“My research has focused primarily on aggressive and antisocial behavior and depression. The study of child dysfunction invariably leads to other topics including parent, fam­ily, and contextual factors that are often linked with child functioning. For example, we have also studied parent psychiatric dysfunction, interpersonal violence in the home, child-rearing practices, and stress to help understand child and parent functioning.”

— Dr. Alan E. Kazdin

Four Programs of Research

Intervention research has dominated my work and is illustrated by four programs of research.

  • First, much of my work has consisted of treatment outcome studies and has included children, adolescents, and adults. Work with adults focused on imagery-based treatment (covert modeling or imagined rehearsal) to develop social skills and reduce anxiety. Work with children and adolescents focused on interventions derived from applied behavior analysis and cognitive-behavioral treatment to reduce severe aggressive and antisocial behavior.
  • Second, I have been interested in moderators and treatment processes. Our group has focused on current and past child, parent, family, and contextual factors that influence therapeutic change in the treatment of children. Also, we have looked at processes that emerge during treatment (e.g., parent-therapist and child-therapist alliances, parent perceptions of treatment), mediators of these processes, and how to explain therapeutic change.
  • Third, we have studied participation in treatment including who drops out of treatment and why, who cancels and does not show up for treatment sessions, and who among dropouts benefits from treatment. Our work began as crassly empirical by merely identifying predictors until we developed and tested a model of why individuals drop out, as noted later.
  • Finally, we have conducted studies on treatment acceptability or the extent to which treatment techniques seem reasonable and appropriate for the clinical problems to which they are applied. Acceptability of treatment procedures (among clients, parents, teachers, therapists) has direct implications for remaining in and adhering to treatment among clients and recommending and using treatment among professionals. We have evaluated the acceptability of different treatments and determinants and predictors of acceptability.

Download Research Articles

The Kazdin Method® provides good science for what we know about a child’s behavior based on sound, well conducted studies rather than impressionistic beliefs and unsupported studies. The downloads listed below are chapters from my books that demonstrate the studies that we have done.

Additional Research Resources for Professionals

Research on Parent Management Training is summarized in these books (noted for Professionals)

Weisz, J.R., & Kazdin, A.E. (Eds.) (2017). Evidence-based Psychotherapies for Children and Adolescents (3rd ed.). New York: Guilford Press.

Kazdin, A.E. (2009). Parent Management Training:Treatment for Oppositional, Aggressive, and Antisocial Behavior in Children and Adolescents. New York: Oxford University Press.

Research on the techniques to change behavior using Antecedents, Behaviors, and Consequences are covered in this Textbook

Kazdin, A.E. (2013). Behavior Modification in Applied Settings (7th ed.). Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press.

Kazdin’s Research on Parenting Management Training for Children

Kazdin, A.E. (2017). Parent Management Training and Problem-Solving Skills Training for Child and Adolescent Conduct Problems. In J.R. Weisz & A.E. Kazdin (Eds.). Evidence-based Psychotherapies for Children and Adolescents (3rd ed., pp. 142-158). New York: Guilford Press.

Kazdin, A.E. (2015). Treatment of Children with Severe Aggressive and Anti-Social Behavior.  In M.A. Gernsbacher & J.R. Pomerantz (Eds.), Psychology and the Real World: Essays Illustrating Fundamental Contributions to Society(2nd ed., pp. 225-234). New York: Worth Publishers.

Kazdin’s Professional Biography

Kazdin, A.E. (2015). Clinical Dysfunction and Psychosocial Interventions The Interplay of Research Methods and Conceptualization of Challenges. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 11, 25-52.