Duan Zhang

Associate Professor; Department Chair

What I do

I am an associate professor in the Research Methods and Statistics Program of the Department of Research Methods and Information Science at the Morgridge College of Education at the University of Denver.

Professional Biography

After getting my PhD in Educational Psychology from Texas A&M University, I came to join DU as a faculty member in the Research Methods and Statistics Program at the Morgridge College of Education at the University of Denver.

I  teach courses in intermediate & advanced statistics, survey design, and research methods.

With my past experiences in both applied statistics and child development, I have been actively involved in research studies funded at different levels in early development and children’s psychological well-beings. I am also a big fan of adopting instructional technology in statistics education.


  • Ph.D., Educational Psychology, Texas A&M University, 2005
  • MS, Educational Psychology, Texas A&M University, 2002
  • BS, International Economics, University of International Business and Economics, China, 2000

Professional Affiliations

  • American Educational Research Association
  • American Psychological Association
  • Psychometric Society


My research interests are focused on two areas: first, methodological area in multilevel modeling using Structural Equation Modeling and Hierarchical Linear Modeling and its application in social science context; my substantive area is in parenting practice and school readiness in early childhood. In particular I study how parenting practice and home environment can contribute to positive academic and social emotional development at school for marginalized student populations.

Currently I am working on a project in which we use large-scale national data to model the longitudinal growth of math achievement between K through 8th grade, and explore family and parenting factors that may moderate the growth.

Key Projects

  • ELO in Colorado


  • Assessing Parent Involvement: A Content Analysis of Current Measures
  • Effects of Executive Functioning on Math Achievement: A LGCM Analysis From Kindergarten to 2nd Grade
  • Teh Effects of Home Activities on Math Achievement in Elementary School
  • Embracing Uncertainty: Defining a Structural Model of Public Library Use and Services Using Large-Scale Public Use Data
  • Statistical Categorization Methods as Applied to Geographic Data Sets