Researcher biography

Cassandra Dittman is a Research Fellow and Head of Curriculum Development at the Parenting and Family Support Centre (PFSC). Cassandra's research focuses on the prevention and treatment of behavioural problems in children and adolescents. She is particulary interested in the impact of quality parenting on important developmental outcomes for children and adolescents and the way that evidence-based parenting programs (including Triple P-the Positive Parenting Program) can improve outcomes for families and children. Cassandra also investigates the parenting experiences of special groups of parents (e.g., parents working as FIFO or DIDO workers, parents of teenagers), and how this information can be used to design consumer-responsive interventions for such parents. New areas of pursuit are ways that we can train and support other important caregivers (e.g. early childhood educators) in children's lives to promote children's prosocial behaviour and learning skills and reduce child behaviour problems, which has resulted in the co-authoring of a new blended modality program for early childhood educators, the Positive Early Childhood Education prgram. An additional new focus is the influence of strong parent-adolescent relationships in the positive development and mental health of young people. This latter research area includes the development of adolescent-specific measures of adolescent functioning, parenting, and the parent-adolescent relationship.

In addition to her research activities, Cassandra is Head of Curriculum Development at the PFSC. In this role, she is responsible for developing and revising all of the training courses and materials used to train practitioners in Triple P from around the world. Cassandra is also a registered psychologist with AHPRA.