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Collaborative Goal Setting in the Family Check-Up: Do parents' goals relate to improvement in positive behavior support and child behavior?

Rowley, Sonia Niiler (2024) Collaborative Goal Setting in the Family Check-Up: Do parents' goals relate to improvement in positive behavior support and child behavior? Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Goal setting is used in many parenting interventions to tailor treatment to families’ needs and bolster motivation. The present study describes the thematic content of parents’ treatment goals in the early childhood Family Check-Up (FCU) and investigates whether goals focused on positive behavior support (PBS) or child externalizing behavior at child age 2 relate to improvements in these domains one year later and examines moderators of such associations. Participants included 250 families who set goals at child age 2 in the intervention arm of the Early Steps Multisite Study, which is a randomized controlled trial of the FCU among 731 families who were screened for risk and recruited from Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) clinics. Family assessments occurred at child ages 2 and 3 and included observational assessment of parenting. Setting a PBS goal and/or a child externalizing behavior goal were not related to growth in observed PBS or child externalizing behavior, respectively, nor did parental self-efficacy, parental social support, or attendance in follow-up treatment sessions moderate these relationships. These results suggest that setting goals to improve PBS and child externalizing behavior may not uniquely contribute to established treatment effects of the FCU in these domains. Findings run contrary to theory suggesting that goals motivate behavior change. If replicated, null findings may inform adaptations to the use of and/or methods for goal setting in the FCU.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Rowley, Sonia Niilersnr51@pitt.edusnr510000-0002-7198-2836
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee MemberGill,
Committee MemberGuyon-Harris,
Committee MemberMcGuier,
Committee ChairShaw,
Date: 10 January 2024
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 17 November 2023
Approval Date: 10 January 2024
Submission Date: 4 December 2023
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 82
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: goals, goal setting, preventive interventions, parenting, child externalizing behavior, early childhood, Family Check-Up
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2024 14:29
Last Modified: 10 Jan 2024 14:29


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