Culture and Diversity

Diversity is an integral part of all societies and groups. Scholars from different theoretical perspectives and interests investigate variability and similarities across groups in developmental and family outcomes in several domains. Research focuses on the processes linked to group (e.g., culture, social class) variation and commonality. Examples of research areas include child-parent relationships and parenting practices across cultures, preschoolers' perceptions and interactions with children with disabilities, children's perceptions of conflict in varying political settings, and pathways to literacy readiness across culturally, socially, and economically diverse groups.

Faculty Research

Doran French

Dr. French’s research on culture has been conducted in China, Indonesia, Turkey, and S. Korea. He has specifically studied culture and friendships, peer relationships, conflict, and social competence. He has studied Islam and social competence in both Indonesia and Turkey.

Elliot Friedman

In his research, Dr. Friedman seeks to understand how adult health and biological processes related to health are shaped by cultural and social factors.

Blake Jones

Dr. Jones is interested in examining the health disparities related to obesity prevalence and sleep problems in different groups. Specifically, his work focuses on differences relating to gender, race, maternal education, and poverty.

Deborah Nichols

Dr. Nichols' research program has been enhanced by partnering with members of a variety of culturally and linguistically diverse communities including those self-identifying as African American, American Indian, or English Language Learning (Spanish speakers from Mexico and Central America, Mandarin and Cantonese speakers from China). These children live in large urban centers, rural locations in the Midwest, and on tribal reservations in both the south and the southwest.

Germán Posada

Dr. Posada's research on attachment relationships is conducted in diverse cultural and social contexts. His studies have included samples from 14 different countries, and samples from middle-class and low income sectors of the population.

Sara Schmitt

Dr. Schmitt’s research investigates cross-cultural variation in important school readiness skills, particularly among American and Chinese children. In addition, she studies disparities in school readiness among children experiencing socio-demographic risk.

Zoe Taylor

Dr. Taylor’s research examines family functioning and children’s social-emotional development in underrepresented populations such as Hispanic families and single-parent families. In particular, she examines factors that help buffer parents and their children from environmental adversity (e.g. economic hardship), and that are associated with positive family processes and competence.

Natasha Watkins

Dr. Watkins' research is focused on understanding and improving the capacity of community-based youth programs to support the positive development of ethnic minority youth. She is specifically interested in how community-based youth programs may promote youth’s civic development and multicultural competence.

 

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