Robert McMahon, PhD

Phone: 778-782-9031


Robert J. McMahon, Ph.D. is the founder and Director of the Institute for the Reduction of Youth Violence at SFU.  He has been a Professor in the Department of Psychology and the LEEF B.C. Leadership Chair in Proactive Approaches to Reducing Risk for Violence among Children and Youth since 2010.  He is also a Scientist Level 3 in the Brain, Behaviour, & Development theme at the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute (BCCHRI).

Dr. McMahon’s research focuses on understanding how conduct problems (and other problem behaviour) develop in children and adolescents, their developmental course over time, and how best to prevent and treat these problems, especially in the context of the family.  His research has been funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), Maternal and Child Health (U.S.), the Canada Foundation for Innovation-Leaders Opportunity Fund (CFI-LOF), the BC Knowledge Development Fund (BCKDF), BCCHRI Investigators Salary Awards, and a BCCHRI Establishment Award.  Dr. McMahon is the author of more than 260 scientific articles, books, chapters, and reviews.

Dr. McMahon is the past Editor-in-Chief (2007-2013) of the journal Prevention Science, and he is currently on the editorial boards of several other journals.  He has been a member of the Planning Committee for the Banff International Conferences on Behavioural Science since 1981.  Dr. McMahon served as a member of the member of the BC Provincial Child and Youth Mental Health and Addictions Plan Advisory Group (2018-19).  He is the recent recipient of the Presidential Award from the Society for Prevention Research (2020) and the Dean’s Medal of Excellence from the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences at SFU (2018).  He also received the Trailblazer Award from the Parenting and Families Special Interest Group of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (2011) and the Service to SPR Award from the Society for Prevention Research (2014). 

Representative Publications

Cyr, M., Zheng, Y., & McMahon, R.J. (2020). A long-term look at “early starters”: Predicting adult psychosocial outcomes from childhood conduct problem trajectories. Development and Psychopathology. Advance online publication. doi:10.1017/S0954579420000760

Godwin, J., & Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group.* (2020). The Fast Track intervention’s impact on behaviors of despair in adolescence and young adulthood. PNAS. Advance online publication. doi:10.1073/pnas.2016234117

Lansford, J.E., Godwin, J., Dodge, K.A., McMahon, R.J., Crowley, D.M., Pettit, G.S., Bates, J.E., & Coie, J.D. (2020). Early physical abuse and adult outcomes: Two prospective studies from kindergarten to adulthood. Pediatrics, 147(1), e20200873.

McMahon, R.J., & Pasalich, D.S. (2020). Evidence-based interventions for oppositional behavior and other conduct problems in young children. In R.G. Steele & M.C. Roberts (Eds.), Handbook of evidence-based therapies for children and adolescents: Bridging science and practice (2nd ed., pp. 187-201). New York: Springer.

Goulter, N., McMahon, R.J., Pasalich, D.S., & Dodge, K.A. (2020). Indirect effects of early parenting on adult antisocial outcomes via adolescent conduct disorder symptoms and callous-unemotional traits. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 49, 930-942. doi: 10/1080/15374416.2019.1613999

Zheng, Y., & McMahon, R.J. (2019). Lability in parental warmth in childhood: Antecedents and early adolescent outcomes. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. Advance online publication. doi:10.1080/15374416.2019.1678166

McMahon, R.J., & Frick, P.J. (2019). Conduct and oppositional disorders. In M.J. Prinstein, E.A. Youngstrom, E.J. Mash, & R.A. Barkley (Eds.), Treatment of disorders in childhood and adolescence (4th ed., pp. 102-172). New York: Guilford Press.

Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group.* (2019). The Fast Track program for children at risk: Preventing antisocial behavior. New York: Guilford Press.

Racz, S.J., McMahon, R.J., King, K.M., Pinderhughes, E.E., & Bendezú, J.J. (2019). Kindergarten antecedents of the developmental course of active and passive parental monitoring strategies during middle childhood and adolescence. Development and Psychopathology, 31, 1675-1694. doi:10.1017/S0954579419000993

McMahon, R.J., & Forehand, R.L. (2017). Helping the Noncompliant Child. In J. Lebow, A. Chambers, & D.C. Breunlin (Eds.), Encyclopedia of couple and family therapy. New York: Springer.

Bierman, K.L., Greenberg, M.T., Coie, J.D., Dodge, K.A., Lochman, J.E., & McMahon, R.J. (2017). Social and emotional skills training for children: The Fast Track Friendship Group manual. New York: Guilford Press.

Pasalich, D.S., Witkiewitz, K., McMahon, R.J., Pinderhughes, E.E., & Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group.* (2016). Indirect effects of the Fast Track intervention on conduct disorder symptoms and callous-unemotional traits: Distinct pathways involving discipline and warmth. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 44, 587-597. doi:10.1007/s10802-015-0059-y

Dodge, K.A., Bierman, K.L., Coie, J.D., Greenberg, M.T., Lochman, J.E., McMahon, R.J., & Pinderhughes, E.E. for the Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group.* (2015). Impact of early intervention on psychopathology, crime, and well-being at age 25. American Journal of Psychiatry, 172, 59-70. PMID: 25219348. DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2014.13060786


*Members of the CPPRG (in alphabetical order) are K.L. Bierman, J.D. Coie, D.M. Crowley (since 2014), K.A. Dodge, E.M. Foster (from 2002-06), M.T. Greenberg, J.E. Lochman, R.J. McMahon, and E.E. Pinderhughes (from 1998).