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USD Professor Awarded Grant to Study Behavioral Techniques

SAN DIEGO- University of San Diego Professor of Psychology Kristen McCabe has been awarded a $621,179 from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) for her project entitled "Personalizing Parent Training Interventions for Culturally Diverse Families.”

The overarching goal of the proposed study is to develop and pilot test a personalization instrument, PersIn, that can be used to increase the benefits of Behavioral Parent Training (BPT) in culturally diverse families using Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT).

“Historically speaking we have seen huge success rates with BPT interventions. It’s quite dramatic,” Dr. McCabe explains. “Success rates with Caucasian children and their families have been higher. Our study seeks to understand how to personalize PCIT so that families from all culturally groups see the benefit.”

BPT interventions been proven effective for young children with behavior problems. However, not all families benefit, and ethnic minority families in particular are less likely to enroll, engage, and improve in BPT. Personalization has the potential for significant public health impact because the approach is responsive to characteristics specific to individual families, and therefore can be used across a range of ethnic groups, including non-Hispanic Whites.

Dr. McCabe, and research partner May Yeh, Associate Professor of Psychology at San Diego State University, will conduct research over the course of three years, involving 28 families with children between the ages of 2 and 7 from culturally diverse backgrounds. The grant went into effect on July 5, 2016.

USD students will participate in the grant from start to finish including videotaping and coding sessions, screening potential families, and recording and publishing data.

“Our goal,” says Dr. McCabe, “is to help parents become familiar with and learn to use techniques that can help their child. We hope to make the techniques more universally beneficial and to understand how to best adapt techniques across culturally diverse populations.”

Dr. McCabe received a B.A. from the University of Michigan in psychology and Spanish, and a Ph.D. from Wayne State University in child clinical psychology. She completed her American Psychiatric Association internship at the UCSD/San Diego VA Consortium. Her postdoctoral fellowship at the Rady Children’s Hospital Child and Adolescent Services Research Center was funded by NIMH.

To watch Dr. McCabe discuss her work, click here


About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 8,000 students from 75 countries and 44 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. USD’s eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. In February 2016, USD launched the public phase of Leading Change: The Campaign for USD, which represents the most ambitious fundraising effort in the history of the university and builds upon the strong philanthropic momentum achieved by USD in recent years. In September 2016, USD introduced Envisioning 2024, a strategic plan that capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.

Contact:

Melissa Olesen
mwagoner@sandiego.edu
(619) 260-4659