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Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development

Ellen E. Pinderhughes


Ellen E. Pinderhughes


Phone 617-627-4560
105 College Avenue, Medford, MA

Current Projects

Adoption and Development Project (ADP)
The ADP examines how families who are raising children adopted internationally and transracially navigate cultural and racial differences, with a focus on ethnic-racial socialization processes. Data collection, which has reached 45+ families, includes interview, questionnaires and the use of mixed methods in data analyses. Our analyses to date have focused on cultural socialization activities, children's understanding of adoption, ethnic identity and self-image and children's public discourse experiences. Our current work (with Amanda Baden's research team at Montclair State University) focuses on microaggressions and preparation for bias messages/activities in which parent engage. Microaggressions are common, occurrences that can be slights, insults, attitudes, or actions that communicate negative messages to the target person or group (Sue et al., 2007). Preparation for Bias includes parents' messages about how to deal with microaggressions or similar experiences (Hughes et al., 2006).

Fast Track
With Karen Bierman and Mark Greenberg (PSU), Kenneth Dodge and John Coie (Duke U), John Lochman (U Alabama) and Robert McMahon (Simon Fraser U), and funded continuously by NIMH, NIDA. Fast Track is a long-term theoretically based randomized clinical trial designed to prevent the onset of serious conduct disorder and other problematic outcomes in adolescence. Initiated in 1991, the study is ongoing in 4 sites in the country with 445 intervention youth, a matched group of 446 controls, and another more normative comparison group of 387 youth. Services were delivered to intervention youth from grades 1 through 10. Yearly data collection yielded a dataset with rich in possibilities for data analyses regarding contextual influences, parenting, and youth functioning. Project is in data analysis phase.

Intercountry Adoption Project
With the Donaldson Adoption Institute, we are studying the experiences of those directly involved in intercountry adoption through surveys of adoption professionals and adoptive parents. Reaching over 1200 adoptive parents and over 200 adoption professionals, we are examining preplacement care of children in countries of origin, adoption processes, and postplacement care in receiving countries among countries. The project's goals are to identify the critical issues impacting intercountry adoption practice; compare intercountry adoption experiences among countries who have and have not agreed to the Hague Adoption Convention (an international treaty providing guidelines for intercountry adoption); and to construct and propose best practices for improving intercountry adoptions.

Lives of Gay Fathers and their Children
With Ellen Perrin, M.D. of the Division of Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics at Tufts Medical Center and other colleagues, and funded to date by Arcus, Marks and Gill Foundations. We are conducting an internet-based study of gay fathers in the US. Data collection is ongoing. We are gathering data on the following themes: demographics, pathways to parenthood and parenting experiences, challenges and discrimination experiences and relationships with extended families and friends.

Ph.D., Yale University, 1986
M.A., Yale University, 1982
B.S., University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, 1976

Families and children in challenging circumstances; parenting and family functioning among diverse families; ethnic-racial socialization processes; cultural and contextual influences; child and youth outcomes; adoption and foster care

Research Interests: 

As a developmental and clinical psychologist and former William T. Grant Faculty Scholar, my interests center on families and children in challenging circumstances (FACCC). The FACCC research program has as a general goal to contribute an understanding of cultural, developmental and socialization processes that occur within families whose children are at risk for dysfunctional behavior so that policies, interventions and services can be improved or designed to facilitate optimal child outcomes. Children may be at risk due to individual child characteristics, problematic parenting and/or stressful contextual settings. I am particularly interested in how these factors and other contextual influences affect the way in which these families socialize their children.

Selected Professional Activities: 
  • Senior Research Fellow, Donaldson Adoption Institute
  • Member, Institute of Medicine Committee on Child Maltreatment
  • Member, Study Group on Race Culture and Ethnicity
  • Former Member, SRCD Governing Council
  • Current or Former Member of Editorial Boards (Adoption Quarterly, Psychological Bulletin, Developmental Psychology)
  • Reviewer of federal and foundation grants
Selected Publications and Presentations: 

BendezĂș, J. J., Pinderhughes, E. E., Hurley, S. M., McMahon, R. J., & Racz, S. J. (2016). Longitudinal Relations among Parental Monitoring Strategies, Knowledge, and Adolescent Delinquency in a Racially Diverse At-Risk Sample. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 1-14.

Perrin, E. C., Pinderhughes, E. E., Mattern, K., Hurley, S. M., & Newman, R. A. (2016). Experiences of Children with Gay Fathers. Clinical Pediatrics, 0009922816632346.

Pinderhughes, E. E., Matthews, J.A.K., & Zhang, X. (2016). Ethnic identity formation and transracial and intercountry adoptions. In Fong, R. & McRoy, R. (Eds.) Transracial and intercountry adoption practices and policies: A resource for educators and clinicians, (154-192), NY: Col

Bebiroglu, N. & Pinderhughes, E. E., (2012). Mothers Raising Daughters: New Complexities in Cultural Socialization for Children Adopted from China. Adoption Quarterly. 15, 116-139.

Vashchenko, M., Rossi, M., & Pinderhughes, E. E., (2012). "Just Beyond my Front Door": Public Discourse Experiences of Children Adopted from China. American Journal of Community Psychology. 49, 1-2, 246-247.

Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group. (E.E. Pinderhughes, Member). (2011). The effects of the Fast Track preventive intervention on the development of conduct disorder across childhood. Child Development, 82(1),331-345.

Pinderhughes, E. E., Craddock, K. T., & Fermin, L. L. (2011). Adolescent parents and the juvenile justice system: Toward developmentally and socioculturally based provision of services. In F. Sherman & F. Jacobs (Eds.) Health and Well-Being in Juvenile Justice. 174-196 NY: Wiley & Sons Publishers.

Pinderhughes, E. E., & Pinderhughes, R. B. (2010). Before you pack: Developmental considerations in planning a heritage trip. In (Jacobs, D., Ponte, I. C., & Wang, L.K., Eds) From Home to Homeland. St Paul, MN: Yeong and Yeong Press.

Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group (E.E. Pinderhughes, Member). (2010). The difficulty of maintaining positive intervention effects: A look at disruptive behavior, deviant peer relations, and social skills during the middle school years. Journal of Early Adolescence, 30, 593-624.

Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group (E.E. Pinderhughes, Member). (2010). Fast Track Intervention Effects on Youth Arrests and Delinquency. Journal of Experimental Criminology, 6, 156-168.

Ceballo, R., Chao, R. Hill, N.E., Le, H.N., Murry, V. M. & Pinderhughes, E. E.** (2008) Excavating Culture: Summary of Results. Submitted as part of Special Issue, (E. E. Pinderhughes & H.N. Le, Eds.) Applied Developmental Science, 12 (4),220-226 . **All authors are in alphabetical order.

Le, H.N., Ceballo, R., Chao, R. Hill, N.E., Murry, V. M. & Pinderhughes, E. E.** (2008) Excavating Culture: Disentangling Ethnic Differences from Contextual Influences in Parenting Submitted as part of Special Issue, (E. E. Pinderhughes &H.N. Le, Eds.) Applied Developmental Science, 12 (4), 163-175. ** Following Le, all authors are in alphabetical order.

Pinderhughes, E. E., Hurley, S., & the Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group, (2008) Disentangling Ethnicity and Context among Youth Growing up in High-Risk Communities. Submitted as part of Special Issue, (E. E. Pinderhughes &H.N. Le, Eds.) Applied Developmental Science.

Pinderhughes, E. E., & Le, H. N. (2008). Eds. Special Issue, Applied Developmental Science, 12(4), 161-162.

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