Associate Professor of Psychology Erin Pahlke became passionate about psychology while a student at Wellesley College, which is a small liberal arts college much like Whitman. She did not think, at the time, that she wanted to be a psychologist, so she signed on with Teach for America after graduating. Pahlke taught 4th grade for two years in the DC Public Schools.
"That experience reignited my interest in research and the role of psychology in understanding development. So, I went off to Austin to study educational and developmental psychology at the University of Texas." says Pahlke.
In her research, Pahlke is interested in answering broad questions about development. She wonders, for example, how children and adolescents form their views of race and gender, and what the consequences of those views are? In recent years, those questions have led Pahlke to research children’s views of the U.S. presidential elections. They’ve also led her to studies examining the effects of teaching kids about sexism. Pahlke is also interested in the impact of experiences with diversity on academic and socio-emotional outcomes. She has done studies on the effects of single-sex schooling. In her research and teaching Pahlke is interested in working with students to explore core questions related to development, schools, families and social environments.
Pahlke and her husband Derek have two children, Evie and Calla, and a dog, Brinkley. They love exploring new things together as a family, with a particular focus on new places and new foods.
Ph.D. Educational Psychology
University of Texas Austin,
M.A. Educational Psychology
University of Texas at Austin,
Pahlke, E., Patterson, M. M., & Hughes, J. M. (2020). White parents’ racial socialization and young adults’ racial attitudes: Moral reasoning and motivation to respond without prejudice as mediators. Group Processes & Intergroup. doi:10.1177/1368430220941065
Patterson, M. M., Bigler, R. S., Pahlke, E., Brown, C. S., Hayes, A. R., Nelson, A., & Ramirez, C. (2019). Toward a developmental science of politics. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 84(3). doi:10.1111/mono.12410
Pahlke, E. (2019). Do we talk about race with our children or not? Variations in parental ethnic-racial socialization strategies. In M. Janning (Ed.), Contemporary parenting and parenthood: From news headlines to new research. Praeger.
Bigler, R.S., Pahlke, E., & Patterson, M.M. (2019). Children’s political development: Pessimism or optimism? [Author response to peer commentaries on the article “Toward a developmental science of politics” by M.M. Patterson et al.]. Monograph Matters.
Bigler, R. S., & Pahlke, E. (2019). "I disagree! Sexism is silly to me!" Teaching children to recognize and confront gender biases. In M. Monteith & R. Mallett (Eds.), Confronting prejudice and discrimination: The science of changing minds and behaviors (pp. 299-317). Elsevier.
Pahlke, E., Bigler, R. S., & Patterson, M. M. (2018). Gender-related attitudes and beliefs predict White women’s views of candidates in the 2016 United States presidential election. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy. doi:10.1111/asap.12148
Suizzo, M.-A., Pahlke, E., Chapman-Hilliard, C., & Harvey, K. (2016). Parental academic socialization of African American and Mexican American adolescents and their college adjustment: Interactions between ethnicity and parental education. Research in Human Development, 13, 241-257. doi:10.1080/15427609.2016.1194709
Pahlke, E., & Hyde, J.S. (2016). The debate over single-sex schooling. Child Development Perspectives, 10, 81-86. doi:10.1111/cdep.12167
Suizzo, M.-A., Jackson, K., Pahlke, E., McClain, S., Marroquin, Y., Blondeau, L., & Hong, K. (2016). Parents’ school satisfaction and academic socialization predict adolescents’ autonomous motivation: A mixed-method study of low-income ethnic minority families. Journal of Adolescent Research, 31, 343-374. doi:10.1177/0743558415605617