Dr Dave Pasalich

Senior Lecturer
Research School of Psychology
College of Health & Medicine

After completing my postgraduate degrees in Australia, I worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Children and Families, Florida International University, USA and at the Institute for the Reduction of Youth Violence, Simon Fraser University, Canada. In Jan 2016 I returned to Australia to begin a Lecturer position at ANU. I have been registered as a Psychologist (endorsement in Clinical Psychology) since 2011, and have practiced in various community and university settings. My research and clinical expertise is in child and family psychology.

Research interests

Research interests

  • Parenting and the parent-child relationship
  • Child maltreatment and out-of-home-care
  • Family-based treatment and prevention
  • Child and youth antisocial behaviour and callous-unemotional traits (e.g., lack of guilt and empathy)


2017-2020: Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award. 

2014-2017: Parent training and emotion coaching for children with limited prosocial emotions.  Funding body: National Institute of Mental Health (USA). Principal Investigators: Lynn Katz, Robert McMahon;  Co-Investigators: Shannon Dorsey, Suzanne Kerns, Dave Pasalich, Michael Pullman.

2013-2016: Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Postdoctoral Fellowship (Canada).

2013-2015: Child & Family Research Institute Postdoctoral Fellowship (Canada). (Funding declined in favour of the MSFHR Postdoctoral Fellowship.)

Book Chapters

Pasalich, D. S., & Palfrey, N. (2021). Working with families of children who have experienced maltreatment. In J. Allen, D. Hawes, & C. Essau (Eds.), Family-based intervention for child and adolescent mental health: A core competencies approach. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

McMahon, R. J., & Pasalich, D. S. (2020). Evidence-based interventions for oppositional behavior and other conduct problems in young children. In R. G. Steele and M. C. Roberts (Eds.), Handbook of evidence-based therapies for children and adolescents (2nd ed.). New York: Springer.

McMahon, R. J., & Pasalich, D. S. (2020). Parenting and family intervention in treatment. In M. Sanders & A. Morawska (Eds.), Handbook of parenting and child development across the lifespan. New York: Springer.

Moretti, M. M., Pasalich, D. S., & O’Donnell, K. A. (2018). An attachment-based program for parents of teens. In H. Steele & M. Steele (Eds.), Handbook of attachment-based interventions. New York, NY: Guilford Press.

McMahon, R. J., & Pasalich, D.S. (2016). Family-based interventions for young children with conduct problems as a means of delinquency prevention. In D.J. Pepler, J. Cummings, & W.M. Craig (Eds.), Healthy development, healthy communities (pp. 145-166) (PREVNet Series, Volume IV). Kingston, ON: PREVNet.

Kimonis, E. R., Pardini, D. A., Pasalich, D. S., & McMahon, R. J. (2014). Callous and unemotional specifier for conduct disorder. In G. Gabbard (Ed.), Gabbard's treatments of psychiatric disorders (5th ed., pp. 747-754). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc.

Pardini, D. A., Pasalich, D. S., Kimonis, E. R., & McMahon, R. J. (2014). Conduct disorder. In G. Gabbard (Ed.), Gabbard's treatments of psychiatric disorders (5th ed., pp. 739-746). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc.

Pasalich D. S., McMahon, R. J., Kimonis, E. R., & Pardini, D. A. (2014). Oppositional defiant disorder. In G. Gabbard (Ed.), Gabbard's treatments of psychiatric disorders (5th ed., pp. 725-731). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc.

Hawes, D. J., Dadds, M. R., & Pasalich, D. S. (2013). Observational coding methods. In R. Comer & P. Kendall (Eds.), Oxford handbook of research strategies for clinical psychology (pp. 120-141)New York, NY: Oxford University Press.


Journal Articles (*students under my primary supervision at time of publication)

Suomi, A., Bolton, A., & Pasalich, D. S. (in press). The prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder in birth parents in child protection services: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse.

Chia*, K., Pasalich, D. S., Fassnacht, D. B., Ali, K., Kyrios, M., Maclean, B., & Grisham, J. R. (in press). Interpersonal attachment, early family environment, and trauma in hoarding: A systematic review. Clinical Psychology Review.

Canning*, M. G., Jugovac*, S., & Pasalich, D. S. (in press). An updated account on parents’ use of and attitudes towards time-out. Child Psychiatry & Human Development.

McKenna*, S., Olsen, A., & Pasalich, D. S. (in press). Understanding strengths in adolescent–parent relationships: A qualitative analysis of adolescent speech samples. Journal of Research on Adolescence.

Pasalich, D. S., Moretti, M. M., Hassall*, A., & Curcio, A. (in press). Pilot randomized controlled trial of an attachment- and trauma-focused intervention for kinship caregivers. Child Abuse & Neglect.

Pasalich, D. S., Craig, S. G., Goulter, N., O’Donnell, K. A., Sierra Hernandez, C., & Moretti, M. M. (in press). Patterns and predictors of different youth responses to attachment-based parent intervention. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology.

Hassall*, A., van Rensburg*, E. J., Trew, S., Hawes, D. J., & Pasalich, D. S. (in press). Does kinship vs. foster care better promote connectedness? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review.

Bui*, N. H., & Pasalich, D. S. (2021). Insecure attachment, maladaptive personality traits, and the perpetration of in-person and cyber psychological abuse. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 36, 2117-2139.

