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Selcuk Sirin

Selcuk Sirin

Professor of Applied Psychology

Applied Psychology


As an applied psychologist, I use empirical research methods to better understand the needs of children and families, and to arm professionals and policy makers with this knowledge so as to better address the needs of the most vulnerable. As summarized in Figure 1, the goal, that unites all of my work, is to enhance the lives of marginalized children using development in context as a general framework. I focus on immigrant children in New York, Muslim youth in the US, refugees in Turkey and Norway, and students at risk in US schools.

I have published my work in top journals, such as Child DevelopmentDevelopmental PsychologyReview of Educational Research, and Pediatrics, in an effort to inform scholars, practitioners, and policy makers about marginalized children. I have also made a concerted effort to get my work to a wider audience both locally and globally, as I believe strongly in “giving scientific knowledge away.” I have served on several policy committees such as the National Academy of Sciences, the Urban Institute, and the Migration Policy Institute. I have collaborated with UNESCO and Save the Children, in their efforts to improve the lives of refugee children.

Currently, I direct the following research projects in my research lab.

New York City Academic and Social Engagement Study (NYCASES) is a three-year longitudinal study of urban youth through high school. 

Meta-Analysis of Immigrant Paradox is a systematic review of literature on immigrant populations with a focus to identify whether there is evidence of immigrant paradox, that is whether that first generation immigrants do better than second generation immigrants on key developmental outcomes. This project is funded by Jacobs Foundation.

One-Million Book Project ​​​​​​ is a book sharing and interactive book reading program that gives free books to families with children between 0-36 months in Turkey. It aims to support early literacy skills in addition to providing quality-time activities for parents and children. In the pilot phase, the study focuses on children at 30-36 months. Its aim is to encourage all families to practice interactive book reading as a daily routine activity. As the first step, the research will focus on book gifting and supporting parents by informing them about the importance of reading and how to read aloud and interactively with their children.

Racial and Ethnic Teasing Project​​​​​​ is looking at the effects of racial/ethnic teasing in people of color. Especially in the light of current events like the Black Lives Matter movement and increased awareness of systemic racism, it is important to investigate how youth perceive racial teasing amongst peers and how it influences outcomes such as mental health. The project has a pilot study and a primary study. The pilot study will examine how young adults of color in the U.S perceive racial/ethnic teasing. Based on findings from the primary study, the primary study will be a longitudinal mixed-methods project focusing on middle school and high school students on a topic that has rarely been discussed or studied in research. 

Academic Readiness in Children (ARCH) is designed to (1) determine the relationship between the environment and a child’s readiness to start school and (2) to validate the lab’s school readiness measure in Turkish, Arabic, and English. 


Selected Publications

​​​​​​Sirin, S. R., Choi, E., & Sin, E. J. (2021). Meta-analysis on the relation between acculturation and alcohol use among immigrant youth. Journal of Adolescent Health, 70(3). 361-377.

Ryce, P., Sirin, S.R., Rogers-Sirin, L., Sin, E.*, & Palmieri, J**. (2021). The role of internalizing mental health problems in substance use trajectories for minority adolescents. International Journal of Mental Health Addiction, 19, 2031-2044.

Sirin, S.R, Sin, E.J*, Clingain, C*., & Rogers-Sirin, L. (2019). Acculturative stress and mental health: Implications for immigrant-origin youth. Pediatric clinics of North America, 66(3), 641–653.

Sirin, S. R., Plass, J. L. Homer, B. D. Vatanartiran, S., & Tsai, T. (2018). Digital game-based education for Syrian refugee children: Project Hope. Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies, 13(2). 1-6.

Sirin, S. R., Rogers-Sirin, L., Cressen*, J., Gupta*, T., Ahmed**, S., & Novoa**, A. (2015). Discrimination related stress effects on the development of internalizing symptoms among Latino adolescents. Child Development, 86(3), 709-725.

Sirin, S. R., Gupta, T., Ryce*, P., Katsiaficas, D., Suarez-Orozco, C., & Rogers-Sirin, L. (2013). Understanding the role of social support in trajectories of mental health symptoms for immigrant adolescents. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 34(5), 199-207.

Sirin, S. R., Ryce*, P., Gupta*, T., & Rogers-Sirin, L. (2013). The role of acculturative stress on mental health symptoms for immigrant adolescents: A longitudinal investigation. Developmental Psychology, 49(4), 736-748. doi:10.1037/a0028398  

Sirin, S. R. (2005). Socioeconomic status and academic achievement: A meta-analytic review of research. Review of Educational Research, 75(3), 417-453.



Human Development Research and Policy

The Human Development Research and Policy program prepares students to pursue careers as research project directors, research coordinators, and more.

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Research Methods in Applied Psychology II

In-depth look at specific quantitative & qualitative methodologies in the social sciences discussed & application of methodological understanding gained in previous research methods course, including: developing skills in coding & analyzing data, assessing & improving reliability of measures, & presenting results. Students also learn about special problems of design & measurement when research extends beyond the individual.
Course #
APSY-UE 1137
Applied Psychology

The Development of Immigrant Origin Youth

This course is designed to introduce students to research on the adaptation of immigrant origin youth. The course will concentrate on psychological, anthropological, sociological, & educational contributions to the study of immigrant children & adolescents. We will review the growing presence of immigrant youth in public schools in the United States & other post-industrial societies. We will consider a variety of stressors involved in the process of immigration along with the concomitant repercussions on the martial dyad, family relationships, & on the children themselves. We will explore the relevant literature on community forces, marginality, & minority status. We will consider the new research efforts to describe the various pathways immigrant children take in (trans)forming their developing identities. Lastly, we will examine the critical role of the educational experience on the adaptation of immigrant youth.
Course #
APSY-GE 2527
Applied Psychology