PT Postdoc Scholar Presents Dissertation Research at CRIEI Conference

Xia Cites Importance of Collaboration to Address ‘Complex Health Issues’ for Young Children

By Ryan Clark
CHS Communications Director

Yuyan “Summer” Xia, PhD, and a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Physical Therapy, recently presented her dissertation research at the Conference on Research Innovations in Early Intervention in San Diego.

And she hopes it will lead to more collaboration between the sciences to help young children.

Xia, who earned her Ph.D. in Education Evaluation and Research Methods at UK, focuses her research on scale validation, score equating, program evaluation, and child developmental assessment.

The presentation, entitled, “Understanding Score Equating in Early Childhood Education: A Focus on the Transition from AEPS-2 to AEPS-3,” aims to provide psychometric evidence for score equating between AEPS-2 and AEPS-3.

“This ensures comparability in developmental areas, generalizes the system across different versions, guarantees fairness in decision-making processes, and facilitates seamless, raw-to-scale score conversions for future versions,” Xia said.

“I aim to provide a conversion table for early childhood educators and practitioners, enhancing the accuracy, consistency, and fairness of assessments for children with disabilities,” she continued. “This research seeks to provide evidence for policymakers in early childhood special education, ultimately aiming to improve support and outcomes for children with disabilities.”

A native of Zhejiang, China, Xia noted the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration in advancing health sciences research — particularly in the context of education.

“My experience at the conference and within my program has underscored the value of integrating insights from health sciences, psychology, education and policy to create more comprehensive and impactful research,” she said.

“Such collaboration is crucial for addressing complex health issues affecting young children, especially those with disabilities,” she continued. “I hope that sharing my story will inspire future students and researchers in health sciences to embrace collaborative and cross-disciplinary approaches in their work. Additionally, I believe that ongoing dialogue among researchers, healthcare practitioners and policymakers is essential for translating research findings into effective health policies and practices that can significantly improve children's health outcomes.”

Being invited to present at the conference was “deeply validating,” she said. 

“The conference provided a platform to share my work with peers and experts who are equally passionate about improving early childhood development and health outcomes for young children, especially those with disabilities,” she said. “I was inspired by all the innovative methodologies and assessment tools used to assess and improve child health and development.

“It was an incredible opportunity to engage in meaningful discussions, receive feedback and connect with researchers and practitioners from various backgrounds,” she continued. “The experience was not just a professional milestone but also a personal affirmation of the potential impact my research could have on the field of health sciences, particularly in enhancing early childhood interventions and policies.”

To see more of Dr. Xia’s research, visit this link