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Research Foci

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 this line of research, we examine how parenting and family functioning in multiethnic and immigrant families may impact children's well-being. We are particularly interested in clarifying both strengths and challenges experienced by families and children of diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds. We also seek to identify individual differences in family functioning to determine the social and contextual factors that may impact multiethnic and immigrant children's flourishing.

Mindfulness in the Family

Mindfulness—nonjudgmental, present-focused attention and awareness—is associated with a myriad 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 are particularly interested in how different dimensions of mindfulness work together, and whether mindful parents may be able to help their children be mindful themselves.

Additional Projects on Parenting and Child Flourishing

Using Dr. Joan Grusec's Parenting by Domains Framework, we have developed an education program that brings research-supported parenting skills information to parents. With Dr. Grusec's guidance, we are currently pilot testing a social media-enhanced program with parents of 4 to 8 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. The long-term 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.

We are currently seeking a postdoctoral fellow to co-lead this project. Please see here for more details. 

Our research is supported by

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