Ph.D. in Human Development (Minor in Quantitative Psychology), University of California, Davis, 2017

M.S. in Child Development, University of California, Davis, 2014

Bachelor of Medicine & B.S. in Psychology, Peking University, 2012

My research seeks to understand child and adolescent risk and adaptation to family and environmental adversity, and my interest lies in three lines:

(1) Understanding individual differences in environmental sensitivity at multiple levels of analysis, including genetic, physiological, and behavioral (e.g., temperament) markers;

(2) Evaluating the impact of family and environmental adversity on child and adolescent risk and adaptation;

(3) Investigating family-wide processes within the context of family adversity, with a particular focus on family-wide coregulation.

List of Publications

* Co-first author, # Corresponding author

Li, Z#., Sturge-Apple, M.L., Davies, P.T. (2022). Family instability, parenting, and child socioemotional functioning: Moderation by maternal sympathetic stress reactivity. Development and Psychopathology. https://doi.org/10.1017/S095457942200058X

Davies, P.T., Thompson, M.J., Li., Z., & Sturge-Apple, M.L. (2022). The cognitive costs and hidden talents of children exposed to parental relationship instability: A test of life history theory. Developmental Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1037/dev0001381

Li, Z#., & Belsky, J. (in press). Indirect effects, via parental factors, of income harshness and unpredictability on kindergarteners’ socioemotional functioning. Development and Psychopathology.

Li, Z#., Sturge-Apple, M.L., Schupbach, E*., Liu, S., & Davies, P.T. (in press). Dynamic interdependence in parenting behavior: The role of family and child risk factors. Journal of Family Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1037/fam0000966 (*: student mentee)

Li, Z#., Sturge-Apple, M.L., & Davies, P.T. (in press). Contextual risks, child problems-solving profiles, and problematic functioning: Testing the specialization hypothesis. Development and Psychopathology. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0954579421001322

Li, Z#., Sturge-Apple, M.L., Jones-Gordils, H.R., & Davies, P.T. (in press). Sensory processing sensitivity behavior moderates the association between environmental harshness, unpredictability, and child socioemotional functioning. Development and Psychopathology. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0954579421001188

Li, Z#., Sturge-Apple, M. L., & Davies, P. T. (2021). Family context in association with the development of child sensory processing sensitivity. Developmental Psychology, 57(12), 2165–2178. https://doi.org/10.1037/dev0001256

Li, Z#., Sturge-Apple, M.L., Russell, J.D., Martin, M.J., & Davies, P.T. (2020). The role of emotion processing in the association between parental discipline and adolescent socio-emotional development. Journal of Research on Adolescence. https://doi.org/10.1111/jora.12584

Li, Z#., Sturge‐Apple, M. L., Liu, S., & Davies, P. T. (2020). Parent‐adolescent physiological synchrony: Moderating effects of adolescent emotional insecurity. Psychophysiology, 57(9), e13596. https://doi.org/10.1111/psyp.13596

Li, Z#., Sturge-Apple, M.L., Liu, S., & Davies, P.T. (2020). Integrating a multilevel approach to examine family conflicts and parent-adolescent physiological synchrony. Journal of Family Psychology, 34(7), 773–783. https://doi.org/10.1037/fam0000671

Li, Z#., Sturge-Apple, M. L., Martin, M. J., & Davies, P. T. (2019). Interactive effects of family instability and adolescent stress reactivity on socioemotional functioning. Developmental Psychology, 55(10), 2193–2202. https://doi.org/10.1037/dev0000784

Sturge-Apple, M. L., Li, Z., Martin, M. J., Jones-Gordils, H. R., & Davies, P. T. (2020). Mothers' and fathers' self-regulation capacity, dysfunctional attributions and hostile parenting during early adolescence: A process-oriented approach. Development and Psychopathology32(1), 229-241.doi: 10.1017/S0954579418001694

Jaffee, S., Cline, J., Li, Z., Belsky, J., Melhuish, E., Stevens, S., & Watson, B. (2019). Take Your Mind Off IT: Coping Style, 5HTTLPR, and Children's Problem Behaviors. European Neuropsychopharmacology29, S748-S749.doi: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2017.06.089

Li, Z#., Liu, S., Hartman, S., & Belsky, J. (2018). Interactive effects of early-life income harshness and unpredictability on children’s socioemotional and academic functioning in kindergarten and adolescence. Developmental Psychology54(11), 2101-2112.doi: 10.1037/dev0000601

Stenseng, F., Li, Z., Belsky, J., Hygen, B.W., Skalicka, V., Guzey, IC., & Wichstrøm, L. (2018). Peer problems and hyperactivity-impulsivity among Norwegian and American children- The role of 5-HTTLPR. Child Development, 89(2), 509-524. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12766

Hartman, S.*, Li, Z.*, Nettle, D., & Belsky, J. (2017). External-environmental and internal-health early life predictors of adolescent development. Development and Psychopathology29(5), 1839-1849. doi: 10.1017/S0954579417001432

Hygen, B. W., Belsky, J., Li, Z., Stenseng, F., Güzey, I. C., & Wichstrøm, L. (2017). Change in parenting, change in student–teacher relationships, and oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR): Testing a gene-×-environment (G× E) hypothesis in two samples. Developmental Psychology53(7), 1300-1315. doi: 10.1037/dev0000333

Li, Z#., Hygen, B.W., Widaman, K.F., Berg-Nielsen, T.S., Wichstrøm, L., & Belsky, J. (2016). Disorganization, COMT genotype, and children’s social functioning: Testing the Norwegian hypothesis of variation in the legacy of disorganized attachment. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 1013.doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01013

Zhang, L*., Li, Z.*, Chen, J.*, Li, X., Zhang, J. & Belsky, J. (2016). Parenting—BDNF Val66Met polymorphism interaction on depressive symptoms in Chinese adolescents: Diathesis-stress or differential susceptibility. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 45(3), 471- 483.doi: 10.1007/s10964-015-0378-x

Cline, J. I., Belsky, J., Li, Z., Melhuish, E., Lysenko, L., McFarquhar, T., ... & Jaffee, S. R. (2015). Take your mind off it: Coping style, serotonin transporter linked polymorphic region genotype (5-HTTLPR), and children's internalizing and externalizing problems. Development and Psychopathology27(4pt1), 1129-1143.doi: 10.1017/S0954579415000723

Mesquita, A. R., Belsky, J., Li, Z., Baptista, J., Carvalho-Correia, E., Maciel, P., & Soares, I. (2015). Institutionalization and indiscriminate social behavior: Differential-susceptibility versus diathesis-stress models for the 5-HTTLPR and BDNF genotypes. Physiology & Behavior152, 85-91.doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2015.09.015

Wu, N., Li, Z., & Su, Y. (2012). The association between oxytocin receptor gene polymorphism (OXTR) and trait empathy. Journal of Affective Disorders138(3), 468-472.doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2012.01.009