Alisha Pollastri, Ph.D.

PhD Investigator Clinical
Psychiatry, Mass General Research Institute
Assistant Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry
Harvard Medical School
Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital
PhD Clark University 2010
aggression; attention deficit and disruptive behavior disorders; behavior therapy; behavioral research; bullying; child behavior disorders; collaborative problem solving; conflict resolution; crime victims; family conflict; parenting; problem solving

Dr. Pollastri is the principal investigator for the Laboratory for Youth Behavior at Massachusetts General Hospital and the Director of Research and Evaluation for Think:Kids.

Youth with behavior challenges are often referred to as oppositional, challenging, explosive, difficult, defiant or aggressive. They often display externalizing behaviors such as temper tantrums, defiance, deceit, destruction of property and verbal or physical aggression.

These youth may carry a diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), conduct disorder (CD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD), or intermittent explosive disorder (IED). They could also display challenging behaviors as part of a larger set of symptoms that have been identified as a mood, anxiety or development disorder.

The MGH Laboratory for Youth Behavior is affiliated with Think:Kids in the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Psychiatry. We take a broad approach to studying the causes of challenging behavior during childhood, adolescence, and emerging adulthood.

We explore how, why, and for whom different treatment approaches for disruptive behavior disorders are effective, with a focus on studying the Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS) approach that is disseminated and implemented by Think:Kids.

Through partnerships with organizations that are implementing CPS, we contribute to the field’s knowledge of implementing evidence-based practices in schools, hospitals, and community-based clinical agencies.