Skip to main content
Professor ZHANG, Xiao

Professor ZHANG, Xiao


Associate Dean (Research Higher Degrees)

Associate Professor

Academic Unit of Human Communication, Learning, and Development


B.S.(BNU), M.Ed.(BNU), Ph.D.(HKU)


[javascript protected email address]


(852) 3917 0375


Room 629, Meng Wah Complex

Research Expertise

  • Child Development
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Educational Psychology
  • Mathematics Education
  • Parents and Family Issues in Education

Prospective PhD/ EdD/ MPhil Applications

​I am available to supervise PhD/EdD/MPhil students and would welcome enquiries for supervision.

Teaching Interests:

Educational Psychology, Educational Inquiry, Child Psychology, Quantitative Research Methodologies (e.g., Longitudinal Methods), Early Childhood Development and Education


Research Interests:

Early Mathematics, Infant-Toddler Curriculum, Socioemotional Learning, Early Childhood Development and Education


My research interests lie in the major areas of early childhood development, learning, and education from birth through 8 years of age. I have three distinct but interrelated lines of research. In one line of research, my focus is on early childhood mathematics. I am interested in how individual and instructional characteristics contribute to young children's acquisition of mathematical knowledge in a variety of domains including, but not limited to, number and arithmetic, measurement, geometry, and patterning. Another line of my research concerns the ecology of early childhood development. I am fascinated by the interplay of young children and their significant others in micro- and macro-level developmental contexts (families, preschools, after-school programs, ethnical and cultural backgrounds, and historical events such as the COVID-19 pandemic). I am particularly intrigued by such interplay under crisis situations (e.g., strict lockdown) and adverse circumstances (e.g., rural, remote, lower socioeconomic status, separation from parents due to boarding or migration). Still another line of my research lies in quality care and curriculum for children aged zero to three years. I am interested in identifying the principles of quality care and the curriculum components of quality programs and embedding these principles and components into zero-to-three curriculum. 

My research typically involves information from various sources, including longitudinal data of typically developing children, studies of children who have specific learning difficulty or developmental disorders, intervention programs for children from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds, and cross-cultural studies of Chinese and Western children.

2020 Macau Distinguished Visiting Scholar, University of Macau


2019 Faculty Outstanding Young Researcher Award. Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong 


2018 Research Output Prize. The University of Hong Kong. 


2015 Quality Publication Award, Faculty of Education and Human Development, The Education University of Hong Kong.


2015 President's Award for Outstanding Performance in Research, The Education University of Hong Kong.


2010 Zhu Zhi-xian Award in Psychology.

31. 2023– 2025        Principal Investigator. Effectiveness of Parents’ Number Application Talk in Promoting Young Children’s Number Learning. General Research Fund from the Hong Kong Research Grants Council (No. 17623422). HK$1,213,367. 


30. 2023 – 2026       Principal Investigator. The Impact of Preschool Boarding Experience on Rural Children's Physical, Academic, and Social Development. National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31970999). RMB¥540,000.


29. 2023 – 2025       Principal Investigator. Fathers' and Mothers' Spatial Language Use and Young Children's Spatial Skills and Interest in Spatial Activities. Seed Fund for Basic Research from the University of Hong Kong. HK$86,000.


28. 2022– 2026       Co-Investigator (PI: Hui Sau-yan). Scaling-up C-For-Chinese@JC in Kindergarten Sector to Cultivate Culturally Responsive Education. The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust.


27. 2022– 2024        Principal Investigator. Daily Routines and Preschool Children's Learning and Wellbeing during Partial School Closures: A Longitudinal Study. Seed Fund for Basic Research from the University of Hong Kong. HK$143,500.


26. 2022– 2024        Principal Investigator. The Longitudinal Interplay between Mother-child and Father-child Numeracy Activities and Young Children's Symbolic and Nonsymbolic Number Skills. General Research Fund from the Hong Kong Research Grants Council (No. 17607621). HK$553,434.


25. 2021– 2023        Principal Investigator. Barriers and Benefits of Primary Caregivers' Involvement in Children's Education during COVID-19 School Closures. Seed Fund for Basic Research from the University of Hong Kong. HK$120,000.


24. 2021– 2023        Principal Investigator. Language Interventions for Rural Chinese Children in Boarding Preschools. Seed Fund for Translational and Applied Research from the University of Hong KongHK$150,000.


23. 2021 – 2023       Principal Investigator. Pattern Understanding as Precursor and Outcome of Children's Cognitive Development. General Research Fund from the Hong Kong Research Grants Council (No. 17612120). HK$1,079,162.


