Kate Hanley White

Visiting Assistant Professor


Summary of Interests

  • Physiology of emotions and emotion regulation
  • Emotional processes involved in psychopathology
  • Relationship between depression, suicidal ideation, and sleep and circadian rhythm disruption


  • B.A. Colby College, 2007
  • M.S. Pennsylvania State University, 2010
  • Ph.D. Pennsylvania State University, 2013
  • Clinical Internship, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2013

Research Interests

Professor White’s research broadly addresses emotion and emotion regulation in mental illness. Due to the difficulty that many people have in accurately reporting on their emotional experience, but especially those with psychopathology, Dr. White utilizes a range of psychophysiological measures to provide more objective measurement of emotions. Implications of her work include identifying biological and emotional substrates common across areas of mental illness and informing more effective treatment interventions that can target emotion-related difficulties.

A secondary area of interest is understanding the role of insomnia and other sleep and circadian disruptions in increasing suicidal ideation among individuals with major depression using actigraphy and high density electroencephalography.

Her current work is focused on the following areas:

  1. The role of emotion and emotion dysregulation in anxiety (e.g., generalized anxiety disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder) and mood (e.g., major depressive disorder) disorders using physiological assessments (e.g., impedance cardiography, heart rate variability, electrodermal activity).
  2. Identifying factors that lead individuals to choose certain emotion regulation strategies over others in stressful situations.
  3. Linking emotion-related difficulties to functional impairments in day-to-day life (e.g., effectiveness in handling social, evaluative, decision-making, or problem-solving situations). What are the consequences of the potential misinformation individuals receive due to problems with their emotional responding?
  4. Identifying emotion-related difficulties that cut across disorders and that may explain the high comorbidities and overlap in symptoms between disorders.
  5. Exploring sleep and circadian disruption as a risk factor for increased suicidal ideation in major depressive disorder.

Courses Taught

  • PSYC 361 Topics in Affective Neuroscience

Selected Publications

Leifker, F., White, K. H., Blandon, A., & Marshall, A. (2015). Posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms impact the emotional experience of intimacy during couple discussions. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 29, 119–127.

McCall, W. V., Benca, R., Rosenquist, P. B., Riley, M. A., Hodges, C., Gubosh, B., McCloud, L., Newman, J. C., Case, D., Rumble, M., Mayo, M., White, K. H., Phillips, M., Krystal, A. (2015). A multi-site randomized clinical trial to reduce suicidal ideation in suicidal adult outpatients with major depressive disorder: Development of a methodology to enhance safety. Clinical Trials, 12, 189–98.

Rumble, M., Rose, S., White, K. H., Moore, H., Gehrman, P.,, Benca, R., & Costanzo, E. (2015). Circadian actigraphic rest-activity rhythms following surgery for endometrial cancer: A prospective, longitudinal study. Gynecologic Oncology, 137, 448–455.

White, K. H., Howard, M., Zhong, B., Soto, J. A., Perez, C. R., Lee, E. A., Dawson-Andoh, N. A., & Minnick, M. R. (2015). The Communication Anxiety Regulation Scale: Development and initial validation. Communication Quarterly, 63, 23–43.

Hanley, K. E., Leifker, F., Blandon, A., & Marshall, A. D. (2013). Gender differences in the impact of posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms on community couples’ intimacy behaviors. Journal of Family Psychology, 27, 525–530.

Chentsova-Dutton, Y. E., & Hanley, K. E. (2010). The effects of anhedonia and depression on hedonic responses. Psychiatry Research, 179, 176–180.