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Current Research

Children's and Adolescent's Help with Moderate Levels of Household Tasks


In one line of work, I research how children's experiences of helping the family promote or undermine their emotional wellbeing and academic success (Armstrong-Carter et al., 2019, Child Development Perspectives). Further, I investigate youths' helping behavior impacts their development differently among different age groups  (e.g., early childhood compared to adolescence), cultural backgrounds, and socioeconomic groups.  For example, my research has illustrated that: 

These papers and my other work  highlight the diversity of youths’ contributions to the family in underrepresented samples.

Children and Adolescents Who are Caregiving for Family


I am particularly interested in the experiences of the children and adolescents who provide significant, ongoing care for a family member who is chronically ill, disabled, or experiencing an aging-related decline (e.g., siblings, parents and grandparents). An estimated 5.4 million caregiving youth in the US are involved in caregiving on a daily basis. However, their experiences are under researched and often misunderstood (Armstrong-Carter et al., Social Policy Reports, 2021). I examine how children’s caregiving responsibilities relate to their wellbeing and educational opportunities in families from diverse socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds.


I have formed and I maintain three ongoing research-practice partnerships that focus on understanding the prevalence and experiences of caregiving youth. In partnership with the Florida Department of Health, Florida Department of Education, and the Rhode Island Department of Education, we have begun to identify and count caregiving youth in schools for the first time in US history:

This work exemplifies my interdisciplinary collaborations and partnerships with local communities. Our ongoing research partnership is starting to bring caregiving youth to national recognition. We are currently working to extend the identification caregiving youth in schools nationwide.

Children's and Adolescents' Experiences Helping Friends and Peers


I also examine children's and adolescents' prosocial behavior more broadly — that is, the ways that youth help friends and peers. This work has extended traditional understandings of prosocial behavior by (1) illuminating how it relates to academic success and (2) highlighting how many prosocial behaviors also involve taking risks. For example this work has shown that:

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