22. 2020 – 2022       Principal Investigator. Home Math Activities and Children's Math Trajectories from Preschool to Primary School. Seed Fund for Basic Research from the University of Hong Kong (No. 201910159022). HK$97,060.


21. 2020 – 2022       Principal Investigator. Transition to Boarding Preschool and Young Children's Neurophysiological and Emotional-Behavioral Development. National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31970999). RMB¥580,000.


20. 2019 – 2021       Principal Investigator. Family Socioeconomic Status and Young Chinese Children's Reading, Mathematics, and Science Knowledge. Seed Fund for Basic Research from the University of Hong Kong (No. 201810159015). HK$92,200.


19. 2018 – 2021       Principal Investigator. Why is Subtracting Different from Adding? Examining the Role of Mental Rotation ​in Performance and Strategy Use. General Research Fund from the Hong Kong Research Grants Council (No. 17603817). HK$976,900.


18. 2018 – 2020       Principal Investigator. Mental Health Status of Rural Preschool Children Attending Boarding School versus Day School: A Longitudinal Study. Open Fund from the Key Laboratory of Mental Health, Institute of Psychology, The Chinese Academy of Sciences (No. KLMH2018K04). RMB¥60, 000.


17. 2018 – 2020       Principal Investigator. Pattern Understanding and Spatial Skills: Linkages to Reading and Arithmetic Competencies in Young Chinese Children. Seed Fund for Basic Research from the University of Hong Kong (No. 201711159014). HK$111,050.


16. 2018 – 2020       Co-Investigator (PI: CHAN Chi-keung, Hong Kong Shue Yan University). Developing and Validating a Parent-Focused Intervention to Enhance the Executive Function Skills of Young Chinese Children from Low-income Families. Competitive Research Funding Schemes for the Local Self-financing Degree Sector from the Hong Kong Research Grants Council (No. UGC/FDS15/H01/17). HK$937,488


15. 2016 – 2018       Principal Investigator. Cognitive Precursors of Word Reading versus Arithmetic Competencies in Chinese Young Children. Seed Fund for Basic Research from the University of Hong Kong. HK$150,000. (completed)


14. 2016 – 2017       Principal Investigator. Home Numeracy Envrionments and Chinese Children's Mathematics Skills. Faculty Research Fund from the University of Hong Kong. HK$30,000. (completed)


13. 2014 – 2018       Principal Investigator. Linking Quantitative, Spatial, and Linguistic Skills to Number and Arithmetic Competence: Toward a Mediation Model for Predicting Early Mathematics. Early Career Scheme from the Hong Kong Research Grants Council (No. 28404114). HK$830,150. (completed)


12. 2014 – 2016       Co-Investigator (PI: CHAN Chi-keung, Hong Kong Shue Yan University). Executive Function Skills and Early School Success in Young Chinese Children from Low-income Families. Competitive Research Funding Schemes for the Local Self-financing Degree Sector from the Hong Kong Research Grants Council (No. UGC/FDS15/H02/14). HK$712,138. (completed)


11. 2015 – 2016       Co-Principal Investigator (PI: CHAN Wai Ling, The Education University of Hong Kong). Evaluating a Quality Infants and Toddlers Program. Funding from the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals. HK$400,000. (completed)


10. 2014 – 2015       Principal Investigator (Co-I: WONG Wang Ivy, The University of Hong Kong). Children’s Performance and Strategies in Solving Subtraction Problems: The Role of Mental Rotation Ability. Internal Research Grant from the Education University of Hong Kong. HK$100,000. (completed)


9. 2013 – 2014       Principal Investigator. Parenting and School Adjustment during the Transition to Kindergarten: A Longitudinal Study of Local and Cross-Boundary Children in Hong Kong. Internal Research Grant from the Education University of Hong Kong. HK$30,000. (completed)


8. 2013 – 2014       Co-Investigator (PIs: CHENG Pui-wah Doris and WONG Yau Ho Paul, , The Education University of Hong Kong). Implementing the Tobacco Prevention Education in Kindergartens. Funding from the Tobacco Control Office, Department of Health. HK$299,948. (completed)


7. 2013 – 2014       Principal Investigator (Co-I: LIN Dan, The Hong Kong Education University of Hong Kong). Domain-General and Domain-Specific Predictors of Early Math Competence. Internal Research Grant from the Education University of Hong Kong. HK$100,000. (completed)


6. 2013 – 2014       Principal Investigator. Development of a Measure of Early Mathematical Skills in the Chinese Context. Start-up Research Grant from the Education University of Hong Kong. HK$30,000. (completed)


5. 2012 – 2013       Principal Investigator. Spatial Skills and Mathematics Competence. Departmental Research Grant from Department of Early Childhood Education at the Education University of Hong Kong. HK$60,000 (completed).


