Associate Professor of Applied Psychology
Phone: (212) 998-9023
Gigliana Melzi is an Associate Professor of Applied Psychology and the Director of Undergraduate Studies in Applied Psychology at New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, & Human Development. Dr. Melzi was born and raised in Lima, Peru. She came to the United States in 1985 to pursue her undergraduate degree at Clark University, where she double-majored in Spanish Literature and Psychology. She continued her studies in developmental psychology, focusing on language development, at Boston University, where she obtained her PhD in 1998. Dr. Melzi's research has examined the language development and literacy experiences of Spanish-speaking children within and outside of the United States. In one line of work, she has investigated through qualitative methodologies the daily literacy activities of immigrant parents and their impact on children's school performance. In a second line of research, Dr. Melzi has conducted studies on various discourse and linguistic features of Spanish-speaking mother-child dyads from non-immigrant and immigrant Latin American families across various socio-economic groups. In a more recent line of work, Dr. Melzi has examined the unique ways Latino parents support their preschoolers learning, developing a culturally-relevant multidimensional measure of family engagement for Spanish- and English-speaking Latino families, and ways that teachers can build on those practices in preschoool classrooms. Dr. Melzi’s latest work has been funded by the National Institute of Health, The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, and the Brady Educational Foundation. Dr. Melzi's research has been published in a number of journals including: Child Development, Early Childhood Research Quarterly, Journal of Child Language, Discourse Processes, First Language, Narrative Inquiry, Sex Roles: A Journal of Research, and Journal of Personality. In addition, she has published an IRA/NRC monograph entitled "What should we expect of family literacy? Experiences of Latino children whose parents participate in an intergenerational literacy project", as well as various chapters on Latino children's language and early literacy development.