Na Zhang

Assistant Professor

Curriculum Vitae

Lab website

As a family scientist and prevention researcher, I conduct research and mentor students in three specialization areas: Child and Adolescent Development; Couples, Parents, and Families; Health, Wellbeing, and Prevention. I direct the FRAME (Family Resilience And Mindfulness Empowerment) lab.

My general research interests are the following:

  • The intrapersonal (e.g., mental health) and interpersonal (e.g., family wellbeing, loneliness) benefits of mindfulness in diverse contexts;
  • Mindfulness, self-compassion, and self-regulation processes (i.e., emotion regulation and cognitive control);
  • Resilience in youth who were affected by traumatic stress or adversities such as death of a parent and parental divorce;
  • The determinants and outcomes of negative and positive parenting, including behavioral parenting skills and emotion-related parenting (or parental emotion socialization);
  • Group- and web-based parenting interventions for preventing youth mental health problems;
  • Mechanisms of change in preventive interventions (i.e., how does it work and for whom?).

Active Research Funding

Principal Investigator, K01MH122502

“A digital mindfulness-informed parenting intervention for high-risk divorced families”

National Institutes of Health/NIH, National Institute of Mental Health/NIMH

Duration: 5/1/2022 – 4/30/2027

Educational Background:

NIDA T32 Post-Doctoral Fellow, Prevention Science, REACH Institute, Arizona State University, USA
Ph.D. in Family Social Science (Prevention Science Minor), University of Minnesota, USA
M.Ed. in Psychology (Clinical Science Track), Tsinghua University, China
B.S. in Psychology, Capital Normal University, China

Editorial Boards:

Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology

Journal of Family Psychology

Selected publications:

Causadias, J. M., Alcalá, L., Morris, K. S., Yaylaci, F. T., & Zhang, N. (2022).Future directions on BIPOC youth mental health: The importance of cultural rituals in the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology.

Zhang, N., Russell, B., Park, C. & Fendrich, M. (2022). Effects of mindful emotion regulation on parents’ loneliness and social support: A longitudinal study during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in the United States. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.

Zhang, N., Sandler, I., Tein, J., Wolchik, S. & Donohue, E. (2022). Caregivers’ self-compassion and bereaved children’s adjustment: Testing caregivers’ mental health and parenting as mediators. Mindfulness.

Zhang, N., Sandler, I., Tein, J., & Wolchik, S. (2021). Reducing suicide risk in parentally bereaved youth through promoting effective parenting: Testing a developmental cascade model. Development and Psychopathology.

Zhang, N., Hoch, J., Gewirtz, A. H., Barnes, A. & Snyder, J. (2021). Vagal suppression buffers against the negative effects of psychological inflexibility on parenting in combat deployed fathers. Parenting Science and Practice, 21, 55-78.

Liu, G., Zhang, N., Teoh, J. Y., Egan C., Zeffiro, T. A., Davidson, R. J., & Quevedo, K. (2020). Self-compassion and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex activity during sad self-face recognition in depressed adolescents. Psychological Medicine.

Zhang, N., Hoch, J., & Gewirtz, A. H. (2020). The physiological regulation of emotion during social interactions: Vagal flexibility moderates the effects of a military parenting intervention on father involvement in a randomized trial. Prevention Science, 21, 691-701.

Zhang, N., Lee, S., Zhang, J., Piehler, T. F., & Gewirtz, A. H. (2020). Growth trajectories of parental emotion socialization and child adjustment following a military parenting intervention: A randomized controlled trial. Developmental Psychology, 56, 652-663.

Gewirtz, A. H., Snyder, J., Zamir, O., Zhang, J., Zhang, N.* (2019). (*All authors are primary authors and authorship is listed alphabetically). Effects of the After Deployment Adaptive Parenting Tools (ADAPT) intervention on fathers and their children: A moderated mediation model. Development and Psychopathology, 31, 1837-1849.

Zhang, N., Zhang, J., & Gewirtz, A. H. (2019). Do less mindful mothers show better parenting via improvements in trait mindfulness following a military parent training program? Frontiers in Psychology, 10, 909.

Zhang, N., Piehler, T. F., Gewirtz, A. H., Zamir, O., & Snyder, J. J. (2019). Trait mindfulness and anger in the family: A dyadic analysis of male service members and their female partners. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy.

Zhang, N., Zhang, J., Gewirtz, A. H., & Piehler, T. F. (2018). Improving parental emotion socialization in military families: Results of a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Family Psychology, 32, 1046-1056.

Zhang, N., Rudi, J., Zamir, O., & Gewirtz, A. (2018). Parent engagement in online mindfulness exercises within a parent training program for postdeployed military families. Mindfulness, 9, 725-736.

Zhang, N., Fan, F., Huang, S., & Rodriguez, M. (2018). Mindfulness training for loneliness among Chinese college students: A pilot randomized controlled trial. International Journal of Psychology, 53, 373-378.


Na Zhang
Contact Information
Mailing Address1 University Pl, Rm 3.35C, Stamford CT 06901
Office LocationStamford campus: 1 University Pl, Rm 3.35C, Stamford CT 06901; Storrs campus: 348 Mansfield Rd, Unit 1058, 123C, Storrs CT 06269