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Our Research Team

Leslie Frankel, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor at the University of Houston in the Human Development and Family Studies Program within the Psychological, Health, and Learning Sciences Department. She is a Certified Family Life Educator. Her research interests are focused on parent-child relationships and their impact on early child development. Specifically, her recent research has examined children’s ability to self-regulate in general, as well as in the context of eating, with a particular emphasis on parents’ role in the development of their children’s self-regulation. She also investigates how stress and other contextual factors impact parent-child interactions and relationships. You can reach her at

Sampige, Ritu.PNG

Ritu Sampige is an undergraduate student in the UH Honors College/Baylor College of Medicine Houston Premedical Academy program. She is majoring in Honors Biomedical Sciences (HBS) and minoring in both Medicine & Society and chemistry. Born and raised in the Houston area, she aspires to give back to her community as a future physician.


Ritu is the lab coordinator of the Parent-Child Interaction Lab. She is highly interested and passionate about exploring various facets of the parent-child relationship. More specifically, her current research interests include understanding the impact of parent mental health symptomatology on parenting behaviors, including feeding styles that parents utilize. Upon joining the lab, she has been awarded scholarships for her work in the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) and Provost’s Undergraduate Research Scholarship (PURS) programs. You can contact her at

Lida Ehteshami is an undergraduate student at Barnard College pursuing a Bachelor's of Science in Psychology with a minor in Education and Statistics. Her research interests include investigating parental anxiety and children with autism spectrum disorder, specifically how both of these impact achievement and wellness in a school environment. With a background in service organizations among queer and low-income folks, Lida is passionate about increasing academic support and promoting wellness in these communities. In the future, she hopes to pursue a career in School Psychology.

Caroline Kuno is a fourth year PhD student in the Measurement, Quantitative Methods and Learning Sciences Program (MQM-LS). She went to Makerere University in Uganda where she obtained a bachelor of science with a major in statistics and a minor in mathematics. Before beginning her PhD to pursue a master’s in Public Policy with a concentration in statistical methods at the University of Texas at Dallas. Her research interests are in the application of quantitative methods in health and education research.  In her free time, she enjoys exercising, watching movies, reading, and listening to music. 

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