Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts
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Research and Education

Cecilia Cheung

Cecilia Cheung
Assistant Professor of Psychology, University of California at Riverside
Cecilia Cheung


My research aims to understand how children’s environment shapes their motivation and achievement in school. To this end, I have primarily focused on the role of parents. In one line of research, I have examined the effects of parents’ involvement in children’s learning in the United States and China, with attention to the mechanisms underlying the effects. A second line has centered on the role of children’s disclosure of their everyday activities to parents in children’s academic adjustment, focusing on the contribution of the socialization context. In a third line of work, I have begun to investigate relationships in the classroom – specifically, children’s relatedness to teachers – to elucidate how the effects of such relationships on children’s achievement vary across cultures.

Recent Publications

Cheung, C. S. (in press). Cultivating creativity among Chinese heritage students in North America. In W. Ma, & G., Li (Eds.), Chinese-Heritage Students in North American Schools: Understanding Hearts and Minds Beyond Test Scores. Rutledge.

Cheung, C., Pomerantz, E. M., Qu, Y., & Wang, M. (in press). The role of parents' control and autonomy support in the United States and China: Beyond children's reports. Child Development.

Cheung, C. S., & Pomerantz, E. M. (2015). Value development underlies the benefits of parents' involvement in children's learning: A longitudinal investigation in the United States and China. Journal of Educational Psychology, 107, 309-320.

Wang, Q., Chang, L., & Cheung, C. S. (in press). Parenting and child social and academic development in China: The socialization aspect of the Asian educational miracle. In U. Kim, & Y-S., Park (Eds.), Asia's Educational Miracle: Psychological, Social and Cultural Perspectives. Springer.

Pomerantz, E.M., Ng, F.F., Cheung, C.S., & Qu, Y. (2014). How to raise happy children who succeed in school: Lessons from China and the United States. Child Development Perspectives, 8, 71-76.

Cheung, C. S., Pomerantz, E. M., & Dong, W. (2013). Does adolescents' disclosure to their parents matter for their academic adjustment? Child Development, 84, 693-710.

Cheung, C. S., & Pomerantz, E. M. (2012). Why does parents' involvement enhance children's achievement? The role of parent-oriented motivation. Journal of Educational Psychology, 104, 820-832.

Pomerantz, E. M., Cheung, C. S., & Qin, L. (2012). Relatedness between children and parents: Implications for motivation. In R. Ryan (Ed.), Oxford handbook of human motivation. New York: Oxford University Press.

Pomerantz, E. M., Moorman, E. A., & Cheung, C. S. (2012). Parents’ involvement in children’s learning. In K. R. Harris, S. Graham, and T. C. Urdan (Eds.), APA educational psychology handbook. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Cheung, C. S., & Pomerantz, E. M. (2011). Parents' involvement in children's learning in the United States and China: Implications for children's academic and emotional adjustment. Child Development, 82, 932-50.

Cheung, C. S., & McBride-Chang, C. (2008). Relations of perceived maternal parenting style, practices, and learning motivation to academic competence in Chinese children, Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 54, 1-22.

Cheung, C. S., Ng, V. C. N., & McBride-Chang, C. (2007). Perceived pubertal timing, life satisfaction, and depression among early Hong Kong adolescents: Boys at risk?, Journal of Psychology in Chinese Societies, 8, 179-198.