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Diversity and Culture

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

  • Aryn Dotterer
    Dr. Dotterer is interested in child development and parent-child relationships among low-income and ethnic minority families. Her work examines racial, gender, and achievement socialization in African American families; relations between discrimination at school and school engagement among African American and Latino adolescents; and parenting practices and school readiness among African American, Latino, and European American children.
  • Doran French
  • Blake Jones
    Obesity, sleep, and other health disparities are disproportionately higher in certain at-risk populations. Dr. Jones examines child obesity and health outcomes in minority families, families with low-incomes, and single-parent families to better understand the unique challenges that these families face. He is also interested in how cultural differences relate to the strengths and resiliency that are demonstrated by many at-risk families.
  • Germán Posada
    Attachment theory suggests that attachment relationships is a universal phenomenon that is sensitive to context. Dr. Posada's research investigates central propositions of the theory through studies that include cross-cultural, cross-ethnic, and cross-SES explorations and comparisons to test the generality and specificity of attachment relationships processes.
  • Sara Schmitt
    Dr. Schmitt’s research investigates academic achievement disparities among children from underrepresented and at-risk populations. She is interested in the effects of poverty, cultural and linguistic diversity, residential mobility, rurality, and child welfare involvement on young children’s school readiness. Her work also explores factors that protect children from the adverse effects of these risk factors.
  • 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.