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Our clinical-research group focuses on questions related to diagnosis, assessment, and treatment of childhood psychiatric disorders, especially Oppositional-Defiant Disorder and Conduct Disorder. We develop, evaluate, and provide evidence-based treatments (parent management training, cognitive problem-solving skills training) for clinically referred children and adolescents. Our work is designed to understand the nature and scope of child dysfunction, parent, family, and contextual factors in which child dysfunction is embedded. We study ways of engaging children and families in treatment, premature termination from treatment, barriers that influence parent participation and treatment outcome and factors during treatment (e.g., parent expectations, therapeutic alliance) that can be mobilized to improve treatment outcomes. In additional to providing treatment to clinically referred children, we help parents with the normal challenges of child rearing. We provide our intervention in New Haven but also throughout the world live, on-line in individual treatment sessions. Our work is carried out at the Yale Parenting Center http://yaleparentingcenter.yale.edu/ a service for children and families on Yale campus.
Another area of our work relates to treatment as well. Specifically, we are interested in understanding how robots and animals (dogs) can be used to improve child wellbeing and help in the management of stress. Both robots and animals are used in the context of therapy for children and adults. Our work focuses on basic processes in laboratory paradigms to better understand the interactions and the factors that explain how change comes about. That work is carried out at the Innovative Interactions Lab (http://iilab.yale.edu/)
We work extensively with the media (TV, radio, print and internet) to bring psychological science to the public on issues related to child psychiatric disorders and mental health, parenting and discipline, school violence, bullying, and ways to promote child positive child development. We also provide training to mental health professionals throughout the world with our on-line and web-based training.