My research can be broadly defined as understanding the developmental pathways towards behavioral problems and competence in childhood and adolescence. Taking a developmental psychopathology perspective, I am particularly interested in the following processes/aspects of development: a) temperament, or the constitutionally-based individual differences in emotional, motor, and attentional reactivity and regulation; b) emotion-related processing, including emotion regulation, emotionality, appraisal of and coping with stressors; c) family socialization, including parenting, parent-child and family relationship; and d) the larger socio-cultural context, including cultural values and norms. I investigate these questions in a variety of child/adolescent populations, including normative children and children at risk for maladjustment (e.g., children from divorced families, immigrant children), children of different cultural/ethnic backgrounds (e.g., European American, Chinese American, and native Chinese children). I use a variety of research designs, including cross-sectional and longitudinal studies, within-culture and cross-culture comparative studies, and naturalistic/correlational and intervention/experimental studies. A multi-method, multi-reporter approach is used to assess the core constructs in my research (e.g., temperament, parenting, mental health adjustment), including questionnaire reports by parents, teachers, children, and peers, structured interviews, behavioral observation in laboratory and naturalistic settings, and neuropsychological testing.
Bilingualism and Socioemotional Development in Dual Language Learners
This research seeks to understand the consequences of the bilingual experience on socio-emotional development among young children growing up in language minority homes. In the first stage of this research, we have conducted a pilot study with 90 children (aged 3 to 5 years) and their parents from Spanish-speaking Mexican American families and Chinese-speaking Chinese American families from Head Start centers in the San Francisco Bay Area. Children’s dual language proficiency, executive functions, and socio-emotional development were assessed with a multi-methods and multi-informants battery. With the rapid growth of bilingual and language minority children in the United States, the project has the potential to inform educational and clinical practices aimed at promoting socio-emotional adjustment and academic competence in bilingual and language minority children. We are currently working on data analyses and manuscript writing.
During the second stage, we have received a five-year grant from NICHD (R01HD091154) to conduct a large longitudinal study of dual language learners from low-income Spanish-speaking and Cantonese-speaking families in the Bay Area. We will follow 400 children (initially 3-4 years of age) and their families annually for three years (T1 and T2 in preschool, T3 in kindergarten to early elementary school grades). Three waves of multi-method and multi-context data on children’s English and heritage language proficiency, executive functions, socioemotional development, and quality of parent-child and teacher-child relationships will be collected from children's schools and homes. The data will allow us to examine the reciprocal relations between children's bilingual and socioemotional development, and the mediation and moderation mechanisms. This research will have implications for early childhood education policy, assessment, curriculum development, teacher training, and family engagement practices on dual language learners.
This study is conducted in collaboration with Dr. Yuuko Uchikoshi Tonkovich at UC-Davis (http://education.ucdavis.edu/faculty-profile/yuuko-uchikoshi-tonkovich) and Dr. Silvia Bunge at UC-Berkeley (http://psychology.berkeley.edu/people/silvia-bunge).
The Risk and Protective Factors for Mental Health Adjustment in 1st- and 2nd- Generation Chinese American Immigrant Children
Initially funded by Foundation for Child Development Young Scholars Program (http://www.fcd-us.org/programs/programs_show.htm?doc_id=447982), this on-going longitudinal study aims to examine the childhood risk and protective factors for mental health adjustment and competence in a socioeconomically diverse sample of 258 first and second generation Chinese American (CA) immigrant children starting in 1st and 2nd grade. A multi-method (questionnaire, behavioral task, and neuropsychological and academic achievement test) and multi-informant (parent, teacher, and child report) methodological approach is used in assessment. This project will have implications for public policy and educational and clinical practices serving children of immigrant families. Specifically, the study can help develop instruments for identifying immigrant children at high risk for maladjustment, and provide the knowledge base for developing effective interventions for reducing maladjustment and promoting competence for children of immigrant families. This study is conducted in collaboration with Professor Alexandra Main at University of California-Merced and Professor Stephen Chen at Wellesley College.
We have completed three waves of assessments (Wave 1 in 2007-2009, Wave 2 in 2009-2011, and Wave 3 in 2017-2018) and have published a number of papers from this study.
Grandparent Involvement in Childrearing in Chinese American Immigrant Families
Initially funded by Chau Hoi Shuen Foundation Women in Science Research Grant (UC-Berkeley), the project aims to understand the characteristics of grandparent involvement in childrearing in Chinese American immigrant families with preschool-aged children. This multi-methods study will further examine the consequences of grandparent involvement in childrearing on children’s biological stress responses, behavioral adjustment, and executive functions.
* Denote student authors/presenters.
Chan, M.*, Williams, A. I.*, Teng, Y-P T., & Zhou, Q. (2022). Parent-child emotion talk and preschoolers’ socioemotional adjustment in Chinese American and Taiwanese families. Early Education and Development. DOI: 10.1080/10409289.2022.2048347
Haft, S.*, Zhou, Q., Stephens, M., & Alkon, A. (2021). Culture and stress biology in immigrant youth from the prenatal period to adolescence: A systematic review. Developmental Psychobiology, 63, 391-408. https://doi.org/10.1002/dev.22009
Curtis, K.*, Zhou, Q., Tao, A. (2020). Emotion talk in Chinese American immigrant families and longitudinal links to children’s socioemotional competence. Developmental Psychology, 56 (3), 475-488.
Williams, A. I.*, Srinivasan, M., Liu, C.*, Lee, P.*, Zhou, Q. (2020). Why do bilinguals code-switch when emotional? Insights from immigrant parent-child interactions. Emotion, 20(5), 830-841. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/emo0000568
Chen, S. H.*, Hua, M.*, Zhou, Q., Tao, A.*, Lee, E. H.*, Ly, J.*, & Main, A.* (2014). Cultural orientations and child adjustment in Chinese American immigrant families. Developmental Psychology, 50, 189-201.
Instructor, PSY131 (undergraduate lecture) Developmental Psychopathology
Instructor, PSY148 (Psychological Research on Children of Immigrant Families)
Instructor, PSY230C (graduate seminar) Proseminar in Clinical Psychology: Culture, Context, and Diversity in Clinical Science