Research Activities

RESEARCH

In our center, we have three areas of research programs that complement one another. The first area of research focuses on social-emotional development and parenting in early childhood, the interplay between genetic and home as well as daycare environmental influences on preschoolers’ psychosocial adjustment. The second area of research centers around executive functioning of school-age children. The third area focuses on child well-being and violence against children.

 


 

OVERVIEW OF CURRENT RESEARCH PROJECTS
PROJECTS ON SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT

PROJECT: Cultural Socialization of Toddlers in Emotionally-Charged Situations

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Assoc. Prof. Feyza Corapci

COLLABORATORS: Wolfgang Friedlmeier, Grand Valley State University, MI, USA;  Oana Benga, Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj, Romania; Jenny Kurman, University of Haifa, Israel

FUNDING: Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey and Boğaziçi University Committee of Scientific Research Projects

GOAL: This study examines similarities and differences between US, Turkish, Romanian, and Israeli mothers’ responses to their toddlers in emotionally-charged situations. We investigate whether culture has different effects on mothers’ responses depending on the toddlers’ emotion valence. In this study, 51 European American, 52 Turkish, 40 Romanian, and 40 Israeli mothers and their toddlers were invited to a research laboratory and videotaped during a variety of dyadic tasks (e.g., puzzle, coloring, cookie delay) for later coding in each country. Mothers were also interviewed about their responses to toddlers experiencing fear, anger, sadness, and joy. Our findings provide evidence that cultural differences in emotion socialization can already be detected in toddlerhood.

 

PROJECT: Home Chaos and Child Impulsivity: Mediating Effects of Parenting Efficacy

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Assoc. Prof. Feyza Corapci

COLLABORATORS: Theodore D. Wachs, Purdue University, IN, USA; Fernando Andrade, Western Michigan University, MI, USA

FUNDING: Boğaziçi University Committee of Scientific Research Projects

GOAL: Home chaos predicts heightened risk for behavior problems with Western and non-Western samples. One explanatory framework involves the impact of chaos upon poorer parental emotional well-being and less effective discipline strategies. In the present study, we examine whether the linkage between home chaos and child impulsivity may be mediated by chaos leading to higher parenting inefficacy and punitive discipline. We also test a plausible child-driven model to evaluate whether impulsive children may undermine mothers’ efficacy as a parent and discipline skills, thereby increasing home chaos.

 

PROJECT: Gene-Environment Interaction on Preschoolers’ Psychosocial Adjustment and Stress Reactivity

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Assoc. Prof. Feyza Corapci

COLLABORATORS: Assist. Prof. Elif Duman, Psychology Department, Boğaziçi University

FUNDING: Boğaziçi University Committee of Scientific Research Projects

GOAL: This study examines direct and independent contributions of home chaos and child care chaos to preschoolers’ social-emotional development and stress reactivity. We also investigate whether the relations between highly chaotic conditions in one microsystem and child outcomes would be moderated by low levels of chaos in the other microsystem such that non-chaotic, high quality environment in one setting would act as a protective, compensatory factor. Finally, we aim to examine the effect of genetic factors, specifically SLC6A4 variation, in moderating the effect of environmental chaos on children’s psychosocial competence and stress reactivity.

 

PROJECT: Teachers’ Views of Children and Education Philosophy

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Professor Falih Koksal

COLLABORATORS: Assist. Prof. Zeynep Erdiller, Boğaziçi University

FUNDING: Boğaziçi University Committee of Scientific Research Projects

GOAL: We have submitted a research proposal aiming to investigate the relationship between elementary-school teachers' understanding of the nature and needs of children and their philosophy of education.

 

PROJECT: Unpacking Masculinities in the Context of Social Change: Internal Complexities of the Identities of Married Men in Turkey

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Professor Hale Bolak (Bilgi University)

COLLABORATORS: Professor Guler Fisek, Boğaziçi University

FUNDING: Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK)

GOAL: This project examines social and developmental construction of masculinities in Turkey as a phenomenon in transition.

 


 

PROJECTS ON EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONING OF SCHOOL-AGE CHILDREN

PROJECT: Developmental Trends on the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test 

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Dr. Nur Yeniceri

COLLABORATORS: Assist. Prof. Ayse Altan-Atalay, Yeditepe University

FUNDING: Boğaziçi University Committee of Scientific Research Projects

GOAL: This study examined age related changes in the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test performances of 6- to 11-year-old Turkish children (N=643). The leading aim of the study was to provide developmental norms of this widely used executive function instrument for the use of child assessments in Turkey.

 

PROJECT: Longitudinal Studyof Developmental Changes in Performance on the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Dr. Nur Yeniceri

COLLABORATORS: Assist. Prof. Ayse Altan-Atalay, Yeditepe University, Nilay Senturk, Boğaziçi University, Assist. Prof. Nihal Yeniad, Yeditepe University

FUNDING: Boğaziçi University Committee of Scientific Research Projects

GOAL: This longitudinal study examines developmental progress of executive functions. Children whose Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) performances were indicated in a previous study, conducted between 2002 and 2009, are included in this study. Their current performances on the WCST and several other executive function instruments are assessed. Based on our findings, we aim to explore developmental progress of executive functions from childhood through adolescence.

