Experimental support for a family systems approach to child development: Multiple mediators of intervention effects across the transition to parenthood

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3 Scopus citations


The analysis of mediational pathways in intervention trials represents the strongest method available for establishing causal links between developmental factors and child outcomes. This article assesses mediation of the effects of Family Foundations on toddler emotional and behavioral adjustment through parent-related factors (parental stress, parental depression, coparenting negativity, and parenting negativity). Data come from the second trial of Family Foundations, a universal preventive program delivered at the transition to parenthood. Mediating mechanisms were assessed at 10 months postpartum (posttest), and child outcomes were measured at 2 years postbirth. Results indicated that putative mediators did not significantly mediate outcomes when considered one at a time, but the set of mediators collectively mediated child outcomes. Implications for assessing mediation in future trials are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-75
Number of pages13
JournalCouple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2018


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

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