Rhiannon Smith

Associate Professor

Degree: Ph.D., 2011, University of Missouri
Webpages: Rhiannon Smith
Research Interests: Friendships and social-emotional adjustment in childhood and adolescence
Research Synopsis: Dr. Smith studies friendships and other peer relationships in childhood and adolescence. She is interested in the role that these relationships play in youths’ social and emotional adjustment, including depression and anxiety. Dr. Smith’s research investigates the development of social cognition and empathy in friendships. She also is interested in diversity in peer relations, including cross-ethnic friendships the peer group experiences of LGBTQIA+ youth.
Courses: Undergraduate

  • PSYC 1103 General Psychology II Enhanced (Spring semester)
  • PSYC 3450W Laboratory in Developmental Psychology (Spring semester)
  • PSYC 3405 Social Development (Fall semester and Summer Session I online)


  • PSYC 5460 Social and Personality Development
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, 629-639. doi: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.


Rhiannon Smith
Contact Information
Mailing AddressUnit 1020
Office LocationBousfield 154