College of Education and Human Development wordmark.

McNair Scholar 2013Mai Tong Yang

Mai Tong Yang is a senior at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, majoring in child psychology with a minor in public health. She is currently the co-president of the Viivncaus – Hmong Women's Group at the University of Minnesota. Her research focuses on school readiness, executive functions, and academic success in Hmong children. Her plans for the future include obtaining her Ph.D. in clinical (child) psychology.

Mai Tong Yang photo
I dream of pushing the dialogue of mental health forward for understanding and unity within my community and to be an agent of positive change and growth after receiving a Ph.D.

Research project

Validity of the Peg Tapping Measure of Executive Function in Early Childhood for Hmong Children

Abstract: Research has shown Executive Function (EF) to be predictive of school readiness. This study examined the concurrent validity of Peg Tapping, a measure of EF, with preschool age Hmong children during early childhood screening in an urban school district. Peg Tapping scores collected in Hmong and English were compared and analyzed for concurrent and predictive validity. Hmong Peg Tapping scores did not significantly correlate with validated screening measures in comparison to English Peg Tapping scores. However, Peg Tapping scores did trend in the hypothesized direction. Future research should examine a larger sample size of Hmong children being screened in Hmong and English, as well as in other languages. Download poster. [PDF]

Faculty profile

Ann S. Masten is the Irving B. Harris Professor of Child Development in the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota, where she completed her Ph.D. in Psychology. Her research focuses on competence, risk, and resilience in development. She has published extensively on topics related to risk, resilience, and human development. Of her numerous honors, she was most recently awarded the 2014 Urie Bronfenbrenner Award for Lifetime Contribution to Developmental Psychology in the Service of Science and Society from the American Psychological Association. Dr. Masten has been a McNair faculty mentor for many years.

Amanda Wenzel is a second year graduate student in the Developmental Psychopathology and Clinical Sciences Ph.D. program at the University of Minnesota. Her research interests include risk and resilience, executive functions, and stress. Specially, her research focuses on the development of measures of executive function for high-risk children and the impact of chronic stress in developing executive function skills. She is funded by a National Science Foundation graduate fellowship award.