In our lab, we study family interactions and, in particular, the role played by mothers and fathers in how their children develop socially and emotionally. Parents play a major role in helping children grow up to be happy and productive members of society, to show concern for others, and to behave in a responsible manner.
What parent characteristics and approaches to child rearing promote positive child outcomes? Of central importance are the kinds of relationships that are established between parents and their children, and the way in which parents help children to abide by the values and traditions of the society of which they are a part. Children are very different from each other, and so parenting actions need to be tailored to the needs of a specific child. We study how parents do this, as well as what makes the task difficult or easy for them.
We are also interested in how the challenges of child rearing differ from one cultural setting to another, and so some of our work also includes a focus on cultural differences and similarities in child rearing.