Culture & Families
Welcome to the Culture and Family Lab! Led by Qing Zhou, Assistant Professor of Psychology, our lab is interested in the role of family, culture, and temperament in children’s and adolescents’ emotional, social, and academic development. We are trying to understand what personal and environmental factors put some children at risk for mental health and academic problems, and what factors promote competence and well-being in development.
We investigate these questions in a variety of child/adolescent populations, including typically-developing children, children at risk for maladjustment (e.g., children from divorced families), and children from diverse cultural/ethnic backgrounds (e.g., European American and Chinese American children, and children in China). We conduct longitudinal studies (i.e., we follow the same group of children and families over time) to examine how changes in children’s environments influence their development and vice versa. We use a variety of methods to assess characteristics of children and their family, school, neighborhood, and culture, including administering questionnaire surveys and interviews to parents, teachers, children, and peers, observing children’s behaviors and social interactions in laboratory and naturalistic settings, and conducting neuropsychological and academic testing of children. We are also interested in developing and testing psychosocial intervention programs for reducing mental health problems and promoting competence for special populations (e.g., children from divorced families and children from immigrant families).
We are currently working on two projects: a) Kids & Family Project – a large-scale longitudinal study on Chinese American immigrant children’s psychological and academic development; and b) New Beginnings Program – a study to adapt a proven prevention program for children from divorced families and make it more accessible and applicable to Chinese American families experiencing divorce or separation.