4. 2012 – 2014       Principal Investigator. Transition to Nonparental Care: Associations with Neurobiological and Emotional-Behavioral Development during Early Childhood. National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31100751), RMB¥ 230, 000 (declined by me from 2013).


3. 2010 – 2013       Principal Investigator. Shyness-Sensitivity and Achievement Motivation and Performance in Urban, Rural, and Migrant Rural Children. Foundation for Research in Education, Social Sciences, and Medicine across 13 Leading Universities in China, The Yuen Yuen Institute, Hong Kong, RMB¥5,000 (declined by me from 2012).


2. 2010 – 2011       Principal Investigator. Teacher-Child Relationships and Children’s Social Adjustment. Internal Research Grant from Beijing Normal University, RMB¥20,000 (completed).


1. 2010 – 2011       Principal Investigator. The Development of Social Competence during Early Childhood. Start-up Research Grant from Beijing Normal University, RMB¥12,000 (completed).

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles (⸸indicates graduate students/postdocs/research assistants under my supervision)  


Early Childhood Mathematics


40. Ouyang, X., Zhang, X., Zhang, Q., de la Torre, J., & Min, S. (2024). Subtypes of mathematics disability: A new classification method based on cognitive diagnostic models and their cognitive-linguistic correlates. Journal of Educational Psychology, 116, 396-410. DOI:10.1037/edu0000829

39. Huo, S., & Zhang, X. (2024). Direct and indirect effects of visual pattern understanding on word reading in Chinese kindergarten children. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 67, 218-226DOI: 10.1016/j.ecresq.2023.12.016.

38. Zhan, P., Chen, Q., Wang, S., & Zhang, X. (2024). Longitudinal joint modeling for assessing parallel interactive development of latent ability and processing speed using responses and response times. Behavior Research Methods, 56, 1656-1677.DOI: 10.3758/s13428-023-02113-5.

37. Chen, X., Yang, Y., & Zhang, X. (2024). Validating a measure of growing pattern understanding in Chinese preschool children. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 67, 24-33DOI: 10.1016/j.ecresq.2023.11.006.

36. Zou, X., Zhang, X., Xie, W., & Xiao, N. (2023). Cross-lagged associations between father-child numeracy activities and very young children's number competence. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 87, 101567DOI: 10.1016/j.appdev.2023.101567

35. Ouyang, X., Zhang, X., Räsänen, P., Koponen, T., & Lerkkanen, M.-K. (2023). Subtypes of mathematical learning disability and their antecedents: A cognitive diagnostic approach. Child Development, 94, 633-647DOI: 10.1111/cdev.13884

34. Yang, Y., Zhang, X., & Huo, S. (2023). Pathways to arithmetic, geometry, and measurement in peschool children: The role of general cognitive and language skills. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 62, 315-323DOI: 10.1016/j.ecresq.2022.09.007

33. Zou, X., Zhang, X., & Ouyang, X. (2022). The interplay between father-child and mother-child numeracy activities and preschool children's mathematical skills. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 71, 102123DOI: 10.1016/j.cedpsych.2022.102123

32. Ouyang, X., Zhang, X., & Zhang, Q. (2022). Spatial skills and number skills in preschool children: The moderating role of spatial anxiety. Cognition, 225, 105165DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2022.105165

31. Liu, Y., & Zhang, X.  (2022). Spatial skills and counting sequence knowledge: Investigating reciprocal longitudinal relations in early years. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 59, 1-11DOI: 10.1016/j.ecresq.2021.09.013

30. Ren, L., Hu, B. Y., Wu, H., Zhang, X., Davis, A., & Hsiao, Y.-Y. (2022). Differential associations between extracurricular participation and Chinese children's academic readiness: Preschool teacher-child interactions as a moderator. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 59, 134-147DOI: 10.1016/j.ecresq.2021.11.006

29. Ren, L., Hu, B. Y., & Zhang, X.(2021). Disentangling the relations between different components of family socioeconomic status and Chinese preschoolers' school readiness. Family Process, 60, 216-234. DOI: 10.1111/famp.12534

28. Ouyang, X., Yang, Y., Zhang, X., & Zhang, Q. (2021). Longitudinal relations between the approximate number system and symbolic number skills in preschool children. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 212, 105254DOI: 10.1016/j.jecp.2021.105254

27. Wang, S., Hu, B. Y., & Zhang, X. (2021). Kindergarteners' spatial skills and their reading and math achievement in second grade. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 57, 156-166DOI: 10.1016/j.ecresq.2021.06.002

26. Ouyang, X.,Zhang, X., Zhang, Q., & Zou, X.⸸ (2021). Antecedents and consequences of young children's interest in mathematics. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 57, 51-60. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecresq.2021.05.005

25. Huo, S.,  Zhang, X., & Law, Y. K.  (2021). Pathways to word reading and calculation skills in young Chinese children: From biologically primary skills to biologically secondary skills. Journal of Educational Psychology, 113, 230-247. DOI: 10.1037/edu0000647

24. Li, H., Sun, J., & Zhang, X. (2021). Editorial: Multidisciplinary approaches to understanding early development of spatial skills: Advances in linguistic, behavioral, and neuroimgaing studies. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 544543. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.666382.  

