Stacey Horn, Family Social Science Department Head, announced that Xiaoran Sun will join the department as an assistant professor, December 30, 2021. She will be taking advisees in the department’s doctoral programs for fall 2022.
Sun received both master’s and doctoral degrees in Human Development and Family Studies from Pennsylvania State University and her bachelor of science degree in Psychology from Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China.
She is currently completing a post-doc in the Departments of Pediatrics and Communication at Stanford University where she is also a Stanford Data Science Scholar, described by Stanford as a “…diverse group of early-career researchers and trainees from all parts of the University who are using and developing data science methods in their research. They share a keen interest in solving problems while sharing and exchanging knowledge with others.”
Describing her work as computational social science, Sun uses innovative statistical and computational methods to understand family dynamics and youth well-being across the lifespan. This research leverages a variety of data types, including multi-member family panel data, national longitudinal databases, and high-intensity digital data to understand the ways family systems and processes shape achievements and well-being during adolescence and young adulthood.
She is interested in how the integration of different data types and methodological advances can further our understanding of family systems and youth development situated in larger social ecologies—including their sociocultural contexts and, in contemporary society, the pervasiveness of digital technology. Research lines that she will be conducting include: (1) Using high-intensity smartphone data to understand the interplay between digital technology, family dynamics, and adolescent well-being, and (2) leveraging machine learning methods to make long-term predictions of youth’s future achievement outcomes based on their early experiences in multiple and intertwined socio-ecological systems.
Dr. Sun joins a faculty of renowned researchers and mentors who use the knowledge and methods of the social sciences to conduct research and outreach in partnership with diverse families, communities, and organizations to address psychological, cultural, social, and economic issues affecting families locally, nationally, and globally.
Learn about FSOS programs
Learn about graduate programs in the Department of Family Social Science.