Bilinguals and Socio-Emotional Development

Bilinguals and Socio-Emotional Development


We are examining the relationship between bilingual proficiency and socio-emotional development with Spanish-speaking and Chinese-speaking immigrant preschoolers and their families.  

Despite the critical role of socio-emotional development (SED) in children’s long-term health and achievement, significant gaps exist in our knowledge on how bilingual experience shapes SED. We plan to study the reciprocal relationship between bilingual (English and heritage language) development and SED in a longitudinal study. We will follow 400 DLLs from low-income Spanish-speaking Mexican American families and Cantonese-speaking Chinese American families annually for three years (T1 and T2 in Head Start preschools, T3 in kindergarten). Our goals are to (a) investigate the contributions of early English and heritage language development to DLLs’ later SED, and test executive functions as a mediating mechanism; (b) examine the contributions of early bilingual development to DLLs’ parent-child and teacher-child relationships, and test relationship quality as mediators between language and SED; © examine cultural differences in DLLs’ social relationships, and test whether culture moderates the links between language and relationships; and (d) test whether other child, family, and school factors moderate the relations between language and SED.

Funded by NICHD R01HD091154

Collaborators: Dr. Qing Zhou (UC Berkeley) Dr. Sylvia Bunge (UC Berkeley)


Uchikoshi, Y., Lindblad, M., Plascencia, C., Tran, H., Yu, H., Bautista, K.J., & Zhou, Q. (2021). Parental acculturation and children’s bilingual abilities: A study with Chinese American and Mexican American Preschool DLLs. Frontiers in Psychology. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.761043

Mauer, E., Zhou, Q., & Uchikoshi, Y. (2021). A Longitudinal Study on Bidirectional Relations between Executive Functions and English Word-Level Reading in Chinese American Children in Immigrant Families, Learning and Individual Differences.

Haft, S. L., Gys., C.L., Bunge, S., Uchikoshi, Y., Zhou, Q. (2021). Home language environment and executive function in Mexican American and Chinese American Preschoolers in Head Start. Early Education and Development,

Chung, S., Zhou, Q., & Uchikoshi, Y. (2019). Parent-Child Language Proficiency and Parenting Styles among Mexican American and Chinese American Families with Young Dual Language Learners. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology.​

Chen, S., Uchikoshi, Y., & Zhou, Q. (2018).  Heritage Language Socialization in Chinese American Immigrant Families: Prospective Links to Children’s Heritage Language Proficiency. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism.

Williams, A.I., Uchikoshi, Y., Bunge, S.A., Zhou, Q. (2018).  Relations of English and heritage language proficiency to response inhibition and attention shifting in dual language learners in Head Start.  Early Education and Development.

Chen, S.H., Zhou, Q., Uchikoshi, Y., Bunge, S. (2014). Variations on the bilingual advantage? Links of Chinese and English proficiency to Chinese American children’s self-regulation. Frontiers in Psychology, 5: 1069.  doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01069

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