Vaishali Raval

Vaishali Raval 2016

Associate Professor
308 Psychology Building
Miami University
Oxford, OH 45056

Research Interests

Conceptualized from an interdisciplinary perspective, my research examines parenting, emotion and emotion communication in the family context, and child health outcomes in international populations and ethnic minority groups in the United States, particularly Asians and Asian Americans. This work contributes to an emerging movement in the field of psychology that recognizes the importance of culture in understanding human development and psychopathology. Existing knowledge in developmental, clinical, and family psychology is predominantly based on research conducted with White middle-class groups in Western countries, which represent less than five percent of the world’s population (Arnett, 2008). It is now well-recognized that psychological theories derived predominantly from this small and selective segment of the World’ s population may not be universally applicable. In collaboration with students and colleagues from Miami University and around the world, my program of research aims to fill this gap by contributing to culturally informed theories of socialization, emotion, and psychopathology, with practical implications for youth in the World’s most populous countries, and some of the fastest growing minority groups in the United States.

In the past two decades, a substantial body of research has emerged that shows that culture matters in understanding both normal and atypical child development. A major goal of my research has been to continue to demonstrate cross-cultural variation, and to take a step further and ask, “What is it about culture that matters?” For instance, parents across cultures have differing goals concerning the qualities they would like to develop in their children to prepare them to be successful members of their communities. In one line of research, we have investigated cultural differences in parental socialization goals, and how these goals relate to parents’ socialization behaviors in response to their children’s emotions, which in turn, are associated with children’s emotion management preferences, and diverse child outcomes (behavior problems, social competence). In a second, related line of research, we examine whether and why seemingly similar parent behaviors across cultures may be associated with very different child outcomes. In particular, we examine factors such as children’s reports of perceived normativeness (how typical do children perceive their parent’s behavior relative to other parents in the community), causal attributions (what do children attribute parent behavior to), and children’s subjective experience (what children emotionally experience in response to parent behavior). In a third line of research, we examine affective and cognitive risk factors for youth anxiety and depression in an Asian context, as well as phenomenology of anxiety and depression, which will inform the development of assessment measures and interventions for anxious and depressive symptoms. 

Teaching and Mentoring

My teaching is informed by an interdisciplinary and global perspective, and utilizes a student-centered inquiry based approach that aims to facilitate critical thinking, integration of scholarly knowledge with life experiences, a deep appreciation of multiple perspectives and diverse views, and an understanding of human behavior and pathology as intricately tied to varying contexts.

Undergraduate Courses Taught

  • PSY 210 | Psychology across Cultures
  • PSY 345 | Childhood Psychopathology and Developmental Disabilities
  • PSY 410 | Capstone in Clinical Psychology: Culture and Psychopathology
  • PSY 440 | Special Topics in Psychopathology
  • GHS 201 | Data and Decisions in Global Health, co-taught with Dr. Hay-Rollins
  • Family, Religion, and Well-being in India: Faculty-led study abroad workshop (co-directed with Dr. Wilson)

Graduate Courses Taught

  • PSY 605 | Multicultural Topics in Clinical Psychology
  • PSY 646 and 647 | Psychological Assessment I and II
  • PSY 649 | Ethics in Clinical Psychology
  • PSY 750 | Child/Adolescent Psychosocial Interventions Practicum
  • PSY 740 | Seminar in Developmental Psychopathology

Professional Recognition

  • Editorial Boards, Asian American Journal of Psychology and Journal of Child and Family Studies
  • American Psychological Association Division 52 (International Psychology) Early Career Professional Award (2014)
  • Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship, The University of Chicago (2004-06)


A training model for culturally competent and evidence-based mental health care for diverse societies, 2015-18 (Project Director), funded by United States-India Education Foundation. 

For more information, visit USIEF Indo-US Project.