Renowned psychologist, Alan E. Kazdin, will speak about his effective method on parenting

by Celeste Lodge,
Spartan Daily Staff Writer
Oct 21, 2012 1:33 pm

Alan E. Kazdin, a nationally known psychologist for his work in child development and alumnus of San Jose State will give a lecture on parenting defiant children by using his method, the “Kazdin Method,” which encourages using positive reinforcement for good behavior rather than punishment for a child.

The lecture,“Treatment for Oppositional, Aggressive and Antisocial Child Behavior,” will take place today.

Kazdin is the director of Yale University’s Parenting Center, the John M. Musser Professor of Psychology and Child Psychiatry, and former president of the American Psychological Association, according to Ronald Rogers, professor and chair of the SJSU psychology department.

Rogers said Kazdin has been using method for many years at the Yale Parenting Center and has written numerous books and more than 600 articles about it.

The method  requires parents to positively reinforce good behavior of a child without giving them rewards in order to reduce their bad behavior.

Practicing the method will teach the child to repeat their good behavior.

Kazdin has made many appearances on television shows as an expert discussing his method, including Dr. Phil and Good Morning America.

He has received the MERIT award, the Distinguished Service Award to the Profession of Psychology, and the American Psychological Association Award for Lifetime Contributions to Psychology.

“He’s nationally renowned when it comes to parenting,” Rogers said. “(Kazdin) is a name that anyone in Child Development and Parenting knows.”

Jessica Grady, a lecturer in child and adolescent development, said she is looking forward to hearing more about his research and method.

“He’s someone who has devoted his whole life to this,” Grady said. “It’s inspiring to hear that he has contributed so much to the field and is devoted to bettering the world of children and parents.”

Kaity Navarro, a fourth year child and adolescent development major,  said she is excited to learn more about how to handle difficult childhood behavior.

“Right now I wouldn’t know how to properly handle a child like that,” Navarro said.

Hannah Bond, a freshman liberal studies major, wants to know more about his method because she has a 2-yearold daughter.

“To have an experts view on the best ways to maximize her (daughters) learning and behavior would be really useful, especially because she’s in her ‘terrible twos,’” Bond said.

This lecture will be the first of a series that was anonymously endowed with funding and in honor of Kazdin.

“(The series) allows us to bring in renowned psychologists from around the United States to speak to SJSU students every year,” Rogers said.

Rogers wanted to start off the series with Kazdin himself, so he reached out to him to have him speak.

Rogers said Kazdin’s method is an effective method for parenting and is looking forward to hearing more about it because it’s not his area of expertise.

“I’m also looking forward to meeting him as one of our most successful graduates of our undergraduate program,” Rogers said.

This is Kazdin’s first time speaking at SJSU.

“We are incredibly proud to claim Dr. Kazdin as an alumnus and a model for current faculty and students as well as for those to come,” said Sheila Bienenfeld, dean of the College of Social Sciences.

The lecture is open to students, faculty and the public and is today from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Engineering Room 189.

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