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The overarching goal of our lab is to understand how familial processes influence children’s development in specific sociocultural contexts. We are particularly interested in studying skills that are foundational to school success, including literacy, math, and self-regulation. We focused on low-income, and ethnically diverse families living in their home country or as immigrants in another country.

Our signature project is the Food For Thought family intervention program (Alimento para el Pensamiento). The program is currently being implemented in over 10 elementary schools in one of the largest school districts in the U.S. To learn more about the intervention program, click here.

We used mixed-methods (quantitative and qualitative approaches), including coding and transcription of parent-child interactions in semi-structured tasks in laboratory settings and home environments, administration of behavioral and educational assessments at home and in schools, observations of teacher-child interactions in classrooms, and interviews with parents and teachers. Our correlational studies inform the design, implementation, and evaluation of intervention programs in early childhood using randomized-control-trial (RCT) and quasi-experimental designs.

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