Current Projects and Research Focus

Learning about emotions, experieces, and parenting (LEEP)

Project Summary

The Teaching, Learning & Development Lab at NYUAD is looking for mothers and children (ages 3 to 5) from Arab cultural backgrounds to learn about early childhood social-emotional development. This project focuses on socio-emotional development and emotion regulation for mothers and children from Arab cultural backgrounds.

The study will takes place in person at NYUAD Play Lab and takes approximately 1-1.5 hours. All participants will receive 150 AED for completion of the study and stickers for the participating child.

Investigating the impact of a reading intervention on parental and early childhood outcomes on Syrian refugee families


  • Professor Selcuk Sirin, New York University, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development
  • Dr. Rana Dajani, Founder and Director of We Love Reading

Project Summary

This project proposes to explore the effect of a parental reading intervention on both parent and child outcomes, using various measures of key processes related to child developmental outcomes. Book-sharing activities between the parent and the child are critical predictors of academic success in early childhood education. However, reading activities are not given much value or attention in the home. Furthermore, the lack of materials and effort given to reading exacerbates the academic gap between children who read at home before kindergarten and children who do not. This research will add to the limited research that examines the impact of an at-home parental reading intervention as a predictor of parental outcomes (i.e., parent stress, beliefs, and goals about reading) and early childhood academic outcomes (i.e., academic readiness, executive function, and social-emotional skills).