Language, Emotion, and Development Project (Psychology Department, Zhou Culture and Family Lab, UC-Berkeley)

Project LEAD (Language, Emotion, and Development) is a longitudinal study funded by the National Institute of Health (PIs: Qing Zhou at UC-Berkeley & Yuuko Uchikoshi at UC-Davis). This study aims to investigate the links among bilingual development, executive function, parent-child and teacher-child relationships, and socio-emotional development in young children from Mexican American and Chinese American families. We will recruit 400 dual language learners (initially 3-4 years of age, 200 Chinese Americans, 200 Mexican Americans) from Head Start programs in the San Francisco Bay Area, and follow these children and their families annually for three years (from preschool to kindergarten). Three waves of multi-method data will be collected from children and families through classroom observation, home interview and observation, parent and teacher survey, and language and neuropsychological testing. The data will be used to examine the reciprocal relations between bilingual and socio-emotional development in dual language learners, and test the mediation and moderation mechanisms underlying the developmental pathways.

The research assistant position is ideal for motivated students looking to work with underserved populations, and develop research and clinical skills before applying to graduate programs in psychology (e.g., clinical psychology, school psychology, and developmental psychology), education, public health, and medicine. Training includes opportunities to learn to administer multiple measures and tools in psychological research, including emotion, cognitive, and language assessments of children, behavioral observations of parent-child interactions, parent and teacher interviews and surveys, and classroom observations. Working with our lab also provides experience working with diverse, low income, immigrant families and school communities.


Research assistants will work under the supervision of the PIs, graduate students, and project coordinators. Essential functions include:

  • Recruiting research participants from local preschool programs. Maintaining contact with preschool staff and coordinating recruitment events.
  • Carrying out psychological and behavioral assessments of preschool-age children and their parents at participants’ homes and local preschools. Conducting classroom observations of teacher-child and peer interactions at local preschools.
  • Distributing and collecting teacher questionnaires by mail or at preschools. Tracking and maintaining the teacher data.
  • Documentation and record keeping. Entering data and maintaining study databases using SPSS or Excel.
  • Participating in regular supervision meetings and training workshops with the PIs, graduate students, and project coordinators.


  • Students with Cantonese or Spanish language skills (verbal, reading, and writing/typing), and familiarity with the Chinese or Latino culture are especially welcome to apply.
  • Prior coursework in Research Methods, Developmental Psychology, Clinical Psychology, or Developmental Psychopathology is desired but not required.
  • Students must have weekend availability (attend training workshops and conduct home assessment) and availability during weekdays (attend training sessions and/or conduct assessment at preschools).
  • Students who can committee to the lab for at least three semesters (spring 18, summer 18, and fall 18) are preferred, due to extensive training involved.
  • Experience in conducting interviews and behavioral assessments with young children and families is desired but not required.
  • Prior work experience in early childhood education programs (e.g., Head Start preschools) is desired but not required.
  • Familiarity with audio-visual and camera equipment.
  • General computer skills, including proficiency with Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and SPSS.  Ability to quickly learn and master computer programs, databases, and scientific applications.
  • Excellent organizational, interpersonal, and verbal and written communication skills.
  • Ability to interact and work effectively with culturally and experientially diverse children, families, and research team members.

How to Apply:

We ask that interested applicants fill out our lab RA application online at: You will be contacted if selected for an interview.


Lab webpage:

Professor Zhou’s webpage:

Professor Uchikoshi’s webpage: