February 2023 Spotlight – Judith C. Scott , PhD

This month, we are delighted to introduce Dr. Judith C. Scott (jcscott@bu.edu), as our member in the spotlight. Judith is an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at Boston University. 

  1. Can you write a couple sentences on some aspect of your career development: feel free to pick one or any other related question among these: a) what drew you to do work on Asians, Asian American children and youth, or another topic that is important to you now? b) who was an important mentor to you in this work, or an influential particular study in the field or in a related field? c) any particular advice or tips to someone starting out in the field who is doing work in your area? 

My primary research interest focuses on how trauma such as physical child maltreatment and racism (interpersonal and structural), protective processes including ethnic-racial socialization and coping, and contextual factors affects parenting and mental health among families across cultures. However, it was my secondary research interest in program evaluation that led to my interest in Asian children and families. Right before I started as faculty at Boston University, a community organization, Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center, sent a request for an agency-level and community-level program evaluation. During the two-year evaluation, through talks with BCNC staff and reading existing literature, I realized that I rarely read about the perspectives and experiences of Chinese immigrant families living in low-income communities in relation to parenting. At the end of the evaluation, Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center and I collaborated on study, funded by the Child Well-being Network Research to Action Grant, to examine parenting and contextual influences such as physical neighborhood and discrimination among Chinese immigrant caregivers (e.g., parents, grandparents) of children ages two to twelve.

  • A short paragraph describing a particular recent finding, current study, or recent publication and what makes you excited about it.  Feel free to describe its importance from any one or more of these lenses: a) research contribution; b) our knowledge about Asian or Asian American populations; c) our knowledge about other [understudied?] populations; d) practice or policy relevance. 

I am excited about my new study, Supporting Asian Parents and Children Talking about Race and Racism (ACTRR), which is funded by the Boston University Initiative on Cities and William James College. Developed in collaboration with Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center, South Cove Community Health Center, and William James College, the ACCTR study will explore Chinese and Vietnamese families’ experiences of racism, perceived effects of racism on their elementary aged children, and the ways in which parents engage their children around racism and racial/ethnic identity. In addition, a 6-week virtual ethnic-racial socialization intervention that supports parents’ conversations with their elementary aged children about racism, racial/ethnic identity, and racial/ethnic empowerment will be piloted. The study is in IRB approval stage and will be launched by Spring 2023. The ACCTR study will provide crucial information on racist experiences and ERS among Chinese and Vietnamese immigrant families with elementary school aged children. This data will be used to engage educational systems in the Greater Boston area with the purpose of reducing racism within the institutions and informing supports for these families related to racism. A product of the study will be an ethnic-racial virtual intervention that can

help Chinese and Vietnamese parents prepare their children to cope with racism, increase their children’s cultural pride, and empower their children in the face of racism. The pilot data will be used to adapt the intervention for Chinese and Vietnamese communities beyond the Greater Boston area.

  • If you have any thoughts about your experiences with the Asian Caucus, that would be great!  These can be just for the Caucus leadership to know, and/or a message to the Caucus community. 

I am very honored to be featured in the Spotlight series. I would like to connect more with scholars in the Asian Caucus and to meeting everyone during the SRCD biennial conference. 

  • Any upcoming talks or presentations we should know about?

In November 2022, I am giving a presentation with my community partner, Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center, on community-based participatory research as part of the Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology Future Directions Forum: The Virtual Series.

  • What is your preferred contact email?


  • A weblink you prefer to share?

Faculty Profile

Children and Families Across Cultures Coping with Trauma (CFACCT) Research Lab https://sites.bu.edu/cfacct/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *