Making the Race Fair

Early childhood emotional and behavioural problems are the strongest predictors of future mental illness, and early intervention is key to improving outcomes.

The Family Check-Up is a brief, evidence-based, tailored intervention that has demonstrated robust effects across child and family outcomes in the United States.

It is unique in its focus on multimodal assessment, tailored intervention, and emphasis on family engagement within a motivational interviewing framework. However, we do not know if it will have the same impact within Canada, given fundamental differences in health, social and educational systems.

Furthermore, studies have yet to validate the role of the FCU on self-regulation models in very young children. Making the Race Fair is a community-based randomized controlled trial of children aged 2-4 years in Hamilton, Ontario.

Multiple types of measures have been collected including questionnaires, and biological and neuropsychological measures of parent and child self-regulation, including emotion regulation, executive function, and physiological measures of stress to examine the extent to which these processes account for observed intervention effects.

Dr. Teresa Bennett and her team are the first to evaluate the Family Check-Up as a targeted prevention and early intervention program in a Canadian setting.