How do children learn to manage their attention and emotions, resist temptations, and behave in culturally-appropriate ways? How do parents and teachers promote these skills in children? The DESC Lab investigates the development of young children’s self-regulation and how it relates to the quality of their interactions with family members, mental health, school readiness, and overall cognitive functioning. The Lab is collecting data in Davis, California for studies examining parents’ and preschoolers’ self-regulation, physiology, mental health, and parent–child interactions. If interested in participating in research studies, please contact project coordinator Aileen Arevalo at or (530) 302-5695.

The DESC Lab is collaborating with The California Babies Project to investigate the impact of adversity and daily stressors on emotional, behavioral, and physiological responses among family members and the socialization of self-regulation in young children of Mexican-origin parents.

The DESC Lab is also serving as an academic partner to Mendocino County Health and Human Services Agency in an evaluation study of a new community-based intervention designed to promote resilience and recovery from adverse childhood experiences in rural at-risk youth and to help prevent intergenerational trauma. The DESC Lab began investigating maternal and child adverse childhood experiences and mental health using data collected nationally from a popular crowd-sourcing internet marketplace.

Principal investigator of the DESC lab, Dr. Daniel Choe, is a developmental psychologist and assistant professor of Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) at the University of California, Davis.

Former undergraduate research assistant, Ying Chen, reads to twin siblings in the Babies and Regulation (BAR) Lab, an observational, laboratory assessment space shared with HDFS collaborators, Drs. Leah Hibel and Siwei Liu.