Note: Professor Kazdin is not accepting graduate students.
Our clinical-research group has focused on the diagnosis, assessment, and treatment of childhood psychiatric disorders, especially Oppositional-Defiant Disorder and Conduct Disorder. We have developed, evaluated, and provided two evidence-based treatments (parent management training, cognitive problem-solving skills training) for clinically referred children and adolescents. Our work has been designed to understand the nature and scope of child dysfunction, parent, family, and contextual factors in which child dysfunction is embedded. We have studied family engagement 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 have helped parents with the normal challenges of child rearing. We have provided our intervention in New Haven but also throughout the world live, on-line in individual treatment sessions. We could not meet the need and developed a free-online course to help parents with the challenges of everyday child rearing https://www.coursera.org/learn/everyday-parenting.
Although my work with parenting has continued, I have made a shift in focus to address what is referred to as the “treatment gap.” This is the gap between the proportion of people in need of psychological services and the proportion that receives them. The large majority of people in need of services in the United States and worldwide receive no treatment at all—neither evidence-based nor non-evidence-based treatment. Overtime, it became clear that developing evidence-based treatments, while obviously important, would be of little value if we cannot deliver the many we now have to those individuals in need. Consequently, my interest has shifted from developing evidence-based treatments to models of delivery, that is, how these treatments are provided to people in need. There are several models of delivery (e.g., task shifting, best-buy interventions, disruptive innovations, Entertainment education, and others) that draw from many disciplines outside of clinical psychology. These models have evidence in their behalf, can be scaled so that treatment reaches many people, and can reach those individuals who are especially unlikely to receive services (e.g., individuals of color and ethnic minorities, victims of violence, children, adolescents, and the elderly).
I 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, stress management, school violence, bullying, and ways to promote child positive child development.