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Current Projects

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Tuning into Kids in Tazewell:  Emotionally Intelligent Parenting

We are excited to be working with Main Street United Methodist Church in Tazewell to offer a program for parents of 4- to 12-year-old children! Parents will learn how to be better at talking with and understanding their child, how to help their child learn to manage emotions and deal with conflict, and how to help prevent behavior problems in their child. These are all related to emotional intelligence.  Children with higher emotional intelligence are better at making and keeping friends,have better concentration at school, and are better at calming themselves down when upset or angry. Participation involves attending six 2-hour parent training sessions free of charge at Main Street United Methodist Church, 315 E. Main St., Tazewell. Sessions will be videotaped for research on adapting the program for community needs. Recordings to be viewed by researchers only.  Parent training groups are held Tuesday nights, October 4th – November 8th, 6:30 – 8:30 pm.  We hope you can join us for supper beforehand at 6pm (no charge).  Free babysitting is provided. For more information or to reserve your place in the program, please email socdev@vt.edu or call us at 540-231-8179.  Funding from the Institute for Society, Culture, and Environment.

Adolescents' conversations with parents and friends

We are exploring how adolescents talk with parents and close friends in a study on adolescent emotional adjustment and social experiences. Teenagers participate with a parent and close friend. If you're interested in participating, please email socdev@vt.edu or call us at 540-231-8179.

Cross-cultural study of parents’ emotion socialization and preschoolers’ social competence

We are working with families in the US and Turkey to examine cross-cultural similarities and differences in how parents think and talk about emotions and children’s emotional and social competence in the preschool years (ages 4 – 5 years). Dr. Sukran Kilic from Aksaray University in Turkey is our partner on this project.

Emotional communication in families with children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder

In partnership with the Child Study Center, we are investigating parent-child emotional communication in families who are undergoing treatment for their child's Oppositional Defiant Disorder. We are examining how patterns of change in parent-child emotional communication may be related to treatment success. Funding for 2007 - 2009 from the Institute for Society, Culture, and Environment. Conducted with Tom Ollendick, Virginia Tech.

Parent and child beliefs in pediatric weight loss intervention

We are collaborating with Dr. Joseph Skelton and the BrennerFIT program at Wake Forest Baptist Health Center to examine how parent-child conversation about health habits emphasizing strategies, effort, and dimensionality relate to children's health indices in families who are undergoing treatment for their child's pediatric obesity. Funding for 2012 and 2014 from the Institute for Society, Culture, and Environment. Conducted with Madlyn Frisard, Virginia Tech.

Roles of parents and peers in adjustment to high school

The purpose of this study is to examine children's experiences with parents and peers during the transition from middle school to high school, and how these experiences relate to children's emotional adjustment and academic performance.