Professor Listing


Yao Zheng, PhD

Assistant Professor



About Me

I am an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Arts’ Department of Psychology at the University of Alberta in the Developmental Science area. I was previously a Postdoctoral Fellow at Simon Fraser University and University of Quebec at Montreal (2014-2017). I received my Ph.D. and M.S. in Human Development and Family Studies, as well as a M.A.S. in Applied Statistics, from the Pennsylvania State University in 2014. I received my B.S. in Psychology from Yuan Pei Honors College, Peking University in 2008.  


As a lifespan researcher taking a developmental psychopathology perspective, I conduct research on the influences of family and peer processes that shape different developmental trajectories of problem behaviors using innovative quantitative methodology at multiple levels of analysis (e.g., genetic, behavioral) and time scales (e.g., days, years) in various ecological contexts (e.g., school, neighborhood, culture). My research focuses on four interrelated themes: 1) family and peer processes that shape different developmental trajectories of problem behavior using mixture modeling; 2) genetic and environmental interplay in the development of problem behavior using quantitative genetic modeling; 3) intra-individual developmental processes at a micro level using intensive longitudinal data with time series analysis; and 4) evaluation of preventative interventions using dynamical system analysis and longitudinal growth curve modeling.


I am teaching PSYCHO 327 (Adolescent Development), PSYCHO 421/622 (Special Topics: Developmental Behavioral Genetics), and PSYCHO 631 (Special Topics: Introduction to Applied Mixture Modeling). I am also interested in developing new courses like PSYCHO 421/622(Special Topics: Introduction to Family Studies), PSYCHO 423/622 (Special Topics: Developmental Psychopathology), and PSYCHO 631 (Special Topics: Introduction to Multilevel Modeling). I also supervise students in individual research (PSYCHO 299), independent study (PSYCHO 396/398/496/498) and honors theses (PSYCHO 390/399/499).