Some universal prevention programs, such as Raising Healthy Children (RHC), have shown persisting and wide-ranging benefits in adulthood, long after the intervention has ended. Recent studies suggest that benefits may continue into the next generation as well. This study examines whether the RHC intervention, delivered in childhood, may promote healthy family functioning among participants who now have families of their own. Participants were drawn from the Seattle Social Development Project (SSDP), a nonrandomized controlled trial of the RHC intervention prospectively following youths from 18 elementary schools in Seattle, Washington from 1985 to 2014. Participants who became parents were enrolled in an intergenerational study, along with their oldest biological child and an additional caregiver who shared responsibility for raising the child. Ten waves of data were collected between 2002 and 2018. The present analysis includes 298 SSDP parents, 258 caregivers who identified as a parent or partner of SSDP parent (“co-parent”), and 231 offspring. The SSDP parent sample was composed of 41.6% male, 21.1% Asian or Pacific Islander, 24.2% Black or African American, 6.4% Native American, and 48.3% white individuals. No significant intervention effects were found on adult romantic relationship quality; offspring bonding to co-parent; or co-parent past-month use of cannabis, cigarettes, or binge drinking. Findings highlight the continued need to understand how the benefits of theory-guided universal preventive interventions are sustained across the life course and how they may or may not shape family functioning for those who go on to have families and children of their own.
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04075019.