23. Yang, X., Huo, S., & Zhang, X. (2021). Visual-spatial skills contribute to Chinese reading and arithmetic for different reasons: A three-wave longitudinal study. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 208, 105142.  DOI: 10.1016/j.jecp.2021.105142

22. Xiao, N., & Zhang, X.(2021). Interest in spatial activities predicts young children's spatial ability development: A two-year longitudinal study. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 64, 101943. DOI: 10.1016/j.cedpsych.2021.101943

21. Hu, B. Y., Li, Y.,  Zhang, X., Roberts, S. K., & Vitiello, G. (2021). The quality of teacher feedback matters: Examining Chinese teachers' use of feedback strategies in preschool math lessons. Teaching and Teacher Education, 98, 103253. DOI: 10.1016/j.tate.2020.103253

20. Zhang, X., Hu, B. Y., Zou, X., & Ren, L.(2020). Parent-child number application activities predict children's math trajectories from preschool to primary school. Journal of Educational Psychology, 112, 1521-1531. DOI: 10.1037/edu0000457

19. Zhang, L., Wang, W., & Zhang, X. (2020). The effect of finger gnosis on young Chinese children's addition skills. Frontiers in Psychology, 11, 544543. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.544543

18. Zhang, X., Yang, Y., Zou, X., Hu, B. Y., & Ren, L.(2020). Measuring preschool children's affective attitudes toward mathematics. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 53, 413-424. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecresq.2020.05.012

17. Yang, X., Zhang, X., Huo, S, & Zhang, Y.(2020). Differential contributions of cognitive precursors to symbolic versus non-symbolic numeracy in young Chinese children. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 53, 208-216. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecresq.2020.04.003 

16. Zhang, X., Räsänen, P., Koponen, T., Aunola, K., Lerkkanen, M.-K., & Nurmi, J.-E. (2020). Early cognitive precursors of children's mathematics learning disability and persistent low achievement: A 5-year longitudinal study. Child Development, 91, 7-27. DOI: 10.1111/cdev.13123

15. Zhang, X., Hu, B. Y., Ren, L., & Zhang, L. (2019). Family socioeconomic status and Chinese children's early academic development: Examining child-level mechanisms. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 59, 101792. DOI: 10.1016/j.cedpsych.2019.101792

14. Liu, Y., Zhang, X., Song, Z., & Yang, W. (2019). The unique role of father-child numeracy activities in number competence of very young Chinese children. Infant and Child Development, 28, e2135. DOI: 10.1002/icd.2135

13. Zhang, X., Hu, B. Y., Ren, L., Huo, S., & Wang, M. (2019). Young Chinese children's academic skill development: Identifying child-, family-, and school-level factors. New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development, 163, 9-37. DOI: 10.1002/cad.20271

12. Zhang, X., Hu, B. Y., Ren, L., & Fan, X. (2018). Sources of individual differences in young Chinese children's reading and mathematics skill: A longitudinal Study. Journal of School Psychology, 71, 122-137. DOI: 10.1016/j.jsp.2018.10.008

11. Zhang, X. (2018). Letter-name knowledge longitudinally predicts young Chinese children's Chinese word reading and number competencies in a multilingual context. Learning and Individual Differences, 65, 176-186. DOI:10.1016/j.lindif.2018.06.004

10. Zhang, X., & Lin, D. (2018). Cognitive precursors of word reading versus arithmetic competencies in young Chinese children. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 42, 55-65. DOI:10.1016/j.ecresq.2017.08.006

9. Zhang, X., Räsänen, P., Koponen, T., Aunola, K., Lerkkanen, M.-K., & Nurmi, J.-E. (2017). Knowing, applying, and reasoning about arithmetic: Roles of domain-general and numerical skills in multiple domains of arithmetic learning. Developmental Psychology, 53, 2304-2318. DOI:10.1037/dev0000432

8. Zhang, X., Hu, B. Y., Ren, L., & Fan, X. (2017). Pathways to reading, mathematics, and science: Examining domain-general correlates in young Chinese children. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 51, 366-377.DOI:10.1016/j.cedpsych.2017.09.004

