Alan E. Kazdin, PhD, ABPP

Dr. Kazdin is Sterling Professor of Psychology and Professor of Child Psychiatry at Yale University and Director of the Yale Parenting Center, as well as the Innovative Interactions Lab. He was the 2008 President of the American Psychological Association and is the author of 49 books for professional-audiences on topics of parenting and child rearing, child psychotherapy, cognitive and behavioral treatments, and interpersonal violence. His work has been translated in several languages. A recent profile in the Yale Alumni Magazine says, “When your kids whines, hits, kicks, and bites–relax. Alan Kazdin can help you find your inner parent.”

Graduate Students

Molly Crossman (Co-Director)

Molly Crossman is a doctoral student in the clinical psychology program at Yale. Broadly, Molly is interested in novel methods of reducing the burden of mental illness for children and youth. She has a particular interest in the use of human- animal interaction and animal-assisted therapy to reduce psychological distress and improve mental health. Before coming to Yale in 2013, Molly graduated from Tufts University with a BA in child development and psychology.

Ava Casados

Ava is a doctoral student in the clinical psychology program at Yale. She is interested in finding ways to reduce the gap between the emergence of psychological distress and the delivery of psychological services in young people’s lives. She focuses specifically on treatment disparities between ethnic groups, as well as on cultural influences on mental health literacy, mental illness stigma, and help-seeking. Ava received her BA in psychology and fine arts from the University of Southern California in 2011.

Lab Manager

Angela Matijczak

Angela graduated from the University of New Haven with a B.A. in Psychology, concentrating in Clinical/Counseling Psychology. In a general sense, Angela is interested in further studying the benefits of human-animal interactions on mental health and the benefits of using animal-assisted therapy to treat mental illness. In the future, she plans to pursue a PhD in the field of Psychology and continue contributing to the field of human-animal research.

Research Assistants

Olivia Quagliani

Olivia is a senior at the University of New Haven majoring in psychology with a concentration in Clinical/Community Psychology. Post-graduation, she plans to continue her education in the field of social work. Olivia is interested in further studying the benefits of human-animal interaction regarding mental health, specifically within the family environment. 


Hailey Dias

Hailey recently graduated from Quinnipiac University with a B.S. in psychology and a concentration in applied clinical science. Hailey is currently a research coordinator for a study assessing the efficacy of a mentalization-based parenting treatment for mothers recovering from substance abuse. After working as a research coordinator, she hopes to pursue a Ph.D in clinical psychology.


Nathanya McCalla

Nathanya is a first-year at Yale pursuing a B.S. in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry. As a first-year, Nathanya is excited to explore different research questions and find the ones that interest her most.  


Allie Liebmann

Allie is a first-year at Yale thinking of majoring in Cognitive Science. She is interested in how people and animals learn to think and make judgments about the world around them. She is excited to join the lab this semester!


Past Lab Members

Vanessa Sheridan (Research Assistant)

Luca Eros (Research Assistant)

Taylor Buscemi (Research Assistant)

Kara Allen (Research Assistant)

Brian Bink (Lab Manager)

Shawna Bush (Research Assistant)

Michelle Carney (Research Assistant)

Morgan Cohen (Research Assistant)

Rebecca Crystal (Research Assistant)

Izzy Derber (Research Assistant)

Nicholas Fagan (Research Assistant)

Gabriella Ferragamo (Research Assistant)

Katie Galbraith (Research Assistant)

Jenny Huber (Research Assistant)

Allison Jacobs (Research Assistant)

Jocelyn Jones (Research Assistant)

Krista Knudson (Collaborator and Dog Handler)

Rebecca Marks (Research Assistant)

Tanya Mayer (Research Assistant)

Gessica Ni (Research Assistant)

Sheantel J. Reihl (Lab Manager)

Lexi Paul (Research Assistant)

Caitlyn Rand (Research Assistant)

Abigail Cox (Research Assistant)

Hannah Bolotin (Research Assistant)

Gillian Burns (Research Assistant)

Elizabeth Kitt (Research Assistant)

Brandyn Cesan (Research Assistant)

Rebecca Spargo (Research Assistant)

Audrey Gibb (Research Assistant)

Casey Ramsey (Research Assistant)

Kyla Boice (Research Assistant)