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Robert McMahon

Primary Area of Research:
Brain, Behaviour & Development

Investigator, BC Children's Hospital
Professor, Department of Psychology, Simon Fraser University
LEEF BC Leadership Chair 

Degrees / Designations
BA, M.Sc., PhD

Phone: 604-875-2000 ext. 4677
Fax: 604-875-3569
Mailing Address:
BC Children's Hospital
Room A3-111
4480 Oak Street
Vancouver, BC V6H 3V4

 Research Areas
  • Developmental course, assessment, prevention, and treatment of conduct problems in youth. 

  • Family based interventions for the treatment of conduct problems in young oppositional children.

About Dr. McMahon

My research focuses on understanding how conduct problems 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.

My current research projects include: 
Development of a new family based intervention that combines parent management training with emotion coaching for young children diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder and who exhibit low prosocial emotions
Evaluation of the effects of Fast Track, a long-term, comprehensive intervention designed to prevent serious conduct problems in high-risk children. 
Emergence of adolescent substance use problems from the externalizing spectrum. 
Developmental pathways of conduct problems. 
Two RCTs of Connect, an attachment–based parenting intervention for the prevention and treatment of serious conduct problems in adolescent youth (age 10-16) (with Marlene Moretti).

Recent publications

View Dr. McMahon's recent publications on ORCID

Selected Publications

Impact of early intervention on psychopathology, crime, and well-being at age 25. 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).  American Journal of Psychiatry, 172, 59-70. DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2014.13060786. PMID: 25219348

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

The longitudinal link between parenting and child aggression: The moderating effect of attachment security. Cyr, M., Pasalich, D.S., McMahon, R.J., & Spieker, S.J. (2014). Child Psychiatry & Human Development, 45, 555-564. DOI 10.1007/s10578-013-0424-4. PMID: 24287581

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

Evidence for a multi-dimensional latent structural model of externalizing disorders. Witkiewitz, K., King, K. M., McMahon, R. J., Wu, J., Luk, J. & the Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group.* (2013).  Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 41, 223-237. PMID: 22936218

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

The impact of the Fast Track prevention trial on health services use by conduct-problem youth. Jones, D.E., Godwin, J., Dodge, K.A., Bierman, K.L., Coie, J.D., Greenberg, M.T., Lochman, J.E., McMahon, R.J., & Pinderhughes, E.E. (2010).  Pediatrics, 125, e130-e136. PMID: 20008428

Parent training for the treatment of oppositional behavior in young children: Helping the Noncompliant Child. McMahon, R.J., Long, N., & Forehand, R.L. (2010).  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. PMID: 25318650

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

A parallel process growth mixture model of conduct problems and substance use with risky sexual behavior. Wu, J., Witkiewitz, K., McMahon, R.J., Dodge, K.A., & the Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group.* (2010). 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).

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