Texas Tech University

Zhe Wang, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Human Development and Family Sciences

Email: zhe.wang@ttu.edu

Phone: (806) 834-5065

Office: HS 303D

Currently accepting graduate students for Fall 2022

Zhe Wang, Ph.D.

Research Focus

In my research, I study the development of individual differences in cognitive abilities and educational attainments in children and young adolescents, and parenting behaviors in adults. My research incorporates genetic, physiological, eye-tracking, and behavioral approaches, and examines how factors at these various levels interact with environmental context (e.g., socioeconomic backgrounds, chaotic household environments, and harsh parenting) to produce diverse developmental trajectories. Additionally, I also take a reciprocal transactional approach where I focus on exploring how children create and modify their own environments. In particular, this component of my research examines how child characteristics, in turn, help shape various parental attitudes, attribution, and parenting behaviors. In my research, I utilize a variety of kinship designs (e.g., twin design, adoption design, and family design) and combine them with multi-wave longitudinal data and advanced statistical modeling to reveal the complex transactional processes in human development.

My current research focuses on examining emotional and motivational factors in mathematics learning. Our ongoing research projects examine the role that mathematics anxiety plays in impeding the development of mathematical competency by investigating the real-time impacts of mathematics anxiety on math problem solving as well as the long-term impacts of mathematics anxiety on engagement in math learning in and out of school.

BioSocial Interplay in Development Lab

Areas of Expertise

  • Cognitive development
  • Mathematics learning
  • Executive function and self-regulation
  • Parenting and family environment
  • Statistics and quantitative modeling
  • Behavioral genetic methods

Selected Publications

Wang, Z., Shakeshaft, N., Schofield, K., & Malanchini, M. (2018). Anxiety is not enough to drive me away: A latent profile analysis on math anxiety and math motivation. PLoS ONE, 13(2), e0192072. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0192072

Malanchini, M.,* Wang, Z.,* Voronin, I., Schenker, V., Petrill, S. A., Plomin, R., & Kovas, Y., (2017). Reading self-perceived ability, enjoyment and achievement: A genetically informative study of their reciprocal links over time. Developmental Psychology, 53(4), 698-712. doi: 10.1037/dev0000209 *equal contribution

Wang, Z., Deater-Deckard, K., & Bell, M. A. (2016). The role of negative affect and physiology in maternal attribution. Parenting: Science and Practice, 16(3), 206-218. doi:10.1080/15295192.2016.1158604

Wang, Z., Soden, B., Deater-Deckard, K., Lukowski, S., Schenker, V., Willcutt, E., Thompson, L., & Petrill, S. A. (2015). Development in reading and math in children from different SES backgrounds: The moderating role of child temperament. Developmental Science. doi: 10.1111/desc.12380

Wang, Z., Lukowski, S., Hart, S. A., Lyons, I. M., Thompson, L. A., Kovas, Y., Mazzocco, M. M., Plomin, R., & Petrill, S. A. (2015). Is mathematical anxiety always bad for math learning? The role of math motivation. Psychological Science, 26(12), 1863-1876. doi: 10.1177/0956797615602471

Wang, Z., Hart, S. A., Kovas, Y., Lukowski, S., Soden, B., Thompson, L. A., Plomin, R., McLoughlin, G., Bartlett, C. W., Lyons, I. M., & Petrill, S. A. (2014). Who's afraid of Math? Two sources of genetic risk for mathematical anxiety. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 55(9), 1056-1064. doi: 10.1111/jcpp.12224

Wang, Z., Chen, N., Petrill, S. A., & Deater-Deckard, K. (2013). Observed personality in childhood: Psychometric and behavioral genetic evidence of two broad personality factors. European Journal of Personality, 27(1), 96-105. doi: 10.1002/per.1886

Wang, Z., Deater-Deckard, K., & Bell, M. A. (2013). Household chaos moderates the link between maternal attribution bias and parenting. Parenting: Science and Practice, 13(4), 233-252. doi: 10.1080/15295192.2013.832569

Wang, Z., Deater-Deckard, K., Cutting, L., Thompson, L. A., & Petrill, S. A. (2012). Working memory and parent-rated components of attention in middle-childhood: A behavioral genetic study. Behavior Genetics, 42(2), 199-208.doi: 10.1007/s10519-011-9508-8

Wang, Z., Deater-Deckard, K., Petrill, S. A., & Thompson, L. A. (2012). Externalizing problems, attention regulation, and household chaos: A longitudinal behavioral genetic study. Development and Psychopathology, 24, 755-769. doi: 10.1017/S0954579412000351


Research Website

BioSocial Interplay in Development Lab

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