United States

Chinese Immigrant Parent Culture and Experience Project 

Greater Boston

This project aims to understand the experiences of immigrant Chinese parents through in-depth phone interviews. The goal is to learn more about their immigration and cultural experiences and how that impacts their views as a parent of youth. 

Project Coordinator: Emily Zhang, M.A. 

Funding: MGH Center for Cross-Cultural Student Emotional Wellness, Brigham and Women's Tynan Faculty Research Fellowship

Maternal-Infant Mood and Emotion Study (MIMES)

Greater Boston

This project aims to improve the lives of women from pregnancy into the postpartum, in particular those who experience mental health problems such as psychosis and depression. We document biological and psychosocial risks that may lead to later behavioral and cognitive problems in children. 

Project Coordinator: Maria Henriksen, M.S. 

Funding: National Institutes of Health (NIMH K23 MH 107714-01 A1)

Baby Emotional Experiences Study (BEES)

Greater Boston

This project aims to understand the emotional experiences and development of babies with mothers who have had experiences with depressed mood. As part of this study, mothers and 16 week old babies come in for one session visit to our laboratory to play where we assess behavior and physiological responses.

Project Coordinator: Maria Henriksen, M.S. 

Funding: National Institutes of Health (NIMH K23 MH 107714-01 A1)

The Chinese Family Development Project (FDP) Collaboration 

Greater Boston 

This project focuses on the well being of Chinese immigrant families. In collaboration with Wellesley College and University of Massachusetts Boston, over 250 families have participated in our work, through quantitative and qualitative measures assessing parenting stress, child behavior, health outcomes, and experiences of separation between family members.

 

Project Coordinator: Emily Zhang, M.A. 

 

Funding: Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (SCDMH82101008006), U Mass Boston Public Service Grant/Proposal Development Grant, American Sociological Association, American Psychological Foundation, Harvard Catalyst (NIH UL1 TR001102)

Women's Emotional Life and Livelihood Study (WELLS):  Psychosocial Health and Well-Being in Chinese Immigrant Women

Boston Chinatown

This is a study that examines the psychosocial experiences of Chinese immigrant women currently obtaining obstetric/gynecology care from South Cove Community Health Center. Our goal is to understand through survey report, social and emotional experiences that take place during and outside of pregnancy. 

 

Project Coordinator: Emily Zhang, M.A. 

Funding: Hope and Grace Foundation, National Consortium on Psychosocial Stress, Spirituality, and Health/Spirituality Templeton Foundation Pilot Grant

 

Studies of College Student Stress and Mental Health 

In collaboration with Massachusetts General Hospital and Willamette University, our work examines psychosocial health and behaviors and mental health outcomes among US college students through the National College Health Survey administered by the American College Health Association.   

 

Project Coordinator: Emily Zhang, M.A. 

 

Online Assessment of Emotion and Cognition in Mother and Preschoolers

In collaboration with Claremont McKenna College, this pilot study examines the feasibility of collecting observational, questionnaire, and biological markers (hair and nail cortisol) data from mothers and their preschool children through an Internet portal.

Funding: Claremont McKenna College Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Studies of Perinatal Life Stress  

New York City and Massachusetts 

 

Risk factors of perinatal mental health problems often emerge during prior to pregnancy and in the prenatal period. In this set of studies, the role of sociodemographic risk, such as race/ethnic disparities, and prenatal life stress on postpartum depression in New York City and Massachusetts are examined through the PRAMS (Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System). 

 

Funding: Harvard Catalyst (NIH UL1 TR001102), Harvard Medical School (Office of Diversity and Community Partnership)

International

Caregiver Experiences and Child Health Study
Fujian and Beijing, China

 

In collaboration with Wellesley College, this project looks at socio-cultural factors and self regulatory mechanisms that might lead to obesity in low-income Chinese immigrant families. We examine how caregiving practices from grandparents may have an impact on children’s health. An innovative component is the transnational nature of the data collection, which will produce data from caregivers in both the U.S. and in China, countries where obesity is a major public health issue for children of Chinese backgrounds. 

Funding: American Psychological Foundation Visionary Grant 

Maternal and Infant Chronic Stress Study

Sao Paulo, Brazil

In collaboration with the Harvard School of Public Health and the Universidade de São Paulo, we are examining the use of hair cortisol as a biomarker of chronic stress in mothers and infants from the São Paulo Western Region Cohort Project, a longitudinal study exploring the long-term effects of early life adversity in low-income communities in Brazil. 

Funding: David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies Faculty Grant

Intervention Studies

 

Journey in Parenting with Transnationally Separated Families

Chinatown, Boston

As part of a collaboration with Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center, University of Massachusetts Boston, and Wellesley College, we are evaluating the use of a parenting support program with Chinese immigrant families who have experienced transnational separation, with the goal of adapting evidence-based interventions to address the unmet needs of this particular population of Chinese immigrant families.

 

Funding: U Mass Medical Center Community Research innovative Scholars Program (CRISP)

Asian American Family Program

Lexington, Brookline, Greater Boston

The purpose of this project is to address the mental health needs of youth within Asian immigrant communities within Greater Boston. Taking a family perspective, we are conducting focus groups with local parents, college students, and youth, and designing and implementing a series of workshops that address mental health needs within Asian American families.

 

Project Coordinator: Amie Kang, Ed.M.

Research and Evaluation Coordinator: Emily Zhang, M.A. 

Funding: CHNA 18 Community Grant, Brookline Community Foundation Grant, MGH Center for Cross Cultural Student Emotional Wellness

The Ties that Bind – Perinatal Program

Chinatown, Boston 

Together with Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center and South Cove Community Health Center, we are implementing a group based prenatal care for Chinese immigrant women. Cohorts of women will then be enrolled in a postpartum support group. This is a coordinated effort that integrates group programming across a health and social services within Chinatown, aimed at increasing social support and facilitating access to caregiving and child care resources during the perinatal period, with the goal of decreasing stress and mental health concerns.

Project Coordinator: Emily Zhang, M.A. 

Funding: Hope and Grace Foundation ​

© 2017 by Developmental Risk and Cultural Disparities Program  221 Longwood Avenue, MA 02115