Kim Tsai, PhD (she/her)

Kim Tsai

Associate Professor, Child & Adolescent Development

Kim Tsai's program of research centers on family influences on adolescent psychosocial adjustment and health. Her two intersecting areas of research include (1) examining how cultural values contribute uniquely to family dynamics for adolescents from ethnic minority and immigrant families and (2) investigating cultural and familial factors that impact adolescent emotional well-being and health, specifically their sleep. To address her research aims, she utilizes survey, daily experience sampling and longitudinal designs in her studies with adolescents and their parents from diverse backgrounds.


  • Ph.D., Developmental Psychology, UCLA
  • B.A., Psychology, UC Santa Cruz

Recent Publications

  • Tsai, K.M., Nguyen, H., Weiss, B., Ngo, V., & Lau, A.S. (2020). Effects of family obligation values and parental autonomy support on the internalizing symptoms of Vietnamese-American and European-American adolescents. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 29, 1136-1146.
  • Tsai, K.M., Dahl, R.E., Irwin, M.E., Bower, J.E., McCreath, H., Seeman, T.E., & Fuligni, A.J. (2018). The roles of parental support and family stress on adolescent sleep. Child Development, 89, 1577-1588.
  • Majeno, A., Tsai, K.M., Huynh, V.W., McCreath, H., & Fuligni, A.J. (2018). Discrimination and sleep difficulties during adolescence: The mediating roles of loneliness and perceived stress. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 47, 135-147.
  • Tsai, K.M., Gonzales, N.A., & Fuligni, A.J. (2016). Mexican-American adolescents’ provision of emotional support in response to parental stress. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 26, 658-672.
  • Tsai, K.M., Telzer, E.H., Gonzales, N.A., & Fuligni A.J. (2015). Parental socialization of Mexican-American adolescents’ family obligation values and behaviors. Child Development, 86, 1241-1252.

Recent Presentations

  • Tsai, K.M. (2021, April). Parental support buffers the impact of daily stress on adolescent sleep. Poster presentation at the Society for Research on Child Development (SRCD) Virtual Biennial Meeting. Virtual Conference.
  • Tsai, K.M., Chiang, J.J., Kim, J.J., & Fuligni, A.J., (2019, March). The influence of parental daily stress and mood on adolescent sleep. Paper Symposium (Chair: Tsai, K.M.): The Influence of Parental Risk Factors and Extrafamilial Stressors on Sleep from Infancy to Emerging Adulthood. Paper presentation presented at the SRCD Biennial Meeting, Baltimore, MD.
  • Tsai, K.M., & Fuligni, A.J. (2018, April). The impact of daily stress on sleep among adolescents. Poster presentation at the SRA Biennial Meeting, Minneapolis, MN.

Noteworthy Grants and Awards

  • 2021- 2022 SJSU RSCA Seed Grant Program for research study on “Longitudinal Changes in Family Dynamics and Adolescent Well-being during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A 3-year Study”
  • 2020-2021 SJSU Central Research, Scholarship & Creative Activity Award for research project on “The Impact of COVID-19 on Family Dynamics and Adolescent Health and Psychological Well-being”
  • 2019-2020 SJSU Central Research, Scholarship & Creative Activity Award for research project on “Exploring Ethnic Disparities in the Influence of Family Stress on Adolescent Sleep”

Online Resources

Areas of Research Interest

  • Adolescents
  • Adolescent health
  • Cultural socialization
  • Family obligation
  • Family stress
  • Immigrant families
  • Sleep
  • Social and emotional adjustment

Recommended Reading

Personality Playlist

Listen to Kim's playlist below and access all of the personality playlists on our Lurie College of Education Spotify account