and reduced parent...
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Maternal depression is among the most consistent and well-replicated risk factors for negative child outcomes, particularly in early childhood. Although children of depressed mothers are at an increased risk of adjustment problems, conversely, children with emotional or behavioral problems also have been found to adversely compromise maternal funct...
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The present study examined influences of sixth-grade student-reported parent educational involvement on early adolescent peer group affiliations at seventh and eighth grade. In addition, student gender and ethnicity were explored as possible moderators. Drawn from a large effectiveness trial, participants in this study were 5,802 early adolescents...
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Prior research suggests that under some conditions, interventions that aggregate high-risk youth may be less effective, or at worse, iatrogenic. However, group formats have considerable practical utility for delivery of preventive interventions, and thus it is crucial to understand child and therapist factors that predict which aggressive children...
Article
The tremendous negative impact of conduct problems to the individual and society has provided the impetus for identifying risk factors, particularly in early childhood. Exposure to neighborhood deprivation in early childhood is a robust predictor of conduct problems in middle childhood. Efforts to identify and test mediating mechanisms by which nei...
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This study examined the validity of micro social observations and macro ratings of parent–child interaction in early to middle childhood. Seven hundred and thirty-one families representing multiple ethnic groups were recruited and screened as at risk in the context of Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) Nutritional Supplement service settings. Famili...
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Callous-unemotional (CU) behavior has been linked to behavior problems in children and adolescents. However, few studies have examined whether CU behavior in predicts behavior problems or CU behavior in . This study examined whether indicators of CU behavior at ages 2-4 predicted aggression, rule-breaking, and CU behavior across informants at age 9...
Article
There is a need to identify the “effective ingredients” of evidence-based behavior therapies. We tested the effects of one of the most common ingredients in parenting interventions for preventing disruptive child behavior, referred to as labeled praise (e.g., “well done picking up your toys”), which is typically recommended in preference to unlabel...
Article
We examined the longitudinal effects of the Family Check-Up (FCU) intervention beginning in toddlerhood on children’s peer preference at school-age. Specifically, a sequential mediational model was proposed in which the FCU was hypothesized to promote peer preference (i.e., higher acceptance and lower rejection by peers) in middle childhood through...
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This study tested a transactional hypothesis predicting early adult sexual coercion from family maltreatment, early adolescent gang affiliation, and socialization of adolescent friendships that support coercive relationship norms. The longitudinal study of a community sample of 998 11-year-olds was intensively assessed in early and middle adolescen...
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The current study sought to advance our understanding of transactional processes among maternal depression, neighborhood deprivation, and child conduct problems (CP) using two samples of low-income families assessed repeatedly from early childhood to early adolescence. After accounting for initial levels of negative parenting, independent and recip...
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A vast majority of psychological science focuses on snapshots of individuals. Clinical outcome studies may integrate multiple snapshots, typically with yearly intervals. However, there is much to learn about psychological processes as they unfold over real time, including minutes, days, weeks, and months. This special issue contains several article...
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This study evaluates the internal validity of the “Perception of Peer Group Norms Questionnaire” (PPGNQ), a 17-item measure that assesses middle school students' perceptions of positive and negative norms among their grade mates. The sample consisted of 1073 Grade 6 students. The factorability of the two hypothesized factors was assessed with Explo...
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A key challenge of community-based prevention programs is engaging families in the context of services settings involving children and families. The Family Check-Up (FCU) program is designed to engage families in parenting support appropriate to their level of need by use of assessment-enhanced motivational interviewing. This study involved familie...
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Table of contents Introduction to the 3rd Biennial Conference of the Society for Implementation Research Collaboration: advancing efficient methodologies through team science and community partnerships Cara Lewis, Doyanne Darnell, Suzanne Kerns, Maria Monroe-DeVita, Sara J. Landes, Aaron R. Lyon, Cameo Stanick, Shannon Dorsey, Jill Locke, Brigid Ma...
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Objective: Substance use in adulthood compromises work, relationships, and health. Prevention strategies in early adolescence are designed to reduce substance use and progressions to problematic use by adulthood. This report examines the long-term effects of offering Family Check-up (FCU) at multiple time points in secondary education on the progr...
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The impact of the Family Check-Up (FCU), a school-based prevention program, as delivered in public secondary schools on suicide risk across adolescence, was examined. Students were randomly assigned to a family-centered intervention (N = 998) in the sixth grade and offered a multilevel intervention that included (1) a universal classroom-based inte...
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This study examined the viability of a brief, parent-reported strengths and needs assessment as the first step in a multiple-gating approach to proactive positive behavior support for families. The Positive Family Support–Strengths and Needs Assessment (PFS-SaNA) was designed to collaboratively engage parents early in the school year in a home–scho...