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NEW!! Everyday Parenting: A Professional's Guide to Building Family Management Skills

by Thomas J. Dishion, Elizabeth A. Stormshak and Kathryn A. Kavanagh

Intervening in Children's Lives: An Ecological, Family-Centered Approach to Mental Health Care

by Thomas J. Dishion and Elizabeth A. Stormshak

Intervening in Adolescent Problem Behavior: A Family-Centered Approach

by Thomas J. Dishion and Kate Kavanagh

The Family Check-Up

The Family Check-Up enables us to adapt and tailor family-centered interventions to the needs of children and adolescents. Figure 2 shows the overall strategy of the Family Check-Up.


FCU model



Oregon Parent Project (OPP)

Oregon Parent Project’s parent education classes address the needs of parents who have young children with developmental delays.

The classes are designed to promote positive parent–child interactions, reduce children’s behavior problems, and decrease parenting stress.



Meet the staff of the Oregon Parent Project

Download a brochure about the Oregon Parent Project

Participate in an OPP study!

OPP community partners 



Everyday ParentingEveryday Parenting: A Professional’s Guide to Building Family Management Skills, by Thomas J. Dishion, Elizabeth A. Stormshak, and Kate Kavanagh (Champaign, IL: Research Press, 2011)

This model-driven curriculum, which evolved throughout 24 years of research, addresses the intervention needs of families across the continuum of adjustment and is relevant for families with children ages 2–17 years. It addresses three dimensions of parenting: positive behavior support, healthy limit setting, and communication and problem-solving skills, and provides a step-by-step guide to support caregivers while they are improving their everyday parenting practices. The overall approach is unique with respect to being assessment driven, motivational, developmentally flexible, tailored, and adaptive. It is also unique in that it addresses the needs of families across the range of service needs, from prevention to treatment of disrupted family systems and treatment of child or adolescent psychopathology and problem behavior. Cultural sensitivity is an inherent strength of the intervention’s ecological perspective.

The Everyday Parenting intervention model is “social interactional” in that it prioritizes targeting and changing family interactions that occur frequently and that are functionally related to the family’s behavioral health. The term everyday underscores the importance of addressing habitual interaction patterns that are difficult to change because of their repetitive nature. These patterns may also be heavily influenced by circumstances such as lack of resources, ethnic culture, parent depression, or divorce and remarriage. To effectively support parents and other caregivers, daily parenting practices must be linked with the realities of the family’s situation. When the skills for that purpose are provided, child and adult mental health is reinforced and maintained. (An accompanying CD contains printable forms and handouts in PDF format).

To view Table of Contents/purchase this book:


Book CoverIntervening in Children’s Lives: An Ecological, Family-Centered Approach to Mental Health Care, by Thomas J. Dishion and Elizabeth A. Stormshak (APA Books, 2007)

This book, authored by the CFC codirectors, discusses the dynamics of children’s lives and puts the understanding of effective intervention services, and how to implement them, into readers’ hands. It describes an approach to child and family intervention services that targets individual children, families, and multiple systems affecting children; that is, the child’s environment. This ecological approach, called EcoFIT, is an empirically based, assessment-driven, family-centered intervention. It uses a motivation to change strategy that gives clients feedback in a supportive, nonconfrontational way and works in a health maintenance framework by acknowledging variation in vulnerability to environmental stress and the need for periodic check-ups and intervention services.

The book’s four sections provide a look at

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What they are saying about this book
“How refreshing to encounter a book that unapologetically encourages psychotherapists to work with children and families over a span of years, in contrast to the current ethos in which brief therapies are expected to bring lasting change to complex problems in only weeks or months.”

”… impressive for its well-documented, yet concise, presentation of a rationale for helping children in a manner that considers the real world in which the child lives and recognizes that it is essential to involve the child’s family in the interventions. This book is superior for providing the student or practitioner with ideas for staying abreast with research and is a source for gleaning ways to formulate and implement interventions.”



Book CoverIntervening in Adolescent Problem Behavior, by Thomas J. Dishion and Kate Kavanagh (Guilford Press, 2003)

This book presents a multilevel intervention and prevention program for at-risk adolescents and their families. Grounded in over 15 years of important clinical and developmental research, the Adolescent Transitions Program (ATP) has been nationally recognized as a best practice for strengthening families and reducing adolescent substance use and antisocial behavior. The major focus is to support parents' skills and motivation to reduce adolescent problem behavior and promote success.

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