University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Katie Gonzalez


School or College: 

College of Natural Sciences


Dr. Adam Grabell


Katie Gonzalez is a doctoral student in the clinical psychology program, working with Dr. Adam Grabell. Her research broadly focuses on early childhood development and risk factors related to early symptoms of psychopathology. In particular, her master’s thesis aims to examine the relation between self-narration, prefrontal cortex functional connectivity, and psychopathology in early childhood. She is also interested in cultural differences in early emotion socialization in families of color and child functioning outcomes.

Research Proposal Title: 

Emotion Socialization in Families of Color


Emotion socialization is the verbal and nonverbal practice of how parents help their children to understand and regulate their feelings. Researchers have sought to understand what defines “positive” versus “negative” emotion socialization, yet these efforts have established ideals based on White middle and upper-class families. Past studies have shown that White parents more often demonstrate “positive” emotion socialization while Black and Latinx parents more often demonstrate “negative” emotion socialization. However, while “negative” emotion socialization leads to worse child functioning in White families, this may not be true for Black and Latinx families. In fact, recent literature has theorized that emotional socialization by Black parents is used to protect their children from racial discrimination. Katie is motivated to challenge that there is a model of “good” parenting practices that looks the same for families of color and to examine how developmental trajectories of mental illness and emotion regulation differ for children of different backgrounds, and why. She believes that this research has the potential to inform culturally sensitive parenting treatments for families and children of color, as well as identifying areas of early intervention for children at risk for psychopathology.

GSGW Academic Year: