Understanding Development in Diverse Contexts (UDDC) Lab

Supervising Faculty: Daphne A. Henry, PhD

Contact: Daphne A. Henry, PhD (dah280@pitt.edu)

Area of Research: Child and adolescent development; Race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and academic development; Family, school, and neighborhood influences on development; Parental ethnic-racial socialization; Academic resilience

Description of Research: The UDDC Lab investigates structural, contextual, and sociocultural influences on child and adolescent academic achievement, psychological well-being, and physical health, with a particular focus on how race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status intersect to shape children’s development and the contexts they grow up in. More specifically, the lab considers how family income, parental education, and family wealth shape children's well-being. We also examine how culturally-salient sources of resilience (e.g., parental ethnic-racial socialization) and sociocultural risk factors (e.g., racism, discrimination, and prejudice) influence child and adolescent development. Lastly, we explore how children's parenting, schooling, and neighborhood experiences impact their achievement, behavior, and health. The UDDC lab is a good fit for students who are interested in research focused on how to support the healthy development and long-term well-being of children from racially, ethnically, and socioeconomically diverse families.

Duties of Students: In the UDDC Lab, undergraduate research assistants will assist with a range of basic research, project coordination, and administrative tasks. Under the guidance and supervision of the lab’s faculty and graduate student mentor(s), students’ responsibilities may include data entry and database management, data collection via surveys, interviews, and focus groups, and other research and administrative support (e.g., conducting systematic literature searches and citation management; performing literature reviews, summaries, and presentations; participant recruitment, screening, and scheduling). To study children’s development, the UDDC lab uses a diverse methodological toolkit, including the statistical analysis of large-scale longitudinal datasets and the collection and analysis of qualitative and mixed-methods data. As a result, research assistants will have an opportunity to learn and complete basic coding and analysis of both qualitative and quantitative data. To facilitate students’ understanding of ongoing UDDC projects and scholarship relevant to the lab’s research enterprise, students must attend weekly lab meetings and participate in the lab’s scientific journal club.


  • Overall GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • 12 credits of Psychology (including current term)
  • STAT 0200/1000/1100 Statistics
  • PSY 0036 Research Methods Lecture
  • PSY 0037 Research Methods Lab
  • Intellectual curiosity and enthusiasm for learning
  • Strong oral and written communication skills
  • Superior problem-solving skills and a willingness to take initiative
  • Strong organizational and interpersonal skills and meticulous attention to detail
  • Ability to multitask and work successfully in a team environment
  • Ability to work independently as well as to seek support when necessary
  • Proficiency with MS Office Suite (e.g., Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
  • Experience with Google Workspace (e.g., Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms)

To apply: All students interested in participating in directed research in the UDDC should submit a resume/CV and an unofficial transcript and complete the application form: https://forms.gle/YqttuyuZZnrzewzU8

Terms offered: Fall and Spring

Number of Students: 2-3