Multicultural and Multiethnic Families
Families can face heightened stress when adjusting to a new culture or when navigating values from different cultures within the family. In our research with multicultural and multiethnic families, we are interested in understanding both strengths and challenges experienced by families and children of diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds. We also seek to identify individual differences amongst families to understand diversity in experiences that may impact multiethnic and immigrant children's flourishing.
Mindfulness in the Family
Mindfulness—nonjudgmental, present-focused attention and awareness—is associated with a range of well-being outcomes, including less stress, better emotion regulation, and even loving thoughts about others. In this line of research, we examine how parents' mindfulness may help their parenting and ultimately foster children's well-being. We also aim to understand what kinds of parenting skills help children become more mindful.
Using Dr. Joan Grusec's Parenting by Domains Framework, we have developed an education program that brings research-supported parenting skills information to parents. We are currently pilot testing a social media-enhanced program with parents of 3 to 12 year olds.
The Family Dynamics Project, a collaboration between Drs. Kil and Girme at SFU, examines the process by which parents work together to foster coping skills in children. This project will focus on the parent relationship and its spillover effects on children's emotion regulation.
Our lab conducts meta-analyses and systematic reviews to summarize existing knowledge on parenting. Our current projects focus on acculturation in the family and in relation to well-being.
In collaboration with Dr. Brendan Andrade at CAMH and Niagara region mental health clinics in Ontario, we are creating a novel assessment for parent motivation and readiness that will be used to help families optimally benefit from mental health services for children.