David J. Kolko, Ph.D., ABPP, is Professor of Psychiatry, Psychology, Pediatrics, and Clinical and Translational Science, at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He is Director of the Special Services Unit at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, a program devoted to the development and dissemination of evidence-based practices for children or adolescents served in diverse community settings or systems including juvenile justice, child welfare, pediatric primary care, and mental health. He serves as Adjunct Staff in the Section of Behavioral Health at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. He is the senior developer of Alternatives for Families: A Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (AF-CBT; www.afbt.org), an intervention for family conflict and coercion. In that role, he is involved in the dissemination, evaluation, and refinement of AF-CBT across the U.S., and internationally.
Clinical Research Interests
My treatment research interests include the study and treatment of child abuse/family conflict, child behavior disorders, firesetting, and adolescent sexual offending, and the integration of behavioral health services in pediatric primary care and family health centers. Several clinical trials have evaluated interventions developed for these problems with support from the National Institute of Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and National Center of Child Abuse & Neglect.
Much of our current treatment research work is devoted to dissemination and implementation efforts designed to adapt and then transport effective interventions for these clinical problems to various community settings or systems serving children, youth, and families, including pediatric primary care, juvenile justice, child welfare, public health/safety, and mental health.
I routinely conduct professional seminars and trainings on a national and international basis to teach evidence-based treatments to practitioners working with the above-mentioned populations. This training includes workshops on a treatment approach (“Alternatives for Families: A Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy”) that we have developed for families involved in conflict, coercion, the use of physical discipline, and child physical abuse. AF-CBT has been recently adapted for use with early-onset disruptive behavior disorders.
Professional Status, Honors, and Awards
- Licensed Psychologist, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 1986
- Board Certification, Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP), 2009
- Board of Directors and Research Committee Co-chair, American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, 1996-2002
- Research Career Achievement Award for 2001, American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children
- Fellow, Divisions 53 (Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology) and 37 (Society for Child and Family Policy and Practice), American Psychological Association, 2008-2009
- William Friedrich Memorial Award, American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, 2014
- Member, Initial Review Group, Services Research in Non-Specialty Settings, National Institute of Mental Health, 2009-2013
- Core Faculty Member, Psychology Internship Committee and Psychology Discipline Committee, WPIC, 1983
- Core Faculty Member, Research Training in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, (PI: David Brent, MD), 1997-present