Rachel White

Rachel White
Rachel White

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Taylor Science Center 3036

Child psychologist Rachel White examines the development of self-control from preschool years through adolescence. She is particularly interested in how children use play and other imaginative strategies, like taking another person’s perspective, to better regulate their thoughts, behaviors and emotions. White has been an advisor to Sesame Workshop, PBS KIDS, the Minnesota Children’s Museum and schools across the country. Her recent work can be found in journals such as Child Development, Developmental Science and the Journal of Educational Psychology. White received her bachelor's degree from Wellesley College and her master's degree and doctorate from the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota. She joins Hamilton after completing a postdoctoral fellowship and teaching at the University of Pennsylvania. In her spare time, White enjoys singing, cooking, indoor cycling and traveling.

Recent Courses Taught

Lifespan Development

Select Publications

  • White, R. E., & Carleson, S. M. (2015). What would Batman do? Self-distancing improves executive function in young children. Developmental Science. Advance online publication: doi:10.1111/desc.12314
  • White, R. E., Kross, E., & Ducksworth, A. L. (2015). Spontaneous self-distancing and adaptive self reflection across adolescence. Child Development86, 1271-1281.
  • Galia, B. M., Plummer, B. D., White, R. E., Meketon, D., D'Mello, S. K., & Duckworth, A. L. (2014). The Academic Diligence Task (ADT): Assessing individual differences in effort on tedious but important schoolwork. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 39, 314-325.
  • Plummer, B. D., Galia, B. M., Finn, A., Patrick, S. D., Meketon, D., Leonard, J., Goetz, C., Fernandez-Vina, E., Bartoliono, S., White, R. E., & Duckworth, A. L. (2014). A behind-the-scenes guide to school-based research. Mind, Brain & Education, 8, 15-20.
  • Carlson, S. M., White, R. E., & Davis-Unger, A. (2014). Evidence for a relation between executive function and pretense representation in preschool children. Cognitive Development29, 1-16.
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  • Carlson, S. M., & White, R. E., (2013). Executive function, pretend play, and imagination. In M. Taylor (Ed.), Handbook of Imagination. New York: Oxford University Press. 
  • White, R. E. (2012). The power of play: A research summary on play and learning. Saint Paul, Minnesota: Minnesota Children's Museum.

Select Exhibitions

  • White, R. E., Prager, E. O., Galia, B., Kross, E., Carlson, S. M. & Duckworth, A. L. (2015, September). Resisting digital distractinos: Self-distancing improves diligence in adults and children. In V. Zayas & O. Ayduk (Chairs), Delay of Gratification: Contemporary Perspectives on a Classic Construct. Symposium conducted at the meeting of the Society of Experimental Social Psychology, Denver, CO. 
  • White, R. E., & Duckworth, A. L. (2015, July). Spontaneous self-distancing predicts adaptive self-reflection across adolescence. In O. Ayduk (Chair), New directions in research on the emotion regulatory functions of psychological distance. Symposium conducted at the meeting of the European Congress of Psychology, Milan, Italy.
  • White, R. E., Kross, E., & Duckworth, A. L. (2015, May). Self-Distancing Improves Academic Perserverance. In B. Galla (Chair), Homework or Angry Birds? Understanding (and Overcoming) Motivational Conflucts During Academic Learning. Symposium conducted at the meeting of the Association for Psychological Science, New York, NY.
  • Laboda, K., Andrews, L., Matteucci, A. J., White, R. E., & Duckworth, A. L. (2015, May). Superior self-control strategies give girls the academic edge: Gender, GPA, and IQ. Poster accepted for presentation at the 27th Association for Psychological Science Annual Convention, New York City, NY.
  • Matteucci, A. J., White, R. E., &  Duckworth, A. L. (2015, March). Spontaneous self-distancing and emotional reactivity across adolescence. Poster session presented at the meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Philadelphia, PA. 

Professional Affiliations

Society for Research in Child Development
Cognitive Development Society
American Psychological Association
Division 7: Developmental Psychology
Association for Psychological Science
Center for Cognitive Sciences

Appointed to the Faculty: 2016

Educational Background

Ph.D., Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota
M.A., Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota
B.A., Wellesley College

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