Alan E Kazdin

John M Musser Prof Psychology

Research Interests

Clinical Interests: child and adolescent psychiatry; child and adolescent psychotherapy; parenting and child-rearing issues and problems; treatment of child aggression and antisocial behavior; childhood depression. Research Interests: diagnosis, assessment, treatment of social, emotional, behavioral problems of children and adolescents, especially, oppositional, aggressive, and antisocial behavior

Research Summary

I work with children and families. We have developed procedures that can help with the normal challenges of parenting and child-rearing. In addition, we work with children and adolescents referred for treatment for oppositional, aggressive, and antisocial behaviors.

Extensive Research Description

Our clinical-research group studies developmental psychopathology and focuses on questions related to diagnosis, assessment, and treatment of childhood disorders, especially oppositional defiant and conduct disorder. We work with children referred for treatment oppositional, aggressive, and antisocial behavior including aggression, theft, truancy, and firesetting. We are interested in developing effective child- and family-based interventions to improve current child functioning and to controvert the poor long-term prognosis. Identifying effective treatments requires research designed to understand the nature and scope of child dysfunction, parent and family factors (e.g., stress, clinical dysfunction) that contribute to adjustment and contextual factors (e.g., socioeconomic disadvantage, domestic violence, quality of family life) in which child dysfunction may be embedded. We study child-rearing practices, parenting, and ways in which parenting can be altered to improve child functioning at home, at school, and in the community. Our work focuses on psychotherapy more broadly by examining current child and adolescent treatment practices in use in the mental health professions, the clinical and research base of these practices, and the implications for mental health services. As part of this work, we have studied factors related to engaging children and families in treatment, risk factors associated with premature termination from treatment, and factors during treatment (e.g., parent expectations, therapeutic alliance,) that can be mobilized to improve clinical outcomes. Also, we are interested in bridging the hiatus of research and practice by increasing the clinical relevance of psychotherapy research and by developing methods of evaluation for clinical use.
In addition to clinical work, we are interested in parenting and child-rearing challenges in everyday. We work with parents to ease the path of normal challenges based on novel advances in parent-child interaction that promote behaviors parents wish to develop in their children.

Selected Publications

  • Kazdin, A.E. (in press). Single-case research designs: Methods for clinical and applied settings (2nd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press. Weisz, J.R., & Kazdin, A.E. (Eds.) (in press). Evidence-based psychotherapies for children and adolescents (2nd ed.) New York: Guilford Press. Kazdin, A.E. (2009). Psychological science’s contributions to a sustainable environment: Extending our reach to a grand challenge of society. American Psychologist, 64, 339-356. Kazdin, A.E. with Rotella, C. (2008). The Kazdin Method for parenting the defiant child: With no pills, no therapy, no contest of wills. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Kazdin, A.E. (2007). Mediators and mechanisms of change in psychotherapy research. In S. Nolen-Hoeksema, T.D. Cannon, & T. Widiger (Eds.), Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 3, 1-27. Kazdin, A.E., & Whitley, M.K. (2006). Comorbidity, case complexity, and effects of evidence-based treatment for children referred for disruptive behavior. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 74, 455-467.

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