What We Do

Please explore some of the activities indicated below and we welcome and encourage completed applications for becoming part of the Children and Families team!

DPREP/Middle School Transition

Margaret Tresch Owen, PhD
Margaret O’Brien Caughy, ScD, University of Georgia
Daniel Pachecho, PhD, Post-Doctoral Fellow
Laura Von Hatten, MPH, Program Manager

Dallas Preschool Readiness Project (DPREP) — Dallas Project on Educational Pathways (DPREP)
This project is a longitudinal study of 407 low-income African American and Hispanic families, supported by successive grants from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). The major goals of the study address 1) the development of self-regulation skills across early childhood and their relations to school readiness, 2) family and cultural contexts of school readiness, school achievement, and adjustment; and 3) self-regulation development across the transition to middle school and relations to academic and behavioral adjustment. The study children were 2½ years old at the initial wave of data collection, and have now been followed in seven waves of data collection. Planning for a final year of data collection, when most of the children will be in 7th grade, is underway.

Our research team, at UT Dallas and at the University of Georgia, is ethnically and linguistically diverse. Several team members have strong ties to the African American and Latino communities in the Dallas area. Our participation in community organizations serving children and families in these communities contributes to strong community relationships that have helped us maintain a high retention rate in the sample. Connections between this research and the community-based programs and services of the Center for Children and Families as well as with other community organizations are critical for the translation of research findings into program and policy change.

Communication Foundation

Margaret Tresch Owen, PhD, Co-PI
Margaret O’Brien Caughy, ScD, Co-PI, University of Georgia
Katherine Suma, Research Coordinator, Developmental Lab, Georgia State University

This project is reexamining Hispanic, Spanish language mother-child interaction videos from the first wave of the DPREP study. The videos have been recoded for elements of joint attention and dyadic measures of connectedness between the caregiver and child. In addition, we have developed observational ratings of the cultural value of respeto in addressing relations to the children’s language and literacy development. The project is a collaboration with Margaret Caughy at the University of Georgia, Raul Rojas who directs The Bilingual Language Lab in the Callier Center, Lauren Adamson and Roger Bakeman, emerita professors from Georgia State University, Cathie Tamis-LeMonda of New York University, and Amy Pace of the University of Washington. This study is being extended with the support of a new grant from NICHD to refine measurement models for assessing the quality of the communication foundation to encompass culturally distinct patterns of mother-child and father-child interaction among Spanish-speaking Mexican-American families.

Center for Children and Families

Margaret Tresch Owen, PhD, Director
Rachel Berglund, Assistant Director
Adriana Baird, Program Manager

The Center for Children and Families has outreach programs in underserved North Texas communities with the objective of promoting optimal development through parent/caregiver education.

The Bilingual Language Laboratory Collaboration

Raúl Rojas, PhD, Principal Investigator

The Language/Self Regulated collaboration is following bilingual language and self-regulation development from ages 3 and 4 through 3rd grade in three cohorts of students attending the Momentous Institute. The language component is directed by Dr. Raúl Rojas’ The Bilingual Language Lab and the self-regulation component is handled by the Children and Families Lab.

Download research poster