As an applied psychologist, I use empirical research methods to better understand the needs of children and families, and to arm professionals and policy makers with this knowledge so as to better address the needs of the most vulnerable. As summarized in Figure 1, the goal, that unites all of my work, is to enhance the lives of marginalized children using development in context as a general framework. I focus on immigrant children in New York, Muslim youth in the US, refugees in Turkey and Norway, and students at risk in US schools.
I have published my work in top journals, such as Child Development, Developmental Psychology, Review of Educational Research, and Pediatrics, in an effort to inform scholars, practitioners, and policy makers about marginalized children. I have also made a concerted effort to get my work to a wider audience both locally and globally, as I believe strongly in “giving scientific knowledge away.” I have served on several policy committees such as the National Academy of Sciences, the Urban Institute, and the Migration Policy Institute. I have collaborated with UNESCO and Save the Children, in their efforts to improve the lives of refugee children.