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Israel Flores

Ph.D. Candidate
Research Area: Developmental Science

My current work explores the symbolic development of very young children, specifically how they come to understand and learn from representational artifacts and media (e.g.,pictures, video images, touchscreens, and scale models). In another line of work, I am investigating how translanguaging practices such as language brokering can support learning in young students from Spanish-speaking, low income homes. A main focus of this research is to explore the role that technology can take in supporting those navigating multiple languages.

 Vanderbilt Child Studies Group

I am also the acting Community Outreach Coordinator for the Vanderbilt Child Studies Group. The Child Studies Group is comprised of faculty in the Department of Psychology and Human Development who are working to better understand child development from infancy to adolescence. Our group is particularly interested in children’s growth in the context of the families, schools, neighborhoods and cultures in which they live. 

Our goal is to include Nashville-area children and families from a wide variety of backgrounds in our investigations through collaborative partnerships with our local communities. 

Representative Publications


Hwang, J., Mancilla-Martinez, J., McClain, J., Oh, M., & Flores, I. (n.d.). Spanish-speaking English learners’ English language and literacy skills: The predictive role of conceptually scored vocabulary. Applied Psycholinguistics, 1-24. doi:10.1017/S0142716419000365

Troseth, G. L., Flores, I., & Stuckelman, Z. D. (2019). When representation becomes reality: Interactive digital media and symbolic development. Advances in Child Development and Behavior, Vol. 56 (pp. 65-108). London, UK: Elsevier. doi:10.1016/bs.acdb.2018.12.001

Troseth, G. L., Strouse, G. A., Flores, I., Stuckelman, Z. D., & Johnson, C. R. (2019). An enhanced eBook facilitates parent–child talk during shared reading by families of low socioeconomic status. Early Childhood Research Quarterly Special issue on the Word Gap. doi: 10.1016/j.ecresq.2019.02.009

Rasmussen, E. E., Strouse, G. A., Colwell, M. J., Russo Johnson, C., Holiday, S., Brady, K., Flores, I., ... & Norman, M. S. (2019). Promoting preschoolers’ emotional competence through prosocial TV and mobile app use. Media Psychology, 22(1), 1-22. doi:10.1080/15213269.2018.1476890

Troseth, G. L., Mancilla-Martinez, J., & Flores, I. (2018). Bilingual Children: Active Language Learners as Language Brokers. In Active Learning from Infancy to Childhood (pp. 233-259). Springer, Cham.

Selected Presentations: 

Flores, I., Mancilla-Martinez, J., & Mclain, J., (2019, March). Spanish-speaking dual language learners’ preschool classroom language environments. Talk presented at the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD), Baltimore, MA.


National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow (2015-2018)

Ford Foundation Fellowship Honorable Mention (2015)