7. Huang, Q., Zhang, X., Liu, Y., Yang, W., & Song, Z. (2017). The contribution of parent-child numeracy activities to young Chinese children's mathematical ability. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 87, 328-344. DOI:10.1111/bjep.12152

6. Zhang, X., & Lin, D. (2017). Does growth rate in spatial ability matter in predicting early arithmetic competence? Learning and Instruction, 49, 232-241. DOI:10.1016/j.learninstruc.2017.02.003

5. Liu, Y., Lin, D., & Zhang, X.(2016). Morphological awareness longitudinally predicts counting ability in Chinese kindergarteners. Learning and Individual Differences, 47, 215-221. DOI:10.1016/j.lindif.2016.01.007

4. Lin, D., Sun, H., & Zhang, X.(2016). Bidirectional relationship between visual spatial skills and Chinese character reading in Chinese kindergartners: A cross-lagged analysis. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 46, 94-100. DOI:10.1016/j.cedpsych.2016.04.008

3. Zhang, X. (2016). Linking language, visual-spatial, and executive function skills to number competence in very young Chinese children. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 36, 178-189. DOI:10.1016/j.ecresq.2015.12.010

2. Zhang, X., & Lin, D. (2015). Pathways to arithmetic: The role of visual-spatial and language skills in written arithmetic, arithmetic word problems, and nonsymbolic arithmetic. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 41, 188-197. DOI: 10.1016/j.cedpsych.2015.01.005

1. Zhang, X., Koponen, T., Räsänen, P., Aunola, K., Lerkkanen, M.-K., & Nurmi, J.-E. (2014). Linguistic and spatial skills predict early arithmetic development via counting sequence knowledge. Child Development, 85, 1091–1107. DOI: 10.1111/cdev.12173


Ecology of Early Childhood Development


39. Li, H., Lam, S. M., Zhang, X., & Bao, M. (2024). Home literacy environments and Chinese preschool children's literacy trajectories: Examining the unique contributions of fathers versus mothers. Learning and Individual Differences, 102489. DOI: 10.1016/j.lindif.2024.102489.

38. Li, H., Peng, A., Zhang, X. (2024). Parents' psychological distress during COVID-19: Correlates and relations with parents' engagement in early education. Early Education and Development, 35(5), 914-932. DOI: 10.1080/10409289.2024.2336658.

37. Ouyang, X., Zhang, X.,Zhang, Q., Gong, X., & Zhang, R. (2024). Preschool children's screen time during the COVID-19 pandemic: Associations with family characteristics and children's anxiety/withdrawal and approaches to learning. Current Psychology, 43, 18659-18673. DOI: 10.1007/s12144-023-04783-y

36. Justice, L., Zhang, X., & Steed, E. A. (2024). COVID-19 and early childhood education: Implications for research, practice, and policy. Early Childhood Research Quarterly66, 109–111. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecresq.2023.09.003

35. Xie, W., Zhang, X.,Xiao, N., & Zou, X.(2023). The role of dependency-oriented parenting in the intergenerational transmission of dependency: An actor-partner interdependence model. Journal of Family Psychology37, 1169–1178.   DOI: 10.1037/fam0001105

34. Li, H., Law, W., Zhang, X., & Xiao, N. (2023). Social support and emotional well-being among boarders and day school students: A two-wave longitudinal study. Children and Youth Services Review, 155, 107217. DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2018.03.052

33. Xiao, N., Chen, J., Justice, L., & Zhang, X. (2023). Children's learning experiences in rural boarding preschools: Classroom quality and associations with developmental outcomes. Early Education and Development34, 1612–1630. DOI: 10.1080/10409289.2022.2139545

32. Yang, Y., Zhang, X.Xie, W., Li, J., & Wang, Y. (2023). Transitions in patterns of caregiver involvement before and during the COVID-19 pandemic: A latent transition analysis. Early Childhood Research Quarterly65, 23–31. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecresq.2023.05.006

31. Zhang, R.,Zhang, X., Xiao, N., Ren, P., & Li, X. (2023). Parenting practices and rural Chinese children's self-control and problem behaviors: A comparison of left-behind and non-left-behind children. Journal of Child and Family Studies32, 704–715. DOI: 10.1007/s10826-022-02422-x

30. Zhang, X.(2022). Household chaos and caregivers' and young children's mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic: A mediation model. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 31,1547–1557. DOI: 10.1007/s10826-022-02283-4

