Stephen H. Chen

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

Stephen Chen

Associate 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 seeks to identify the mechanisms shaping the development and well-being of Chinese American immigrant families. These studies have focused on the interplay of three constructs - emotion, language, and self-regulation - in the family context.

A related line of investigation expands ethnic-focused conceptualizations of culture to consider the culture of social status. These studies examine children's developing concepts of social status and social mobility and the effects of social status on socioemotional processes.

My research and teaching are both shaped by my previous experience as a K-12 school counselor and administrator in Shanghai, China. At Wellesley College, my courses include Asian American Psychology, Cultural Psychology, and a seminar on Culture and Emotion. My goal in teaching and mentorship is to guide students in connecting fundamental frameworks of cultural and developmental psychology to implications for Asian American well-being.

I am a member of the Association for Psychological Science (APS), the Asian American Psychological Association (AAPA), and the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD), where I am involved in the Asian Caucus and the Teaching Committee. I currently serve on the Editoral Boards for Child Development, Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, and the Asian American Journal of Psychology.

Selected Publications

Chen, S.H., Deng, X., Zhang, E., Liu, C., & Wang, L.K. (2021). Intergenerational associations of self-regulation in Chinese immigrant families: Evidence for specificity and commonality in immigrant families. Child Development

Chen, S.H., Zhang, E., Liu, C.H., & Wang, L.K. (2021). Depressive symptoms in Chinese immigrant mothers: Relations with perceptions of social status and interpersonal support. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 27 (1), 72-81.

Chen, S. H., Cohodes, E., Bush, N. R., & Lieberman, A. F. (2020). Child and caregiver executive function in trauma-exposed families: Relations with children’s behavioral and cognitive functioning. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 200, 104946.

Chen, S.H. & Zhou, Q. (2019). Longitudinal relations of cultural orientation and emotional expressivity in Chinese American immigrant parents: Sociocultural influences on emotional development in adulthood. Developmental Psychology 55 (5), 1111.

Chen, S.H., Epel, E.S., Mellon, S.H., Lin, J., Reus, V.I., Rosser, R., Kupferman, E., Burke, H., Mahan, L., Blackburn, E.H., & Wolkowitz, O.M. (2014). Adverse childhood experiences and leukocyte telomere maintenance in depressed and healthy adults. Journal of Affective Disorders, 169, 86-90.

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., 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.