Current Projects

Baby Books 2 Colorful Blocks
Circular teal logo displaying two parental figures sharing a book with an infant

Baby Books 2: Using Baby Books to Improve Maternal and Paternal Parenting and Child Outcomes 

A study of the effectiveness of embedding educational information into baby books as a way to educate mothers and fathers about typical child development, injury prevention, and optimal parenting, including coparenting. Educational books written in English and Spanish will be given to (1) mothers only, (2) fathers only, or (3) both parents. Another group will get non-educational books. With seven waves of data collection from when babies are 9 to 30 months, this project is one of the first to test differential and multiplicative effects of targeting both parents and will provide valuable insight into a low-cost and easy to implement intervention for low-income children. Co-investigators include Stephanie Reich and Greg Duncan.

Baby Books 2 Colorful Blocks
Colorful puzzles
Child playing with blocks

The Everyday Learning Project

This NSF-funded project is to investigate the development of mathematical and spatial skills in 2- to 3-year old toddlers from English- and/or Spanish-speaking families of varying socioeconomic status. Specifically, we are interested in looking at the influence of maternal and paternal characteristics and the interactions between children and their mothers/fathers. We will conduct 2 home visits within 2 weeks: one with child and mother and the other with child and father. During each visit, children will play a series of games with each parent as well as with a researcher. Additionally, parents will each complete a few surveys and standardized assessments of math and spatial abilities. This project is a collaboration with New York University (Dr. Catherine Tamis-LeMonda) and University of Pittsburgh (Dr. Melissa Libertus).

Colorful puzzles
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3D Cortisol Model

Cortisol, Oxytocin, & sIgA in Mothers, Fathers & their Babies: A Pilot Study    

This pilot study aims to understand the intergenerational effects of stress on three aspects of the stress response system in African-American & Latino mothers, fathers, and their 10-12 month old children. These hormones and antibodies can be found in saliva and provide information about biological stress, immune function, and caregiving responses of parents and children. During one home visit, we collect three saliva samples each from mom, dad, and baby. We also complete a stress response paradigm with children to assess their reactivity. We are interested in understanding whether these hormones and antibodies are similar in mothers, fathers, and their children; as well as if these hormones and antibodies differ amongst ethnic groups. This pilot study is a collaboration with Dr. Ruth Feldman and Dr. Orna Zagoory at IDC Herzliya in Israel. 
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