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 Developmental Neurosciences and Child Health cluster of the Child & Family Research Institute (CFRI).

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), a CFRI Investigators Salary Award, and a CFRI Establishment Award.  Dr. McMahon is the author of more than 175 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 is the recent recipient of the Service to SPR Award from the Society for Prevention Research – 2014) and the Trailblazer Award from the Parenting and Families Special Interest Group of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (2011).

Selected Recent Invited Addresses:

McMahon, R.J. (2015, February). Family-based interventions for young children with conduct problems: Lessons learned and future directions. Invited keynote address presented at the “Niagara in Miami” Conference on Evidence-Based Treatments for Childhood and Adolescent Mental Health Problems, Miami, FL.

McMahon, R.J. (2014, November). The promise of prevention of serious conduct problems in high-risk youth: Outcomes and implications from the Fast Track project. Invited address presented at the Norwegian Center for Child Behavioral Development (Atferdssenteret) National Academic Conference, Oslo, Norway.

McMahon, R.J. (2013, October). Reducing violent behaviour in youth: Translating research into practice. Invited presentation to RCMP Crime Prevention Services, Surrey, BC.

Representative Publications:

McMahon R.J. (2015, March). Parent management training interventions for preschool-age children. Rev. ed. Encyclopedia on early childhood development [online]. CEECD, SKC-ECD. URL: Accessed March 12, 2015.

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

Kimonis, E., Frick, P.J., & McMahon, R.J. (2014). Conduct and oppositional defiant disorders. In E.J. Mash & R.A. Barkley (Eds.), Child psychopathology (3rd ed., pp. 145-179). New York: Guilford Press.

Witkiewitz, K., King, K. M., McMahon, R. J., Wu, J., Luk, J. & the Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group.* (2013). Evidence for a multi-dimensional latent structural model of externalizing disorders. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 41, 223-237.

Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group.* (2011). The effects of the Fast Track preventive intervention on the development of conduct disorder across childhood. Child Development, 82, 331-345. PMID: 21291445

Racz, S.J., & McMahon, R.J. (2011).The relationship between parental knowledge and monitoring and child and adolescent conduct problems: A 10-year update. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 14, 377-398. PMID: 22086648

Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group.* (2010). Fast Track intervention effects on youth arrests and delinquency. Journal of Experimental Criminology, 6, 131-157. PMID: 20577576

McMahon, R.J., Long, N., & Forehand, R.L. (2010). Parent training for the treatment of oppositional behavior in young children: Helping the Noncompliant Child. In R.C. Murrihy, A.D. Kidman, & T.H. Ollendick (Eds.), Handbook of clinical assessment and treatment of conduct problems in youth (pp. 163-191). New York: Springer.

Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group.* (2010). The Fast Track Project: The prevention of severe conduct problems in school-age youth. In R.C. Murrihy, A.D. Kidman, & T.H. Ollendick (Eds.), Handbook of clinical assessment and treatment of conduct problems in youth (pp. 407-433). New York: Springer.

McMahon, R.J., Witkiewitz, K., Kotler, J.S., & the Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group.* (2010). Predictive validity of callous-unemotional traits measured in early adolescence with respect to multiple antisocial outcomes. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 119, 752-763. PMID: 20939651

Wu, J., Witkiewitz, K., McMahon, R.J., Dodge, K.A., & the Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group.* (2010). A parallel process growth mixture model of conduct problems and substance use with risky sexual behavior. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 111, 207-214. PMID: 20558013


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