McKenna*, S., Hassall*, A., O'Kearney, R., & Pasalich, D. S. (2020). Gaining a new perspective on the quality of parent–adolescent relationships from adolescent speech samples. Journal of Family Psychology, 34, 938-948.

Goulter, N., McMahon, R. J., Pasalich, D. S., & Dodge, K. A. (2020). Indirect effects of early parenting on adult antisocial outcomes via adolescent conduct disorder symptoms and callous-unemotional traits. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 49, 930-942.

Pasalich, D. S., Fleming, C. B., Spieker, S. J., Lohr, M. J., & Oxford, M. L. (2019). Does parents’ own history of child abuse moderate the effectiveness of the Promoting First Relationships® intervention in child welfare? Child Maltreatment, 24, 56-65. 

Schuberth, D. A., Zheng, Y., Pasalich, D. S., McMahon, R. J., Kamboukos, D., Dawson-McClure, S., & Miller Brotman, L. (2019). The role of emotion understanding in the development of aggression and callous-unemotional features across early childhood. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 47, 619-631. 

Weston, S., Hawes, D. J., & Pasalich, D. S. (2017). The Five Minute Speech Sample as a measure of parent-child dynamics: Evidence from observational research. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 26, 118-136.

Zheng, Y., Pasalich, D. S., Oberth, C., McMahon, R. J., & Pinderhughes, E. E. (2017). Capturing parenting as a multidimensional and dynamic construct with a person-oriented approach. Prevention Science, 18, 281-291.

Dadds, M. R., Gale, N., Godbee, M., Moul, C., Pasalich, D. S., Fink, E., & Hawes, D. J. (2016). Expression and regulation of attachment-related emotions in children with conduct problems and callous-unemotional traits. Child Psychiatry & Human Development, 47, 647-656.

Pasalich, D. S., Cyr, M., Zheng, Y., McMahon, R. J., & Spieker, S. J. (2016). Child abuse history in teen mothers and parent-child risk processes for offspring externalizing problems. Child Abuse & Neglect, 56, 89-98.

Pasalich, D. S., Fleming, C. B., Oxford, M. L., Zheng, Y., & Spieker, S. J. (2016). Can parenting intervention prevent cascading effects from placement instability to insecure attachment to externalizing problems in maltreated toddlers? Child Maltreatment, 21, 175-185.  

Pasalich, D. S., Witkiewitz, K., McMahon, R. J., Pinderhughes, E. E., & the Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group. (2016). Indirect effects of the Fast Track intervention on conduct disorder symptoms and callous-unemotional traits: Distinct pathways involving discipline and warmth. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 44, 587-597.

Boustani, M. M., Frazier, S. L., Becker, K. D., Bechor, M., Dinizulu, S. M., Hedemann, E. R., Ogle, R. R., & Pasalich, D. S. (2015). Common elements of adolescent prevention programs: Minimizing burden while maximizing reach. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research42, 209-219.

Graziano, P., Bagner, D., Slavec, J., Rodriguez, G., Kent, K., Babinski, D., Derefinko, K., & Pasalich, D. (2015). Feasibility of providing Intensive Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (I-PCIT): Results from an open trial. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment37, 38-49.

Cyr, M., Pasalich, D. S., McMahon, R. J., & Spieker, S. J. (2014). The longitudinal link between parenting and child aggression: The moderating effect of attachment security. Child Psychiatry & Human Development, 45, 555-564.

Miller, N. V., Johnston, C., & Pasalich, D. S. (2014). Parenting and conduct problems: Moderation by child empathy. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 36, 74-83.

Pasalich, D. S., Dadds, M. R., & Hawes, D. J. (2014). Cognitive and affective empathy in children with conduct problems: Additive and interactive effects of callous-unemotional traits and autism spectrum disorders symptoms. Psychiatry Research, 219, 625-630.

Pasalich, D. S., Waschbusch, D. A., Dadds, M. R., & Hawes, D. J. (2014). Emotion socialization style in parents of children with callous–unemotional traits. Child Psychiatry & Human Development45, 229-242.

Pasalich, D. S., Dadds, M. R., Hawes, D. J., & Brennan, J. (2012). Attachment and callous-unemotional traits in children with early-onset conduct problems. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 53, 838-845.

Pasalich, D. S., Dadds, M. R., Vincent, L. C., Cooper, F. A., Hawes, D. J., & Brennan, J. (2012). Emotional communication in families of conduct-problem children with high versus low callous-unemotional traits. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 41, 302-313.

Dadds, M. R., Jambrak, J., Pasalich, D. S., Hawes, D. J., & Brennan, J. (2011). Impaired attention to the eyes of attachment figures and the developmental origins of psychopathy. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 52, 238-245.

Pasalich, D. S., Dadds, M. R., Hawes, D. J., & Brennan, J. (2011). Do callous-unemotional traits moderate the relative importance of parental coercion versus warmth in child conduct problems? An observational study. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry52, 1308-1315.

Pasalich, D. S., Dadds, M. R., Hawes, D. J., & Brennan, J. (2011). Assessing relational schemas in parents of children with externalizing behavior disorders: Reliability and validity of the Family Affective Attitude Rating Scale. Psychiatry Research185, 438-443.

Pasalich, D. S., Livesey, D. J., & Livesey, E. J. (2010). Performance on Stroop-like assessments of inhibitory control by 4- and 5-year-old children. Infant and Child Development, 19, 252-263.