We work in four areas, all with an emphasis on children, parents, and families. Our activities include research on basic questions about clinical dysfunction, more applied questions about psychosocial interventions and their impact on dysfunction, and translation of psychological research findings to concerns of individuals in everyday life. Our work is conducted at the Yale Parenting Center, a clinic and family service on Yale Campus.
Clinical Dysfunction and Treatment. Our clinical-research group focuses on questions related to diagnosis, assessment, and treatment of childhood disorders, especially Oppositional-Defiant Disorder and Conduct Disorder. We work with children referred for treatment for oppositional, aggressive, and antisocial behavior and provide evidence-based treatments (parent management training, cognitive problem-solving skills training). 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. Also, our work has focused on ways of 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.
Child Rearing and Parenting. Although our point of departure has been research with clinically referred children, we are interested in understanding and assisting with the everyday challenges of child rearing. The interventions we have developed in the context of clinical work have broad applicability to these challenges. Our work on child-rearing and parenting includes both a basic research and clinical focus that allows us to investigate factors that influence parenting and then when possible to translate these into applications that help individual families. Much of our work on the challenges of parenting blurs into our work on aggression and antisocial behavior, as reflected in the concerns about bullies and their victims and the contexts in which bullying occurs.
Psychosocial Interventions and the Burden of Mental Illness. Most individuals in the United States (and world-wide) who are in need of mental health services do not receive them. Evidence-based treatments as currently developed and delivered will not redress the enormous social and personal burdens of mental illness or the disparities in delivery of services. Novel models of delivering interventions beyond individual or in-person therapy will be essential if services are to reach the swaths of individuals who would profit from care. Our group is interested in developing, expanding, and evaluating novel models of delivery that are able to reach individuals in need.
Translating Psychological Science to Aid Everyday Life. We work regularly with the media (e.g., TV, radio, news outlets, and on-line magazines) as a resource to disseminate findings that can be useful for children, parents, and families. Our research and clinical applications have been featured on the Today Show, Dr. Phil, ABC Good Morning America, 20/20, NPR, BBC, PBS, and CNN as well in Time Magazine and a series of articles for parents in Slate.com. Psychological science has bodies of work that can address social and individual concerns of everyday life (e.g., promoting a sustainable environment, addressing interpersonal violence). We serve as a resource to assist in providing background information that draws on research. This is not an area of investigation for us but rather an effort to translate and disseminate the accomplishments of psychological science more generally.
Webpages for further information:
Kazdin, A.E. (2011). Conceptualizing the challenge of reducing interpersonal violence. Psychology of Violence, 1, 166-187.
Kazdin, A.E. (2011). Single-case research designs: Methods for clinical and applied settings (2nd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.
Kazdin, A.E. (2011). Evidence-based treatment research: Advances, limitations, and next steps. American Psychologist, 66, 685-698.
Kazdin, A.E., & Blase, S.L. (2011). Rebooting psychotherapy research and practice to reduce the burden of mental illness. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 61, 21-37.
White, J.W., Koss, M.P., & Kazdin, A.E. (Eds.) (2011). Violence against women and children: Volume I: Mapping the terrain; Volume II: Navigating solutions. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.