Current Research Projects

Helping the Noncompliant Child-Emotion Coaching (HNC-EC)

Principal Investigators: Robert McMahon, Lynn Katz; Co-investigators: Shannon Dorsey, Suzanne Kerns, Dave Pasalich, Michael Pullmann

Given the growing body of evidence suggesting that limited prosocial emotions may be one factor that mitigates the effects of traditional parent management training problems for child disruptive behavior disorders, the primary goal of this project is to develop and test the feasibility of a brief emotion-coaching (EC) intervention in combination with an evidence-based parent management training program, Helping the Noncompliant Child (HNC), for use with clinic-referred children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder who exhibit limited prosocial emotions.

The Fast Track Project

Principal Investigators: (the Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group, in alphabetical order) Karen Bierman, John Coie, Kenneth Dodge, Mark Greenberg, John Lochman, Robert McMahon, Ellen Pinderhughes

The Fast Track Project is a large, multisite collaborative study on the prevention of antisocial behavior in school-aged children that began in 1990 and continues today. The project involved a randomized controlled trial of a multimodal preventive intervention, which specifically targeted young children at risk for conduct problems. With four research sites across the United States (i.e., in Durham, Nashville, rural Pennsylvania, and Seattle), it is the largest prevention trial of its type ever funded by the United States’ Federal government. For more information, please visit the Fast Track website:

Personalizing Psychosocial Interventions for Children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Principal Investigator: Brendan Andrade; Co-Investigator: Robert McMahon

This study has two main goals: 1) to determine clinical profiles of children aged 6-9 and 10-12 with ODD based on DSM-5 symptom dimensions and key domains of other psychopathology and neuropsychological functioning; and 2) to determine whether these profiles improve the ability to predict which subgroups of children with ODD are most likely, and least likely, to benefit from evidence-based cognitive-behavioral treatment.

Connect: Reducing Violence and Victimization in At-Risk Adolescent Girls and Boys

Principal Investigators: Marlene Moretti and Robert McMahon

The primary goal of this team grant is to employ a randomized control design to examine the efficacy of an attachment-based family intervention (Connect) in an at-risk sample of 700 adolescents recruited from the community. Pubertal onset and the DRD4 7-repeat allele are being examined as potential moderators of intervention outcome. Sex and gender are being examined in relation to potential mechanisms of change (attachment security, emotion regulation, stress reactivity).

Toolkit for Reducing Reoffending and Building Resilience in Adolescent Offenders

Principal Investigator: Jodi Viljoen; Co-investigator: Robert McMahon

The major goals of this project are to develop, implement, and pilot a Reoffense Reduction and Resilience Toolkit for youth probation officers in British Columbia who work with diverse justice-involved youth.

Database Available for Secondary Data Analyses: Early Parenting Project (EPP)

Principal Investigators: Robert McMahon and Susan Spieker

The primary purpose of this research project was to examine the roles of parenting behavior, infant attachment security, and other maternal and child risk and protective factors in the development of conduct problems in a high-risk sample of children. Adolescent mothers and their children participated in this longitudinal study in the Puget Sound Region, USA from the time the children were 1 year old until they completed Grade 3.