 


 

PROJECTS ON WELL-BEING OF CHILDREN

PROJECT: Children’s Worlds: International Comparison of Subjective Well-Being of Children

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Assoc. Prof. Serra Muderrisoglu

COLLABORATORS: Sabine Andresen, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe University, Frankfurt/Main, Germany, Asher Ben-Arieh, The Haruv Institute, Israel, Ferran Casas, University of Girona, Spain, Gwyther Rees, University of York, England, Jonathan Bradshaw, University of York, England, Habib Tiliouine, The University of Oran, Algeria, Marta Arango, Fundación CINDE, Colombia, Dagmar Kutsar, University of Tartu, Estonia, Yehualashet Mekonen, ACPF - The African Child Policy Forum, Ethiopia, Bong Joo-Lee, Seoul National University, Korea, Arbinda Lal Bhomi, Tribhuvan University, Nepal, Elisabeth Backe-Hansen, Norwegian Social Research, Norway, Sergiu Baltatescu, University of Oradea, Romania.

FUNDING: Jacobs Foundation

GOAL: Children’s Worlds is a world-wide research survey conducted in 15 countries on children’s (ages 8, 10, and 12) subjective well-being. The purpose is to improve children's well-being by creating awareness among children, their parents and their communities, but also among opinion leaders, decision makers, professionals and the general public. The study aims to collect solid and representative data on children’s lives and daily activities, their time use and in particular on their own perceptions and evaluations of their well-being. By studying children’s worlds in as many countries as possible, we hope to raise awareness of children-being and their life situations and to influence government policies and services.

 

PROJECT: Violence Against Children (0-8) in Turkey

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Assoc. Prof. Serra Muderrisoglu

COLLABORATORS: HumanistBuro

FUNDING: Bernard Van Leer Foundation

GOAL: The need to have research on factors that are associated with neglect and violence against young children is apparent for making social policy recommendations. For this purpose we collected nationally representative data from Turkish parents of 0-8 year old children on the prevalence and risk factors leading to domestic violence against children. Parental education, number of children in the household, presence of a family member with disability, SES of the family, parental mental health and history of violence, paternal involvement with household chores and child care, parental attitudes towards child-rearing as well as environmental resources were the factors explored for their impact on the emergence of neglect and violence.

 

PROJECT: Understanding Child Well-being: Conceptualization, Determining Current Status and the Relevant Indicators

INVESTIGATOR: Assoc. Prof. Serra Muderrisoglu

COLLABORATORS: Pinar Uyan-Semerci, Istanbul Bilgi University (Principal Investigator), Abdullah Karatay, Uskudar University, Basak Ekim-Akkan, Boğaziçi University

FUNDING: Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey

GOAL: No former research on locally relavant child indicators existed for Turkey. Thus, this research program was established to use quantiative and qualitative methodology to explore the potentially relevant well-being indicators in areas of health, education, material well-being, home conditions, environmental condtitons, risk and safety, relationships, subjective well-being. Qualitative interviews were conducted with children (8-18), focus groups with parents, teachers and children (12-18). Quantitative data were collected using surveys for children as well as surveys for parents. Thus, one parent and one child within the ages of 12-18 were separately contacted to complete the survey.

 


  

POLICY RELATED PROJECTS

 

PROJECT:Preparing a Policy Document on Child Well-Being in Turkey for Ministry of Development (6/12 - 4/13)

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Assoc. Prof. Serra Muderrisoglu

COLLABORATORS: Pinar Uyan-Semerci, Istanbul Bilgi University, Abdullah Karatay, Uskudar University, Basak Ekim-Akkan, Boğaziçi University, Burcu Yakut-Cakar, Kocaeli University.

FUNDING: UNICEF, Turkey

GOAL: Turkey lacks a strong child-centered social policy. For this purpose, Ministry of Development and UNICEF, Turkey commissioned a document to lay out the current conditions of the children in Turkey using the available data and put forth several social policy recommendations that specifically targeted Early Childhood Development (ECD).

 

PROJECT: Developing an Early Identification Model for Children (6/09 - 12/12)

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Assoc. Prof. Serra Muderrisoglu

COLLABORATORS: -

FUNDING: UNICEF, Turkey

GOAL: A need for developing and piloting an early identification of risks that may harm children’s development was evident. Ministry of National Education (MoNE) and UNICEF, Turkey commissioned the development and piloting of a model that would detect early the presence of risk factors related to changes in the family conditions (e.g. parental loss, income/job loss, reduction in parenting capabilities) developmental risk factors in the child as well as school risk factors, so that necessary early intervention can be planned for supporting the child and the family. A screening tool was developed. Necessary school based assessment and intervention procedures were outlined and piloted in a high-risk neighborhood in Bursa.