29. Zhang, X.(2022). Caregivers’ perceived changes in engaged time with preschool-aged children during COVID-19: Familial correlates and relations to children’s learning behavior and emotional distress. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 60, 319-331DOI: 10.1016/j.ecresq.2022.03.001

28. Zhang, X.(2021). Barriers and benefits of primary caregivers' involvement in children's education during COVID-19 school closures. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 66, 102570DOI: 10.1016/j.ijdrr.2021.102570

27. Tan, F., Gong, X.,Zhang, X., & Zhang, R. (2021). Preschoolers' approaches to learning and family-school connections during COVID-19: An empirical study based on a Wuhan sample. Early Childhood Education Journal, 49,  869-879.DOI: 10.1007/s10643-021-01217x

26. Xiao, N., Che, Y., Zhang, X., Song, Z., Zhang, Y., & Yin, S.(2020). Father-child literacy teaching activities as a unique predictor of Chinese preschool children's word reading skills. Infant and Child Development, 29, e2183. DOI: 10.1002/icd.2183

25. Ren, L., & Zhang, X. (2020). Antecedents and consequences of organized extracurricular activities among Chinese preschoolers in Hong Kong. Learning and Instruction, 65, 101267. DOI: 10.1016/j.learninstruc.2019.101267 

24. Liu, T., Zhang, X., & Jiang, Y. (2020). Family socioeconomic status and the cognitive competence of very young children from migrant and non-migrant Chinese families: The mediating role of parenting self-efficacy and parental involvement. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 51, 229-241. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecresq.2019.12.004 

23. Hu, B. Y., Wu, H., Curby, T. W., Wu, Z., & Zhang, X. (2018). Teacher-child interaction quality, attitudes toward reading, and literacy achievement of Chinese preschool children: Mediation and moderation analysis. Learning and Individual Differences, 68, 1-11. DOI: 10.1016/j.lindif.2018.09.004

22. Wu, Z., Hu, B. Y., Fan, X., Zhang, X., & Zhang, J. (2018). The associations between social skills and teacher-child relationships: A longitudinal study among Chinese preschool children. Children and Youth Services Review, 88, 582-590. DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2018.03.052

21. Ren, L., & Zhang, X. (2018). Paternal parenting, child temperament, and problem behaviour: An investigation among young Hong Kong children. Infant and Child Development, 27, e2065. DOI:10.1002/icd.2065

20. Zhang, X. (2015). Difficult temperament moderates the effect of family conflict on Chinese children’s behavior problems and social competence during the transition to nursery care. Journal of Family Violence, 30, 501-513. DOI: 10.1007/s10896-015-9693-y

19. Ren, L., Zhang, X., Yang, W., & Song, Z. (2018). Relations among parenting, child behavioral regulation and early competencies: A study on Chinese preschoolers. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 27, 639-652. DOI:10.1007/S10826-017-0898-y

18. Ren, L., Zhang, X., Zhou, N., & Ng, M. L. (2017). Interactive effects between maternal parenting and negative emotionality on social functioning among very young Chinese children. Early Education and Development, 28, 21-40. DOI:10.1080/10409289.2016.1191001

17. Kiuru, N., Laursen, B., Aunola, K., Zhang, X., Lerkkanen, M.-K., Tolvanen, A., & Nurmi, J.-E. (2016). Positive teacher affect and maternal support facilitate adjustment after the transition to first grade. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 62, 158-178. DOI:10.13110/merrpalmquar1982.62.2.0158

16. Zhang, X.(2014). Family income, parental education, and internalizing and externalizing psychopathology among 2-3-year-old Chinese children: The mediator effect of parent-child conflict. International Journal of Psychology, 49, 30-37. DOI: 10.1002/ijop.12013

15. Zhang, X. (2013). The longitudinal interplay of psychopathology and social competence during Chinese children’s transition to preschool. Infant and Child Development, 22, 198-215. DOI: 10.1002/icd.1780

14. Zhang, X.(2013). Chinese children’s relationships with mothers during the transition to nursery care: Changes and associations with later growth in social competence. Infant Mental Health Journal, 34, 60-71. DOI: 10.1002/imhj.21354

13. Zhang, X. (2013). Bidirectional longitudinal relations between father-child relationships and Chinese children’s social competence during early childhood. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 28, 83-93. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecresq.2012.06.005

12. Zhang, X.(2012). The effects of parental education and family income on mother-child relationships, father-child relationships, and family environments in the People's Republic of China. Family Process, 51, 483-497. DOI: 10.1111/j.1545-5300.2011.01380.x

11. Zhang, X., Ke, X., & Yang, Z. (2012). Correspondence and discrepancies between mothers’ and teachers’ ratings of internalizing and externalizing psychopathology: A study of 2- and 3-year-old Chinese children. Psychological Reports, 111, 610-612. DOI 10.2466/03.02.15.PR0.111.5.610-612

