Faculty Research and Activity


Faculty Research Interests

SJSU ChAD Faculty Cara Maffini
Cara S. Maffini, Ph.D.
Cara S. Maffini, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Child & Adolescent Development. Her research encompasses intersections of culture, mental health, and trauma particularly among adolescents and emerging adults with a focus on underserved populations. She has three main lines of research: (a) understanding psychosocial, cultural, and developmental protective and risk factors associated with trauma (e.g., violence, victimization, and campus safety); (b) examining refugee experiences and intergenerational transmission of trauma; and (c) examining bicultural and biracial experiences and identity development. Grounded in her training in counseling psychology, her research serves to inform campus and community-based intervention and prevention programs. 
Daniel Mead
Danielle Mead, Ph.D.

Danielle Mead, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Child and Adolescent Development at San Jose State University. Her research examines language use in young children, including narrative storytelling, crib speech, private speech, bilingualism, and gesture use. She is also interested in special populations such as children with autism spectrum disorder and at-risk, ethnically-diverse children.

Link to site: sjsu.edu/people/danielle.mead-nytko/

Ellen MiddaughEllen Middaugh, PhD.

Areas of research include youth civic development, civic education, digital media and adolescent development, and digital media and learning.  Dr. Middaugh's current research project, "Teens & Their Digital Worlds" examines questions of how teens learn to use the internet, technology and social media safely, responsibly and productively and the role of parents and schools in that process.

Recent publications include U Suk! Participatory media and youth experiences with political discourse in Youth & Society (Middaugh, Bowyer & Kahne, 2016), The Social and Emotional Components of Gaming (Middaugh, 2016) and Youth comprehension of political messages in YouTube videos  (Bowyer, Kahne & Middaugh, 2015).  

Link to site:  sjsu.edu/people/ellen.middaugh/ 

Emily Slusser

Emily Slusser, Ph.D.

Emily Slusser began her career in child development as the program coordinator for an early education program where she developed intervention strategies for preschool children with limited educational resources. Since that time, she has established a research program that explores children’s early cognitive representations of number and the later development of symbolic math concepts. She is particularly interested in learning how cognitive representational resources drive language learning and how language, in turn, supports further conceptual development. Dr. Slusser is currently serving as the director of the Early Educator Preparation Program  and as core faculty for the Educational Leadership Doctoral Program.

Link to site: sjsu.edu/people/emily.slusser/

 Emily Slusser

Nadia Sorkhabi, Ph.D.

Nadia Sorkhabi, Ph.D., is Professor at the Department of Child and Adolescent Development at San Jose State University who studies the manner in which parenting styles and domain-specific practices of mothers and fathers are related to academic achievement, social competence, and mental health of children and adolescents. She also studies the quality of the parent-child relationship, which includes the frequency and intensity of parent-adolescent conflicts, conflict resolution strategies, and adolescents’ disclosure of their activities to their parents. She has studied and continues to study cultural variations in parenting styles and practices and developmental outcomes. Her research interest is also to study cultural similarities and differences in moral reasoning of young adults about justice and care. She is also serving as an Associate Researcher at University of California, Berkeley.

Publications: sjsu.edu/people/nadia.sorkhabi/publications/

SJSU ChAD Faculty Kim Tsai

Kim M. Tsai, Ph.D.

Dr. Tsai's program of research centers on family influences on adolescent psychosocial adjustment and health. Her two intersecting areas of research include (1) examining how cultural values contribute uniquely to family dynamics for adolescents from ethnic minority and immigrant families and (2) investigating cultural and familial factors that impact adolescent emotional well-being and health, particularly their sleep. To address her research aims, she utilizes survey, daily experience sampling and longitudinal designs in her studies with adolescents and their parents from diverse backgrounds. A list of Dr. Tsai's publications can be found here.