Dr. Sunny Bai joined the Ballmer Institute in the fall of 2023 as an Assistant Professor. Dr. Bai’s research broadly focuses on child and adolescent development in the context of daily family and school life. A critical component of childhood is the successful navigation of the ups and downs of daily life. Children and adolescents must overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities for growth every day. In her research, she looks to the everyday lives of youth to identify daily risk and resilience processes that can be targeted to prevent internalizing disorders and suicide risk and examine novel strategies for addressing these targets.
At the intersection of psychological science and prevention, her research examines three questions. First, how is risk for internalizing disorders shaped by the ways that youth respond to daily stress? Second, what are the daily mechanisms by which families help to build resilience against internalizing disorders in adolescence? Third, how can we improve existing interventions for the prevention of adolescent suicide? Her translational research program relies on longitudinal observational designs and intensive repeated measurements, to capture risk and resilience processes in diverse communities and inform prevention programs. Her work has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, the American Psychological Foundation and the Society for Research on Child Development.