January 2021 Spotlight, Qing Zhou, Ph.D.

This month, we are delighted to introduce Dr. Qing Zhou (qingzhou@berkeley.edu) as our member in the spotlight. Qing is currently a Professor of Psychology & Director of Clinical Training at University of California, Berkeley. She also serves as our Caucus’ Publications and Scientific Programming Subcommittee Chair.

Qing’s research can be broadly defined as understanding the developmental pathways towards behavioral problems and competence in childhood and adolescence. Taking a developmental psychopathology perspective, she is 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.

1)What drew you to do work on Asians, Asian American children and youth, or another topic that is important to you now? who was an important mentor to you in this work, or an influential particular study in the field or in a related field?

I first became interested in the roles of parenting in children’s socioemotional development as an undergraduate student volunteering at Professor Qi Dong’s lab at Beijing Normal University. I helped with a cross-cultural study on parental socialization of children’s moral reasoning and prosocial development in Chinese and Canadian families conducted by Professor Qi Dong and Professor Michael Pratt at Wilfrid Laurier University. I conducted interviews with middle-class Chinese parents in Beijing on parenting beliefs and parental expectations for children’s prosocial development. I was intrigued by individual differences in parenting, children’s temperament, and family dynamics in Chinese families. Another experience that drew me into the field of socioemotional development was organizing a professional development workshop for teachers in Beijing, where I met Professor Carolyn Saarni and read her book “The Development of Emotional Competence”. I am grateful for my graduate mentors Professor Nancy Eisenberg and Professor Sharlene Wolchik at Arizona State University, who supported me in pursuing my research interest in emotional development in Chinese children.

2) A short paragraph describing a particular recent finding, current study, or recent publication and what makes you excited about it. 

In a recent paper published in the Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, we examined the links of preschoolers’ heritage language and English proficiency and parents’ cultural orientations to parenting styles and children’s socioemotional adjustment in low-income Mexican and Chinese immigrant families. We found that children’s expressive heritage proficiency and parents’ American and heritage cultural orientations were associated with parents’ higher use of authoritative/supportive parenting, which in turn was associated with children’s lower externalizing problems and more prosocial behaviors. We also found parents used less authoritarian/coercive parenting with children who had higher English expressive proficiency. Our findings suggest heritage language development and heritage culture maintenance can have socioemotional benefits for young dual language learners in immigrant families. Early childhood education programs can build on the heritage language and culture of immigrant families, provide opportunities for and/or encourage children’s and parents’ heritage language use in classroom and home settings.

3) Any thoughts about your experiences with the Asian Caucus?

I really enjoyed attending the Preconference on Conceptualizing and Measuring Culture, Context, Race and Ethnicity at 2019 SRCD Biennial Meeting, co-organized by Asian, Black, and Latino Caucuses. It was a great networking opportunity for child development researchers studying ethnic minority populations. I hope there are more joint events co-organized by SRCD Caucuses in future conferences.

4) Any upcoming presentations?

I will be presenting a paper at the upcoming 2020 Occasional Temperament Conference.

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