Doctoral Thesis
Chau, C. (2014). Positive Technological development for Young Children in the Context of Children’s Mobile Apps. Dissertation Abstract International, 75, 10(E). ISBN: 9781303986192.

This dissertation examines the extent to which children’s tablet software applications, commonly called apps, are designed appropriately to promote the optimal development of preschool children aged three to five. This study extends previous research, particularly the theoretical frameworks of developmentally appropriate practices and Bers’ positive technological development. The researcher argues that, for children’s mobile apps to be developmentally meaningful, they need to satisfy three conditions: (1) apps must be designed appropriately to accommodate the developmental stages and needs of young children; (2) content must be designed to promote young children’s development in the areas of cognition, academic skills, social-emotional skills, and physical development; and (3) digital interactions engage children in activities and behaviors that foster optimal developmental assets. A content and design analysis of 100 children’s apps from the Apple’s App Store underscores a lack of quality in children's mobile apps for promoting positive development.

Master’s Thesis
Chau, C. (2006). Associations between online civic engagement and personal technological characteristics among college students. Masters Thesis Abstract International, AAT 1436328.

This thesis explores the association between online civic engagement and various technological characteristics among college students. In particular, this study applies the positive youth development framework to examine a) how college students differ in their uses of the Internet for pro-social purposes, and b) how these differences might be associated with variations in their technological experiences and their attitudes about technology. Results show that online civic engagement among the eight-five college students in the study can be described in terms of three underlying constructs interpreted as perceived technological efficacy, social uses of technology, and technological contribution. Variations in these characteristics are associated with the extent to which participants use online technologies for civic and pro-social purposes.


Ponte, I., Rothbaum, F., & Chau, C. (Under Review). Preschool teachers’ beliefs about behavior management in Beijing, Tokyo, and Boston. Developmental Psychology. Kuh, L., Ponte, I., Chau, C., & Valentine, D. (2014). Taking it outside: Rethinking and reclaiming outdoor play. In Thinking Critically About Environments for Young Children: Bridging Theory and Practice, (Ed. L. Kuh). Pp. 69-88. New York: Teacher College Press. Bers, M., Lynch, A.D., & Chau, C. (2014). Positive Technological Development: The Multifaceted Nature of Youth Technology Use towards Improving Self and Society. In Constructing the Self in a Digital World, (Eds. Ching, C. C. & Foley, B. J.). Pp. 110-136. Cambridge University Press. Kuh, L., Ponte, I., & Chau, C. (2013). The impact of a natural playscape installation on young children’s play behaviors. Children, Youth and Environments, 23(2), pp. 49-77. Chau, C. (2011). YouTube as a participatory culture. In Youth as Media Creators, a special edition of New Directions for Youth Development, (Ed. Marina Bers). Jossey-Bass. Bers, M., Beals, L., Chau, C., Satoh, K., & Khan, N. (2010). Virtual worlds for young people in a program context: Lessons from four case studies. In New Science of Learning: Cognition, Computers, and Collaboration in Education. (Eds. Khine, M. S. & Saleh, I. M.). Bers, M., Beals, L., Chau, C., Satoh, K., Blume, B., DeMaso, D., & Gonzalez-Heydrich, J. (2010). Use of a virtual community as a psychosocial support system in pediatric transplantation. Pediatric Transplantation, 14(2), 261-267. Bers, M. & Chau, C. (2010). The virtual campus of the future: Stimulating and simulating civic action in a virtual world. Journal for Computing in Higher Education, 22(1), 1-23. Chau, C. (2009). A review of A New Literacies Sampler by Knobel and Lankshear. E-Learning and Digital Media, 6(4), 422-423. Bers, M., Chau, C., Satoh, K., & Beals, L. (2007). Virtual Communities of Care: Online peer networks with post-organ transplant youth. In Proceedings of the Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning Conference. Bers, M. & Chau, C. (2007). Technology and Early Childhood Education. In Early Childhood Education: An International Encyclopedia. Vol. 3, pp. 798-801. Westport, Connecticut: Praeger. Chau, C., & Bers, M. (2006). Positive Technological Development: A systems approach to understanding youth development when using educational technologies. In Proceedings of the International Conference of the Learning Sciences. LEA Publishing, 902-903. Chau, C., Mathur, A., & Bers, M. (2006). Active Citizenship through Technology: Collaboration, connection, and civic participation. In Proceedings of the International Conference of the Learning Sciences. LEA Publishing, 904-905. Bers, M. & Chau, C. (2006). Fostering civic engagement by building a virtual city. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 11(3), 748-770.