Stephen H. Chen

Stephen Chen
Curriculum Vitae
(781) 283-2527
B.A., Rutgers University; Ph.D., University of California (Berkeley)

Stephen Chen

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Research explores how culture and family processes influence development and mental health across the lifespan.

My research interests lie at the intersection of clinical, cultural, and developmental areas of psychology. The overarching aim of my research is to examine how cultural and family processes influence mental health and development across the lifespan. I explore this question primarily in under-represented, underserved, and at-risk populations.

One line of investigation examines how experiences in the family context shape our self-regulatory processes. In ongoing research with Chinese American immigrant families, my collaborators and I are examining how acculturation-related stressors (e.g., family acculturation, socioeconomic status) shape children’s self-regulation across home, laboratory, and classroom settings.

A related line of investigation examines culture and emotion socialization in the family context, and their implications for child development. In this area of research, I am particularly interested in how multilingual families use language to express or discuss emotions.

My interests in both research and teaching were shaped significantly by my previous experience as a K-12 school counselor and administrator in Shanghai, China. At Wellesley College, I teach Introductory Psychology, Asian American Psychology, and an upper-level seminar on Culture and Emotion. My goal in teaching and mentorship is to guide students in connecting fundamentals of cultural and developmental psychology to implications for Asian American mental health.

I am a member of the Association for Psychological Science (APS) and the Asian American Psychological Association (AAPA). In collaboration with AAPA, I have recently received a pilot grant to develop the AAPA Consortium for Undergraduate Training, a nationwide network of faculty, students, and community organizations dedicated to undergraduate training in Asian American Psychology

I am also an active member of the Society for Research in Child Development, where I am involved in the Millennium Scholars Program and the Asian Caucus. 

Selected Publications

Chen, S.H., Zhou, Q., Main, A., & Lee, E.H. (in press). Chinese American immigrant parents’ emotional expression in the family: Relations with parents’ cultural orientations and children’s regulation. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology. Advance online publication: 10.1037/cdp0000013

Chen, S.H., Main, A., Zhou, Q., Bunge, S., Lau, N., & Chu, K. (2015). Effortful Control and Early Academic Achievement of Chinese American Children in Immigrant Families. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 30, 45-56.

Chen, S.H., Hua, M., Zhou, Q., Tao, A., Lee, E., Ly, J., & Main, A. (2014). Parent-child cultural orientations and child adjustment in Chinese American immigrant families. Developmental Psychology, 50(1), 189-201. 

Chen, S.H., & Johnson, S.L. (2012). Family influences on mania-relevant cognitions and beliefs: A cognitive model of mania and reward. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 68 (7), 829-842. 

Chen, S.H., Kennedy, M., & Zhou, Q. (2012). Parents’ expression and discussion of emotion in the multilingual family: Does language matter? Perspectives in Psychological Science, 7 (4),365-383.