People

Eva M. Pomerantz

Eva M. Pomerantz


The key question guiding Dr. Pomerantz's research is that of how to facilitate children's motivation and achievement in school, without undermining their emotional adjustment. To this end, the major emphasis is on the power of children's environment in the development of their academic and emotional functioning. Dr. Pomerantz's research group focuses primarily on the contribution of parents to these two types of functioning. Of particular interest, is how the role of parents is shaped by the cultural context in which children and parents reside. To date, the focus has been on the United States and China.

Graduate Students

Lynda Lin

Lynda Lin


Lynda is a fourth-year graduate student in Developmental Psychology. She received her BA in Psychology from the University of Chicago in 2013. She's mainly interested in examining how parents' perceptions of their children's schools can promote academic achievement and motivation, particularly in minority youth.

Janice Ng

Janice Ng


With the goal of understanding how parenting can be optimized, Janice is interested in how culture shapes parents' values and practices, and how these in turn contribute to children's development. For example, in one of Janice's current projects, she is examining why Chinese and American parents respond differently to children's successes and failures in school and how these responses influence children's emotional adjustment over time. In another project, she is investigating how Chinese (vs. American) parents' heightened child-based worth may contribute to their children's emotional distress over time.

Diana Oh

Diana Oh


Diana received her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Rochester in 2015. She is a third year graduate student in Developmental Psychology. Her research focuses on how parenting and educational practices relate to children’s academic motivation and achievement. She is currently examining conversations that take place during parent-teacher conferences as well as parenting around children’s math. In her free time, she enjoys roaming around parks and trying out different restaurants.

Yu Xiong

Yu Xiong


Yu is a first year student in Developmental Psychology. She received her BA in Psychology and Economics at Nankai University in China and her MS in Economics at Chinese University of Hong Kong. Her research interests include culture, parenting, emotion adjustment, and academic achievement during early adolescence.

Post Doctoral Researcher

Michael Barger

Michael Barger


Michael is interested in students' beliefs about education, including beliefs about the self, intelligence, and knowledge. Michael's research investigates how students' beliefs develop and how they relate to motivation and achievement in STEM education. Recently, he has focused on how the language adults use can change children's thinking and beliefs.

Lab Coordinator

Katerina Newman

Katerina Newman


Katerina graduated from the University of Illinois with a B.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology as well as Psychology. As an undergraduate, Katerina worked as a research intern for the Clinical Laboratory for Early Brain Injury Recovery at the Burke Medical Research Institute and the Center for Cerebral Palsy Research at Columbia University in New York. Katerina also was a Teaching Assistant in the University of Illinois Chemistry Department for several semesters. Katerina has extensive experience working with children and teenagers, both professionally and as a volunteer.

Visiting Scholars

Hung-Yang Chen

Hung-Yang Chen


Hung-Yang is a graduate student in Educational psychology at National Taiwan Normal University in Taiwan. She is currently a visiting student at the Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research focuses on how parenting influences children’s peer interactions, social-emotional competence, and psychosocial adjustment.

Busra Karagobek

Busra Karagobek


Busra received her BA and MA in Psychology from the Middle East Technical University in Turkey and continuing her PhD there. This year she is visiting the Center for Parent-Child Studies on a Fulbright Dissertation Research Grant. The main focus of Busra’s research on understanding factors influencing the mother-child relationship. In her dissertation, she is examining how implicit beliefs influence mothers' parenting practices, especially their sensitivity.