Nicole J. Stucke

Nicole J. Stucke

Nicole J. Stucke

Graduate Research Assistant

Applied Developmental Psychology: executive function; behavioral persistence; children's understanding of gender-based stereotypes in STEM; meta-analysis; survival analysis

Nicole is a fifth-year doctoral candidate (ABD, all but dissertation) and Doctoral Research Scholars Program Fellow working with Dr. Sabine Doebel in the Developing Minds Lab. She graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Science in Developmental Psychology and Neuroscience in 2015. Her research is centered on the development of executive function (neurocognitive skills involved in self-control), and how these skills are related to key developmental outcomes like theory of mind, social functioning, in- and externalizing behaviors, self-awareness, and behavioral persistence. She is also interested in children's understanding of socialized gender constructs and gender-based stereotypes, differences in children's motivation to persist on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) related tasks and activities, as well as how different skills and capacities develop in the context of families, specifically within sibling and child-pet relationships.

Current Research

Does Preschool Executive Function Relate to Social, Health and Behavioral Outcomes? A Meta-analysis.

Executive function is a widely studied psychological construct proposed to play a key role in healthy development and success in life. In children, executive function is often measured using particular behavioral laboratory tasks. Performance on these tasks robustly correlates with academic-related outcomes, yet they have also been claimed to predict a variety of outcomes outside the classroom, such as social skills, externalizing behaviors, and physical health. The evidence for these latter claims is less clear. In this meta-analysis, I am testing the relation between executive function measured in preschool, and social, health, and behavioral outcomes measured concurrently, in later childhood, and in adolescence. 

The manuscript for this project is currently under (revised) review. Link to preprint:

Selected Publications

Doebel, S. & Stucke, N. J. (in preparation) Do preschoolers view themselves through the eyes of others?

Stucke, N. J., & Doebel, S. (under revised review). Does preschool executive function relate to social, health and behavioral outcomes? A meta-analysis. [Link to preprint].

Doebel, S., Stucke, N. J., & Pang, S. (2022) Kindchenschema and cuteness elicit interest in caring for and playing with young children, but less so when children are masked. Scientific Reports, 12. [Link to open access full text].

Stucke, N. J., Stoet, G., & Doebel, S. (2022). What are the kids doing? Exploring young children’s activities at home and relations with externally cued executive function and child temperament. Developmental Science. [Link to open access full text].

Grants and Fellowships

George Mason University Doctoral Research Scholars Program Fellow, 2023–2024

Elyse B. & Donald R. Lehman Endowed Research Award, 2023


M.A. Applied Developmental Psychology; George Mason University, 2022

B.S. Developmental Psychology & Neuroscience; University of Minnesota, 2015

Recent Presentations

Stucke, N. J., & Doebel, S. (2023, May). Children’s persistence in science and non-science persistence tasks: A research proposal. Poster presented at the Association for Psychological Science Annual Convention, Washington DC.

Stucke, N. J., & Doebel, S. (2023, March). Do preschoolers regulate exploratory play in light of an onlooker’s evaluations? Poster presented at the Society for Research in Child Development Biennial Meeting, Salt Lake City, UT.

Stucke, N. J., & Doebel, S. (2022, April). Does preschool executive function predict social, health, and behavioral outcomes? A meta-analysis. Poster presented at the Annual Cognitive Development Society conference, Madison, WI.

Stucke, N. J. & Doebel, S. (2021, May). A Meta-Analysis of Early Childhood Executive Function and Concurrent and Future Outcomes. Poster presented at the Annual Association for Psychological Science Virtual Convention, Virtual (COVID-19).

Stucke, N. J. & Doebel, S. (2021, May). What Are the Kids Doing? Children’s Time Use and Relations with Executive Function during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Flash talk presented at the Annual Association for Psychological Science Virtual Convention, Virtual (COVID-19).

Stucke, N. J., Wise, F., Farquhar, L., & Doebel, S. (2021, April). Understanding of Others as Evaluators in Preschool-aged Children. Poster presented at the Biennial Society for Research in Child Development Conference, Virtual (COVID-19).

Stucke, N. J., Doebel, S., Carlson, S. M., & Zelazo, P. D. (2019, October). Exploring Socioeconomic Status Differences in Executive Function Across Development. Poster presented at the Annual Cognitive Development Society Conference, Louisville, KY.

Guest Lectures

Emotion Regulation & Executive Function in Early Childhood - Child Development (PSYC 313), Nov 2022

Executive Function - Child Development (PSYC 313), Oct 2022

Meta-analysis: Preschool executive function and social, health, and behavioral outcomes - Special Topics in Psychology (PSYC 892), Sep 2022

Executive Function in Education and Schools - Educational Psychology (PSYC 312), February 2022; September 2021

Executive Function, Self-, and Emotion-regulation - Lifespan Development (PSYC 704), October 2019

In the Media

Nicole places 3rd overall in the international Pitch Perfect Three-Minute Thesis Competition at the APS 2021 Convention (click on video at 22:55 to see Nicole's talk).

Reflection Sciences Blog Guest Writer, June 2018. Cohort effects on delay of gratification.