10. Zhang, X., Ke, X., & Wang, X. (2012). Reliability and validity of the Parent Form of the Social Competence Scale in Chinese preschoolers. Psychological Reports, 111, 266-268. DOI 10.2466/03.10.11.PR0.110.2

9. Zhang, X., & Chen, H. (2010). Reciprocal influences between parents’ perceptions of mother-child and father-child relationships: A short-term longitudinal study in Chinese preschoolers. The Journal of Genetic Psychology, 171, 22-34. DOI:  10.1080/00221320903300387

8. Zhang, X.(2011). The development of social competence during early childhood: A latent growth model. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 43, 1388-1397. (In Chinese)

7. Zhang, X.(2010). The reliability and validity of Teacher-Child Relationship Scale. Chinese Journal of Clinical Psychology, 18, 582-583. (In Chinese)

6. Zhang, X., Chen, H., Zhang, Y., & Sun, B. (2009). Family income and social competence in early childhood: Examining mediation and moderation effects. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 41, 613-623. (In Chinese)

5. Zhang, X., Chen, H., Zhang, G., Zhou, B., & Wu, W. (2008). A longitudinal study of parent-child relationships and problem behaviors in early childhood: Transactional models. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 40, 571-582. (In Chinese)

4. Zhang, X., & Chen, H. (2008). Relational and individual predictors of children's early social competence. Psychological Development and Education, 24, 19-24. (In Chinese)

3. Zhang, X., Chen, H., Zhang, G., Zhou, B., & Wu, W. (2008). The reliability and validity of Early Father-Child Relationship Scale in China. Chinese Journal of Clinical Psychology, 16, 13-21. (In Chinese)

2. Zhang, X., & Chen, H. (2006). A review of studies on children’s early teacher-child relationships. Psychological Development and Education, 22, 120-124. (In Chinese)

1. Zhang, X., Wang, X., & Chen, H. (2006). 3–7-year-old children’s social development in North China. Journal of Innermongolia Normal University, 12, 43-46. (In Chinese)


Quality of Infant-Toddler Programs


9. Xie, W., Zhang, X., Xiao, N., & Chan, W. L. (2021). Need for and concerns about non-parental childcare programs for infants and toddlers in Hong Kong: Voices of parents. Children and Youth Services Review, 131, 106260. DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2021.106260

8. Liu, T., Zhang, X., Zhao, K., & Chan, W. (2020). Teacher-child relationship quality and Chinese toddlers' developmental functioning: A cross-lagged modelling approach. Children and Youth Services Review, 116, 105192. DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2020.105192

7. Zhang, X., & Chan, W. L. (2019). Effectiveness of the SIME program for infants and toddlers in center-based settings. Research on Social Work Practice, 29, 644-662. DOI: 10.1177/1049731518775218 

6. Zhang, X. (2015). The differential role of symptoms of anxiety and social withdrawal in Chinese children’s dependency on their teachers during the transition to nursery care. Early Education and Development, 26, 956-969. DOI:10.1080/10409289.2014.915675

5. Zhang, X., & Nurmi, J.-E. (2012). Teacher-child relationships and social competence: A two-year longitudinal study of Chinese preschoolers. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 33, 125-135. DOI:10.1016/j.appdev.2012.03.001

4. Zhang, X. (2011). Parent-child and teacher-child relationships in Chinese preschoolers: The moderating role of preschool experiences and the mediating role of social competence. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 26, 192-204. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecresq.2010.09.001

3. Zhang, X., & Sun, J. (2011). The reciprocal relations between teachers’ perceptions of Chinese children’s behavior problems and teacher-child relationships in the first preschool year. The Journal of Genetic Psychology, 172, 176-198. DOI: 10.1080/00221325.2010.528077

2. Zhang, X., Wang, X., & Chen, H. (2010). Temperament and early teacher-child relationships: The moderating role of family affective environment. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 42, 768-778. (In Chinese)

1. Zhang, X., Chen, H., & Zhang, G. (2008). Children’s relationships with mothers and teachers: Linkages to problem behavior in their first preschool years. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 40, 418-426. (In Chinese)


Motivation and Learning


13. An, M.,Zhang, X., Wang, Y., & Zhao, J. (2023). Achievement goals among Chinese college students: Longitudinal measurement invariance and latent growth analysis. Current Psychology42, 24013–24024.DOI: 10.1007/s12144-022-03466-4

12. An, M.,Zhang, X., Wang, Y., Zhao, J., & Kong, L. (2022). Reciprocal relations between achievement goals and academic performance in a collectivist higher education context: A longitudinal study. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 37, 971–988. DOI: 10.1007/s10212-021-00572-y

