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Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 556–566 | Cite as

Family Empowerment as a Mediator between Family-Centered Systems of Care and Changes in Child Functioning: Identifying an Important Mechanism of Change

  • Kelly N. Graves
  • Terri L. Shelton
ORIGINAL PAPER

Abstract

We investigated the associations among perceived fidelity to family-centered systems of care, family empowerment, and improvements in children's problem behaviors. Participants included 79 families, interviewed at two time points across a one-year period. Paired samples t-tests indicated that problem behaviors decreased significantly across a one-year period. Hierarchical multiple regressions indicated that both fidelity to family-centered systems of care and family empowerment independently predicted positive change in children's problem behavior over a one-year period. However, when family empowerment is entered first in the regression, the relationship between fidelity to family-centered systems of care and change in children's problem behavior drops out, indicating that family empowerment mediates the relationship between family-centered care and positive changes in problem behaviors. Consistent with other literature on help-giving practices, family empowerment appears to be an important mechanism of change within the system of care philosophy of service delivery. Implications for practice and staff training are discussed.

Keywords

System of care Empowerment Community mental health Family-centered care Child functioning 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This research was supported by a grant from the Child, Adolescent, and Family Branch of the Center for Mental Health Services within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (#SM52085-06). We are grateful to the entire staff of the System of Care Demonstration Sites for their help in data collection, entry, and checking. We also would like to thank the children and families who participated and dedicated their time to this study.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyBennett College for WomenGreensboroUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychology, Center for Youth, Family, and Community PartnershipsUniversity of North CarolinaGreensboroUSA

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