Born and raised in Indonesia, my grandfather is from China, and he taught me Mandarin when I was a child. Now, increasingly, as I recover my ability to understand Mandarin especially while in China, I think of him. I am also well on my way to learning to speak Mandarin fluently. This part is critical since I seek to build a special expertise in my field, Child, and Educational Psychology, focused on the marginalized and/or special needs children of China as well as my native Indonesia. We moved to Seattle, WA in 2007 and then to North Carolina in 2016. The fact that North Carolina is our new home is one of the principal reasons why XXXX University is my first choice for doctoral study. I hope to earn the PHD in Clinical Psychology in the Child & Family track.
I feel that the research and publication areas of your outstanding faculty at XXXX are the most closely aligned with my own long-term aspirations for both practice and research in Clinical Psychology – especially with respect to helping children with autism and ADHD. I am particularly excited about the prospect of studying under Dr. Puffer because her work centers around the development and evaluation of integrated, community-based interventions to promote child mental health in low-resource settings. The interests that I share with Dr. Puffer led me to my professional relationship with World Vision Indonesia, studying the impact of contextual education and life-skills intervention in improving learning outcomes. Currently, I am serving as an International Development Consultant studying the effectiveness of early childhood development intervention in rural China. I could not be more dedicated to staying abreast of technology enhanced or assisted research and intervention in early childhood, especially in Indonesia and China.
I care very deeply about the well-being of children, particularly those from families with scarce resources. I seek a full immersion in the literature of Child and Family Psychology generally speaking, with my most developed concentration in special needs children. I could not be more excited about the prospect of participating in as many practicums and conferences in my area as the opportunity presents. I look forward to acquiring an advanced understanding of the role of culture in measurement, communication, adaptation, and intervention design, in addition to the full gambit of strategies for the promotion of child well-being and good-parenting practices.
Coming from a country full of ethnic and cultural diversity, I relish working with families from all cultural backgrounds. This is especially important as far as cultural values play a crucial role in shaping interventions. I am already heavily engaged in research in the areas of assessment instruments, developmental milestones, teacher observation, caregiver survey, and early learning environmental scale tailored to the Indonesian context - measuring the quality of child development services and parenting practices in rural Indonesia, to improve child developmental outcomes. The Autism spectrum, ASD, ADHD, and neurodevelopmental disorders occupy my intellectual and professional center stage in a search for practical applications based on research concerning the well-being of children with special needs and their families, mapping and evaluating services for autism/ADHD in low-resource settings in Indonesia, China, or other developing nations.
Through my experience as an applied researcher in humanitarian educational settings, I came to appreciate increasingly the importance of research for producing evidence-based interventions which at the end lead to achieving our goal: improving the well-being of children and families, especially in the case of disadvantaged populations. I look forward to contributing to the great diversity of experience driving the innovative research taking place at Duke. I have extensive experience working in unique settings, including refugee camps, post-conflict settings, post-disaster settings, and other rural and remote settings in developing countries. Some of the countries I’ve traveled to for project fieldwork include Indonesia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Thailand, Jordan, Vanuatu, Philippines, Cambodia, Bangladesh, and China. And, while I have not yet been there, I am also extensively involved and networking with non-profit organizations in Kenya, Malawi, Swaziland, Burundi, Vietnam, Korea, Mongolia, India, Myanmar, and Laos.
I have extensive experience working closely with young children (from infants to adolescents) and their families. I am an experienced grant proposal writer and a scholarship recipient for academic excellence. I seek to put my diverse experiences, cross-cultural research interests, leadership qualities and elevated level of determination to on behalf of underserved populations globally, working with humanitarian organizations. There is a great need for well-trained psychologists to support the effort of NGOs to serve children with special needs in developing countries, especially in remote/rural areas, the poor, refugees, etc. By earning the PHD, I will get the top-notch training and experience that I need to achieve my goals. I also look forward to teaching Child Psychology at some point in Indonesia, to increase the quality of expertise that serves children with special needs in my home country. I want to help bridge gaps and connect universities in the Global South with their counterparts in the 1st and 2nd, promoting multinational, cross-cultural research.
Jasper, my nephew (then three, now six) was diagnosed with both autism and ADHD and his parents had little confidence in the validity of the diagnosis, especially since it was based on a one-visit assessment. Naturally, I started reading broadly in this area to be able to support his parents from an informed perspective, resulting in my elevated level of fluency in the literature of evidence-based evaluation and treatment for autism and ADHD, and particularly with respect to cultural issues and in the context of the Developing World. I look forward to building my own non-profit organization focused on both Indonesia and China and devoted to the well-being of children with special needs. I also hope to design and operate inclusive schools that serve special populations in creative ways.
I thank you for considering my application to the global Child and Family Psychology community at XXXX.
PHD Clinical Psychology Child & Family Sample