European American and Chinese Immigrant Children's Learning Beliefs and Related Socialization at Home

Project PIs

Dr. Jin Li is Professor of Education and Human Development at Brown University. Originally from China, she received her B.A. in German from Guangzhou Institute of Foreign Languages in 1982. She earned her first Ed.M. in education from the University of Pittsburgh in 1988, her second Ed.M. in Administrative Planning and Social Policy in 1991, and her doctoral degree in human development and psychology from Harvard Graduate School of Education in 1997. Dr. Li’s research focuses on East Asian virtue-oriented and Western mind-oriented learning models and how these models shape children’s learning beliefs and achievement. She has studied children and families from Chinese, Taiwanese, Chinese American, European American, and other cultural and ethnic backgrounds. The age groups range from early childhood, middle-childhood and adolescence to college students. Her research has been published in leading professional journals. She has delivered talks in a dozen different countries. Her 2012 book Cultural Foundations of Learning: East and West synthesizes related research over the past decades and offers new perspectives on the indispensable role of culture in human learning. Dr. Li was one of the six inaugural Fellows selected by the Berggruen Philosophy and Culture Center 2015-16 and at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University and at Schwarzman College, Tsinghua University, China, 2016-17. She was a Guest Lecturer at Schwarzman College, Tsinghua University, China 2016-2018.

Yoko Yamamoto was this project's co-director for ten years.Yoko Yamamoto, Ph.D. is an adjunct assistant professor of the Department of Education at Brown University. She has also been a visiting summer researcher at Osaka University, Japan, since 2013 and has served as the chair of publicity committee of the Society for the Study of Human Development since 2014. Yoko's research focuses on family engagement in education and academic socialization processes across diverse socioeconomic, ethnic, and immigrant groups in Japan and the U.S. Her ongoing comparative research project supported by Social Science Research Council, the Japan Foundation, and Mayekawa Foundation focuses on examining home-school processes that facilitate children's academic motivation and engagement in learning. She received her Ph.D. in Human Development and Education from University of California, Berkeley and her postdoctoral training from Brown University. She was a 2012 Abe Fellow and a recipient of 2017 Erin Phelps Award.


Yamamoto, Y., Li, J., Bao, H., & Suh, W. (in press). Demand and direct involvement: European American and Chinese American preschoolers’ perceptions of their parents’ involvement in schooling. In H. Chu & B. Thelamour (Eds.). Navigating Systems: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Immigrant Family Ecologies. New York: Springer.

Li, J., Yamamoto, Y., Kinnane, J., Shugarts, B., & Ho, C. (2018). From learning beliefs to achievement among European American and Chinese immigrant preschool children. Child Development. doi: 10.1111/cdev.13055

Yamamoto, Y., Li, J., & Liu, J. L. (2016). Does socioeconomic status matter for Chinese immigrants’ academic socialization? Family environment, parental engagement, and preschoolers’ outcomes. Research in Human Development, 13(3), 191-206. doi: 10.1080/15427609.2016.1194706

Cheah, C., Li, J., Zhou, N., Yamamoto, Y., & Leung, C. (2015). Understanding Chinese immigrant and European American mothers’ expressions of warmth. Developmental Psychology, 51(12), 1802-1811. doi: 10.1037/a0039855

Yamamoto, Y., & Li, J. (2012). What makes a high-quality preschool? Similarities and differences between Chinese immigrant and European American parents’ views. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 27, 306-315. doi:10.1016/j.ecresq.2011.09.005

Yamamoto, Y. & Li, J. (2012). Quiet in the eye of the beholder: Teacher perceptions of Asian immigrant children. In C. Garcia Coll (Ed.), The impact of immigration on children’s development. Contributions to Human Development, Vol. 24. (pp. 1-17). Basel, Switzerland, Karger.

Li, J., Yamamoto, Y., Luo, L., Batchelor, A., & Bresnahan, R. M. (2010). Why attend school? Chinese immigrant and European American preschoolers’ views and outcomes. Developmental Psychology, 46(6), 1637-1650. doi: 10.1037/a0019926

Cheah, C. S. L., & Li, J. (2009). Parenting of young immigrant Chinese children: Challenges facing their social emotional and intellectual development. In E. L. Grigorenko & R. Takanishi (Eds.), Immigration, diversity, and education (pp. 225-241). New York: Routledge.