Rhiannon Smith

Degree: Ph.D., 2011, University of Missouri
Webpages: Rhiannon Smith
Research Interests: Friendships, peer relations, and social-emotional adjustment in childhood and adolescence
Research Synopsis: Dr. Smith’s research investigates the impact of friendships on children’s and adolescents’ social-emotional adjustment such as depression and anxiety. She has studied adaptive and maladaptive social support processes in friends’ conversations, such as co-ruminating about problems, and associations with empathetic distress. This work considers the roles of gender and social cognition, particularly social perspective-taking. Dr. Smith also is interested in friendship formation across difference (e.g., cross-gender and cross-ethnic friendships) and other aspects of peer relations including peer acceptance, popularity, prosocial behavior, and aggression.
Courses: Undergraduate

  • PSYC 1103 General Psychology II Enhanced (every Spring semester)
  • PSYC 3470 Current Topics: Advanced Social-Emotional Development (every Fall semester)
  • PSYC 3450W Laboratory in Developmental Psychology (Spring semester even-numbered years)



  • PSYC 5460 Social and Emotional Development (Spring semester odd-numbered years)
Recent publications: Schwartz-Mette, R. A. & Smith, R. L. (2016). When does co-rumination facilitate depression contagion in adolescent friendships? Investigating intrapersonal and interpersonal factors. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. Published online ahead of print. doi: 10.1080/15374416.2016.1197837.


Flannery, K. M. & Smith, R. L. (2016). The effects of age, gender, and gender role ideology on adolescents’ social perspective-taking ability and tendency in friendships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. Published online ahead of print. doi: 10.1177/0265407516650942.


Rose, A. J., Smith, R. L., Glick, G. C., & Schwartz-Mette, R. A. (2016). Girls’ and boys’ problem talk: Implications for emotional closeness in friendships. Developmental Psychology, 52, 629-639doi:10.1037/dev0000096.


Smith, R. L. (2015). Adolescents’ emotional engagement in friends’ problems and joys: Associations of empathetic distress and empathetic joy with friendship quality, depression, and anxiety. Journal of Adolescence, 45, 103-111. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2015.08.020.


Representative Publications: Smith, R. L., & Rose, A. J. (2011). The “cost of caring” in youths’ friendships: Examining associations among social perspective taking, co-rumination, and empathetic distress. Developmental Psychology, 47, 1792-1803.


Smith, R. L., Rose, A. J., & Schwartz-Mette, R. A. (2010). Relational and overt aggression in childhood and adolescence: Clarifying mean-level gender differences and associations with peer acceptance. Social Development, 19, 243-269.


Rose, A. J., & Smith, R. L. (2009). Sex differences in peer relationships. In K. H. Rubin, W. M. Bukowski, & B. Laursen (Eds.), Handbook of peer interactions, relationships, and groups (pp. 379-393). New York: Guilford Press.