February 2021 Spotlight, Xin Feng, Ph.D.

This month, we are delighted to introduce Dr. Xin Feng (Feng.88@osu.edu) as our member in the spotlight. Xin is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Human Sciences, Human Development and Family Science program area at The Ohio State University. She has a broad background in social and emotional development in diverse family and cultural contexts, with specific focus on the interface of temperament, emotional and cognitive regulation, and contextual influences in the development of adaptive socioemotional functioning and childhood psychopathology. She is particularly interested in examining early emotional and cognitive regulation as mechanisms for the transmission of depression between mothers and their children. 

Her research has focused on: 1) the co-development of emotional and cognitive regulation during early childhood, 2) the effect of maternal depression and parenting on the development of emotional/cognitive regulation, and 3) early risk factors associated with the onset and maintenance of childhood depressive and anxiety symptoms. In these lines of research, her work relies on intensive behavioral observations of children and mothers. Her areas of expertise also include statistical methods in modeling longitudinal data. 

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 have always been fascinated by the different ways in which children are raised and socialized across cultures. I am fortunate to have worked with Sara Harkness and Charles Super, my graduate school mentors who introduced me to the theories and methods of inquiry in understanding child development in sociocultural contexts. I was particularly interested in the interaction between temperament and culture in shaping children’s social and emotional development. Inspired by Jerome Kagan’s work on behavioral inhibition and Xinyin Chen’s work on differential developmental outcomes associated with shyness in Western and Chinese cultures, my first independent research study was to investigate shy and nonshy children’s adaptation to formal schooling in a Chinese community. Currently, my main research focus is the development of emotional and cognitive regulation in young children and the influence of parental mental health and parenting; I remain very interested in how parents’ cultural ideas and socialization practices impact children’s emotion regulation and their trajectories of adjustment and maladjustment outcomes.

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

My research team has begun a pilot project, in which we seek to understand cultural differences in parental beliefs and practices in emotion socialization between Chinese and U.S. families as well as to unpack the links between culturally specific emotion socialization beliefs and practices and child emotional and social-cognitive outcomes. In this study, we adopt a mixed-method approach to explore both between- and within-culture differences.

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

I recently joined the Publication and Scientific Programming and Awards subcommittees of Asian Caucus. I look forward to working with colleagues in these committees to serve the Asian Caucus members.

4) Any upcoming presentations?

I will participate in a panel discussion on advancing culturally responsive research in the annual Advanced Methods Institute (AMI). This conference is organized by the College of Education and Human Ecology at The Ohio State University and will be held virtually in June.

5)  A preferred weblink

https://u.osu.edu/feng.88/

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