Research Interests

In my research program, I use social networks as a method and framework to explore how variations in children’s early social environments relate to their cognition and behavior. I argue that social networks are a novel, innovative way to capture and describe children’s enviornments and that developmental psychologists can use a network perspective to generate questions about how aspects of social networks relate to cognition and development. Click here to learn more about the method I developed to quantify young children’s social networks - the Social Network Survey.


Burke, N., Rizzo, M.T., Britton, T., & Rhodes, M. (in press). Does racial diversity affect White children’s explanations for racial inequalities? Depends on where they live and how their social world is structured. Developmental Psychology. [preprint]

Burke N., Brezack, N., Meyer, M., & Woodward, A., (2023). Children’s social network size is related to their perspective-taking skills. Frontiers in Developmental Psychology. 1:1221056. doi: 10.3389/fdpys.2023.1221056 [paper]

Arnold, S., Burke, N., Leshin, R., & Rhodes., M. (2023). Infants’ visual attention to own- and other-race faces is moderated by experience with people of different races in their daily lives. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. [paper]

Burke, N., Brezack, N., & Woodward, A. (2022). Children’s social networks in developmental psychology: A network approach to capture and describe early social environments. Frontiers in Psychology, 13:1009422. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2022.1009422 [paper] [OSF]

Manuscripts Under Review and In Preparation

Okocha, A., Burke, N., & Lew-Williams, C. (revise and resubmit). Infants and toddlers in the United States with more close relationships have larger vocabularies.

Colomer, M., Hwang., H.G., Burke, N., & Woodward A. (revise and resubmit). Development of infants’ preferential looking toward native-language speakers across static and dynamic events. [pre-registration]

Burke, N., Keating, V., Hwang, H.G., & Woodward, A. (data collection complete). Preschooler social networks and their effects on racial bias. [pre-registration]

Burke, N., Rooney, A., Rizzo, M.T., & Rhodes, M. (data collection complete). Network size is related to preschoolers’ theory of mind. [pre-registration]