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

Yu Xiong

Yu is a fifth 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.

Jiawen Wu

Jiawen is a third year student in Developmental Psychology. She received her BS in Psychology in 2019 at Fudan University in China. Her research interests lie primarily in the area of parenting practices and children’s STEM education. In one of her current projects, she is examining the differences in math activity and math homework in terms of parents’ involvement and children’s math motivation and achievement.


Carolyn MacDonald

Carolyn is a second year student in Developmental Psychology. She graduated in 2020 from Washington University in St. Louis with a degree in Statistics and Spanish. Her research interests surround parenting, mindsets, and STEM education. Her current projects focus on parents’ growth mindsets about math ability and providing Black and Latinx youth with adequate access to STEM education.


Yilin (Elaine) Liu

Elaine is a second year master’s student in Developmental Psychology. She received her BS in Psychology and BA in Early Childhood and Family Studies from the University of Washington in 2020. Her research interests include motivation and academic achievement, parenting, and STEM education. Her current project focuses on the impact of different forms of parental involvement on children’s motivation and math achievement.


Recent Alumni

Diana Oh

Diana is a researcher in the Education Systems & Policy program area at American Institutes for Research (AIR). Her primary responsibilities include analyzing, interpreting, and reporting on quantitative and qualitative data. She is also involved in design and planning of research. Her main interest is promoting equitable learning, particularly in STEM.

Janice Ng

Janice is a research analyst at Qualtrics.

Lynda Lin

Lynda is a data scientist at Getty Images where she conducts online experiments and provides data insights.

Michael Barger

Michael is an Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Georgia. In this role, he conducts research on how parents and teachers can foster positive motivational beliefs in their students about STEM fields. He also gets the opportunity to teach future teachers about child development and educational psychology.

Cecilia Cheung

Cecilia Cheung is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of California Riverside. Her interests lie in studying the role of social context in children’s motivation and achievement.

Yang Qu

Yang Qu is an Assistant Professor in the Human Development and Social Policy department at Northwestern. He is interested in how culture and biology jointly influence adolescent development.

Sam Bindman

Sam Bindman is a research scientist at foundry10. She is passionate about providing support so that all students have equitable learning opportunities.