11. Huo, S., &Zhang, X.(2022). Validation of the Preschool Reading Attitude Scale in young Chinese children: A longitudinal study. Reading Psychology, 43, 129-150DOI: 10.1080/02702711.2021.2008071

10. An, M., Zhang, X., & Ching, F. N. Y. (2021). Pre-service teachers' career values as determinants of career choice satisfaction: A hierarchical regression analysis. The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher, 30, 431-442.  DOI: 10.1007/s40299-020-00529-7

9. An, M.,& Zhang, X. (2018). Identifying the validity and reliability of a self-report motivation instrument for health-promoting lifestyles among emerging adults. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, 1222. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01222

8. Wang, C., Zhang, X., & Yao, M. (2019). Enhancing Chinese college students' transfer of learning through service-learning. Studies in Higher Education, 44, 1316-1331. DOI: 10.1080/03075079.2018.1435635

7. Lam, S.-f., Law, W., Chan, C.-K., Zhang, X., & Wong, B. P. H. (2018). Will victims become aggressors or vice versa? A cross-lagged analysis of school aggression. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 42, 529-541. DOI:10.10​07/s10802-017-0298-1

6. Yang, Z., Chen, H., Zhang, X., Wang, R., & Ding, J. (2016). The online version of the Chinese Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale: Psychometric properties. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 19, 217-222. DOI:10.1089/cyber.2015.0149

5. Lam, S.-f., Law, W., Chan, C.-K., Wong, B. P. H., & Zhang, X. (2015). A latent class growth analysis of school bullying and its social context: The self-determination theory perspective. School Psychology Quarterly, 30, 75-90. DOI: 10.1037/spq0000067

4. Georgiou, G. K., Manolitsis, G., Zhang, X., Parrila, R., & Nurmi, J.-E. (2013). Examining the developmental dynamics between achievement strategies and different literacy skills. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 37, 173-181. DOI: 10.1177/0165025413477007

3. Liao, C.-H., Georgiou, G. K., Zhang, X., & Nurmi, J.-E. (2013). Cross-lagged relations between task-avoidant behavior and literacy skills in Chinese. Learning and Individual Differences, 25, 73-79. DOI: 10.1016/j.lindif.2013.02.003

2. Tze, V. M.-C., Klassen, R. M., Daniels, L. M., Li, J. C-H., & Zhang, X. (2013). A cross-cultural validation of the Learning-Related Boredom Scale (LRBS) with Canadian and Chinese college students. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 31, 29-40. DOI: 10.1177/0734282912443670

1. Zhang, X., Nurmi, J.-E., Kiuru, N., Lerkkanen, M.-K., & Aunola, K. (2011). A teacher-report measure of children's task-avoidant behavior: A validation study of the Behavioral Strategy Rating Scale. Learning and Individual Differences, 21, 690-698. DOI: 10.1016/j.lindif.2011.09.007

10. 2023                            Chair, Mathematical Cognition and Learning Society 


9. 2022                              Chair-elect, Mathematical Cognition and Learning Society 


8. 2021 – 2025                 Governing Board Member, Mathematical Cognition and Learning Society 


7. 2016 – 2024                 Associate Editor, Early Childhood Research Quarterly (Impact Factor = 3.7)


6. 2019 – 2020                 Editorial Board Member, Journal of Numerical Cognition 


5. 2018 – 2020                 Consulting Editor, Educational Psychology (Impact Factor = 3.2)


4. 2013 – 2017                 Associate Editor, BMC Pediatrics (Behavior and Development Section) (Impact Factor = 2.4)


3. 2015 – 2016                 Consulting Editor, Early Childhood Research Quarterly (Impact Factor = 3.7)


2. 2015 – 2017                 Review Editor, Frontiers in Psychology (Impact Factor = 3.8)


1. 2010 – 2013                 Consulting Editor, International Journal of Psychology (Impact Factor = 3.2)

2021-2023                     External Examiner, School of Early Childhood Education, Gratia Christian College.


2020-2024                     External Examiner, Bachelor of Education (Honours) in Early Childhood Education Programme, Caritas Institute of Higher Education


2019                               Accreditation Panel Member (Early Childhood Education & Pre-University Studies), Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications


2019                              Book Reviewer, Taylor & Francis. 


2017                               Accreditation Panel Member (Early Childhood Education), Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications


2014 – present             Secretary-General and Executive Committee Member, Hong Kong Child-Rity Association


2015 – present             Standing Committee Member, National Association for Early Childhood Family Education, The Chinese Society of Family Education