Claire Tai

Thesis title: The role of parental cognition in predicting adolescents' wellbeing

Clinical Brain Science

Year of study: 3

  • Clinical Brain Science
  • Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences

Contact details



Child Life and Health
Centre for Clinical Brain Science
50 Little France Crescent

Post code
EH16 4TJ


I joined the University of Edinburgh in 2020 Sep as a new Ph.D. student under the supervision of Dr. Stella Chan. Prior to this, I completed my master's degree in Child Psychology (Interdisciplinary Studies of Human Development) and certificated in Social, Cognitive, Affective Neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania. During my study at the University of Pennsylvania, I worked as a research assistant at Character Lab for the Failure and Intelligence Mindset Project with Dr. Kyla Haimovitz, where we analyzed the interaction effect between failure mindset and intelligence mindset under different conditions (i.e. if teachers are supportive or not, and if students themselves are independent or interdependent). Meanwhile, I was a research assistant on the Possibility Project with Dr. Michael Nakkula at the Graduate School of Education. The Possibility project aimed at helping middle-school-aged children to explore their interests and build on social-interaction skills. In my second year, I was interested in biological effects on children’s behavior development and became a research assistant under the supervision of Dr. Jianghong Liu at the School of Nursing. I worked on the Health, Brain, and Behavior (HBB) project which aimed at analyzing the relationship between lead-exposed level and behavior outcomes for adolescents from underprivileged neighborhoods, and a nutrition intervention project for young adolescents with aggression tendency. Meanwhile, I was a research assistant with Dr. Heather Nuske at Penn Center for Autism Research. I worked on the project Measuring Bodily Emotional Stress (MBES) to examine if we could predict autistic children’s stress conditions via collecting their heart rate with wearable devices. 

Prior to my study at the University of Pennsylvania, I obtained my bachelor's degree at the Beijing Normal University in Special Education. There I led a project called Chinese Migrant Children and Creativity, which is a student research funded by the Ministry of Education. 


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  •  University of Pennsylvania – Philadelphia, PA

 M.S.Ed, major in Interdisciplinary Studies of Human Development – Graduate School of Education

Certificated in Social, Cognitive, Affective Neuroscience – Center of Neuroscience and Society

  • Beijing Normal University – Beijing, China                                                          

B.A. Ed, major in Education of Children with Special Needs – School of Education              

Minor in Psychology - School of Psychology

Current research interests

My research interests focus on the mechanism of parental cognition in predicting adolescents' well-being. My research also aims to look at the role of attachment and parents' emotional regulation in the association between parental cognition and adolescents' well-being.

Project activity

Previous Projects:


  • Research Assistant of The Possibility Project

- Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania

- Supervised by Dr. Michael Nakkula


  • Research Assistant of the Measuring Bodily Emotional Stress (MBES) Project

- Penn Center for Mental Health, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

- Supervised by Dr. Heather Nuske

  •  Research Assistant of the Health, Brain, and Behavior (HBB) Project

- School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania 

- Supervised by Dr. Jianghong Liu


  • Research Assistant of the Failure and Intelligence Mindset Project

- Character Lab, University of Pennsylvania

- Supervised by Dr. Kyla Haimovitz


  • Project leader of Chinese Migrant Children and Creativity (national funded students' research)

- Department of Special Education, Beijing Normal University

- Supervised by Dr. Li Cheng.

Past project grants

• Professional Student Travel Grant Award, University of Pennsylvania, 2019
• Merit Scholarship, Graduate School of Education at University of Pennsylvania, 2018
• National Funded Projects Award (Undergraduate Department), Ministry of Education of China, 2017

Conference details

• Liu, J., Tai, C (Tai, H)., Raine, A., Richmond, T. (2020). Social Adversity, Blood Lead Level, and Behavior Problems for Young US Adolescents. Poster presentation in ISEE (International Society for Environment Epidemiology) International Conference, Aug 23-23, 2020, Washington DC, USA.

Tai, H., & Liu, J. (2019). Adverse Prenatal Factors Associated with Early Adolescent Delinquency: Implications for Prenatal Interventions. Poster presentation in AAPINA (Asian American/ Pacific Islander Nurses Association) and TWNA (Taiwan Nurses Association) Joint International Conference, Aug 15-17, 2019, Taipei, TW.

Students research team of Possibility Mentoring. 40th Ethnography in Educational Research Forum: Fostering Student Agency and Optimal Development through Possibility Mentoring at the McCall School. Student Presenter, Feb 23, 2019, Philadelphia, PA

• Cheng, L, Dai, H. (Tai, H), Zhu, M., Tordkman, S. (2016). Role of early family environment in the development and expression of High Creative Potential in Chinese Low-SES Children. Keynote Presentation on International Congress of Psychology (ICP) held by the International Union of Psychology Science (IUpsyS), Jul 24-29, 2016, Yokohama, JP.

Papers delivered

• Dukes, D., et al. (2020). Introducing the COVID-19 crisis Special Needs Coping Survey. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. (Under Review)

Tai, H., & Liu, J.(2020). Omega-3 Supplementation, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, and Internalizing Behavior in Early Adolescents with Reactive-Aggression Tendency. In progress.

• Cheng, L., Zhu, M (co-first author), Tai, H., Duan, D., Tinio, Lubart, T., Tordjman, S. (2020). The Relationship between Early Childhood Environment and Creative Potential among Chinese Children from Low-SES Families. In progress.

• Phan, M., et al. (2020). A systematic review of mindfulness-based interventions for schools: searching for quality, not quantity. In progress.

• Cheng, L., Dai, H. (Tai, H), Tordjman, S., Ma, J., Xu, D. (2016). On the effect of early family environment on the development of supernormal children’s creativity. Chinese Journal of Special Education, 11, 32-37.