The proposed Mentored Scientist Development Award for New Minority Faculty delineates a program of career development, training and research at the interface of two developmental fields: developmental psychopathology and child language acquisition. The focus is on psychological adaptations as predicted by initial language competence and language demand in bilingual Latino children of immigrants who learn English as a second language and speak Spanish at home. This focus is unfolded in a longitudinal follow up investigation, based on the principal investigator's cross-sectional studies. We use standardized language tests and discourse analysis to measure first and second language, and a complex battery for language demand and sociodemographics. We assess child adaptations with a multi-domain approach that includes social, school and bicultural aspects, and psychopathology as reflected by child symptom checklists and structured psychiatric interviews. We also study potentially relevant protective factors. It is hoped that elucidating these crucial areas of resilience and vulnerability will help guide future research on mechanisms linking language and adaptations/psychopathology, thereby shaping design of new empirically-based interventions in this area. The program takes place in an environment that is highly propitious for this kind of learning and research. Based at the Judge Baker Children's Center, it draws upon resources from Harvard Medical School's Department of Psychiatry and Harvard Graduate School of Education's Human Development and Psychology Program. Subjects are recruited from an affiliated clinic. Two senior researchers provide expert mentoring in child psycholinguistics and developmental psychopathology respectively. Both mentors have a strong track record of mentoring young scientists and of working in close proximity with the candidate over the years. The mentors have also worked together on previous projects and know each other well. A Steering Committee formed by the mentors and seven other major national and international experts in the field guides the PI in research and career aspects of the program. The candidate is a child psychiatrist who has received introductory training in language development, research methods, clinical epidemiology and ethics in science. The candidate's immediate goal is to obtain solid grounding in developmental psychopathology and psycholinguistics, and in longitudinal and multivariate methods, while significantly increasing his research productivity, as reflected in number and quality of empirical publications. To this end, a five-year career development curriculum includes enough credit courses to meet requirements for a Master's degree and provides shelter for writing. The curriculum has been designed with the input of members of the Steering Committee, who also provide cross-disciplinary mentoring and internal review of manuscripts. The candidate's long-term goal is to become an independent researcher in this developmental area. To this end, didactics, mentoring and publications are geared towards growing independence as a scientist. Proposal and applications to support a transition to independence will be submitted in the third year of the award period. The ultimate goal is to create a solid, leading, lifelong program of research in the fields of Childhood Bilingualism and Developmental Psychopathology.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Research Scientist Development Award - Research & Training (K01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZMH1-CRB-J (04))
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Boyce, Cheryl A
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Judge Baker Children's Center
United States
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Collins, Brian A; O'Connor, Erin E; Suárez-Orozco, Carola et al. (2014) Dual language profiles of Latino children of immigrants: Stability and change over the early school years. Appl Psycholinguist 35:581-620
Collins, Brian A (2014) Dual Language Development of Latino Children: Effect of Instructional Program Type and the Home and School Language Environment. Early Child Res Q 29:389-397
Toppelberg, Claudio O; Hollinshead, Marisa O; Collins, Brian A et al. (2013) Cross-Sectional Study of Unmet Mental Health Need in 5- to 7-Year Old Latino Children in the United States: Do Teachers and Parents Make a Difference in Service Utilization? School Ment Health 5:59-69
Toppelberg, Claudio O (2011) Promover el bilinguismo: American children should learn Spanish, and so should American child psychiatrists. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 50:963-5
Toppelberg, Claudio O; Collins, Brian A (2010) Language, culture, and adaptation in immigrant children. Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am 19:697-717
Toppelberg, Claudio O; Nieto-Castanon, Alfonso; Hauser, Stuart T (2006) Bilingual children: cross-sectional relations of psychiatric syndrome severity and dual language proficiency. Harv Rev Psychiatry 14:15-29
Toppelberg, Claudio O; Tabors, Patton; Coggins, Alissa et al. (2005) Differential diagnosis of selective mutism in bilingual children. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 44:592-5