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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. Data collection included interviews and questionnaires; we use quantitative and qualitative 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 focuses on microaggressions that children and parents experience 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). See below for selected publications.

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 four (4) sites in the U.S. 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. See for more information, and see below for selected publications.

Lives of Gay Fathers and their Children
With Ellen Perrin, M.D., Emerita, of the Division of Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics at Tufts Medical Center and Sean Hurley of University of Vermont. have a dataset with a sample of over 700 gay fathers in the US. who responded to an internet-based survey. Data collection is ongoing. We are examining the following themes: pathways to fatherhood and parenting experiences, challenges and discrimination experiences and relationships with extended families and friends and children's adjustment. Current projects focus on the impact of state-level legal protections on these experiences. See below for selected publications.

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

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 problems in development 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: 
  • SRCD 2021 Biennial Meeting Program Co-Chair
  • Faculty Affiliate, Rudd Adoption Program, University of Massachusetts (2019-present)
  • Advisory Board Member, Family Connects (2011-present)
  • Senior Fellow, National Center for Adoption and Permanency (2017-present)
  • Member, Institute of Medicine Committee on Child Maltreatment (2013-2014)
  • Member, SRCD Governing Council (2003-2009)
  • Member and Former Co-Chair, Study Group on Race Culture and Ethnicity (1999-2010)
  • Current or Former Member of Editorial Boards (Adoption Quarterly, Psychological Bulletin, Developmental Psychology)
Selected Publications and Presentations: 

Pinderhughes, E. E., & Brodzinsky, D. M. (2019). Parenting in adoptive families. In Bornstein, M. (Ed.) Handbook of parenting, 3rd Edition, Vol 1, 322-368, New York: Routledge.

Pinderhughes, E. E. (2019). Promoting adoptees' well-being in transracial adoptive families. Future of Adoption Publication Series, Amherst MA, Rudd Adoption Research Program at UMass Amherst.

Scott, J. C. Pinderhughes, E. E., Johnson, S. J. (in press). Preparing Black Youth for Bias: Understanding Family Socialization Messages Related to Racially Hostile Situations. Child Development.

Scott, J. C., & Pinderhughes, E. E. (2019). Distinguishing between demographic and contextual factors linked to early childhood physical discipline and physical maltreatment among Black families. Child Abuse & Neglect, 94, 104020.

Zhang, X., & Pinderhughes, E. E. (2019). Depth in Cultural Socialization in Families with Children Adopted from China. Family process, 58(1), 114-128.

Perrin, E. C., Hurley, S. M., Mattern, K., Flavin, L., & Pinderhughes, E. E. (2019). Barriers and stigma experienced by gay fathers and their children. Pediatrics, 143(2), e20180683.

Pinderhughes, E. E., Scott, J. C., & Matthews, J. A. (2019). Youth of Color in Care: Intersecting Identities and Vulnerabilities. In H. E. Fitzgerald, D. J. Johnson, D. B. Qin, F. A. Villarruel, & J. Norder (Eds)., Handbook of Children and Prejudice (pp. 353-373). Springer, Cambridge.

Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group. (E.E. Pinderhughes, Member) (2017). The Fast Track project: Effects on violence/aggression and related outcomes. In P. Sturmey (Ed.), The Wiley handbook of violence and aggression (Vol. 2: Assessment, prevention and treatment of individuals). New York: Wiley.

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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