PhD in Education student Yangyang Liu has received a 2019 Graduate Dean's Dissertation Fellowship Award in support of her research. The award allows students to forgo their non-research related employment obligations to concentrate on completing their dissertation.
During her doctoral studies, Yangyang's research interests have included family processes, diversity and equity in education, learning motivation, and cultural studies.
For her dissertation, Yangyang is examining the quality of youth's experiences in organized after-school activities and its associations with positive youth development from childhood to adolescence. She is particularly interested in how activity experiences at different developmental stages jointly and differentially predict later academic competence, behavioral adjustment, and social emotional wellbeing. Additionally, she is exploring the mediational role of later participation in linking earlier participation and longitudinal developmental outcomes and examining how youth’s experiences in organized after-school activities, together with their experiences in schools and families, create an interrelated ecology of development.
Yangyang is advised by Professor Sandra Simpkins, who is serving as her dissertation committee chair. Additional committee members are Professors Deborah Vandell and George Farkas.