Jenna Finch

Jenna Finch ( is a doctoral candidate in Developmental and Psychological Sciences at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Mathematics (Georgetown University) and will complete her Ph.D. in 2018. Jenna uses complex quantitative methods to explore how home and school contexts shape the development of children’s self-regulation skills. She is particularly interested in how parents and teachers can promote the resilience of socioeconomically-disadvantaged children. Her research has been published in journals such as Early Childhood Research Quarterly, Developmental Psychology, The Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, and AERA Open.

Jenna’s work focuses on 1) how early experiences of adversity are linked to children’s self-regulation skills, (2) how interactions with parents, teachers, and peers can support self-regulation development, and (3) how home and school experiences interact with each other to influence children’s developmental trajectories. Her research is interdisciplinary in nature, combining insights from smaller-scale developmental lab studies with secondary data analysis of nationally-representative samples to bring developmental science to bear on policy-relevant questions.


Finch, J. E., & Obradović, J. (2017). Unique effects of socioeconomic and emotional parental challenges on children’s executive functions. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 52, 126-137.

Finch, J. E., & Obradović, J. (2017). Adversity and stress: Implications for the development of executive functions. In S. Wiebe & J. Karbach (Series Eds.), Lifespan Development and Plasticity of Executive Functions. Psychology Press (Taylor & Francis).

Finch, J. E., & Obradović, J. (2017). Independent and compensatory contributions of executive functions and challenge preference for students’ adaptive classroom behaviors. Learning and Individual Differences, 55, 183-192.

Obradović, J., Yousafzai, A., Finch, J. E., & Rasheed, M. (2016). Maternal scaffolding and home stimulation: Key mediators of early intervention effects on children’s cognitive development. Developmental Psychology, 52(9), 1409-1421.

Obradović, J., & Finch, J. E. (2016). Importance of executive function skills for regulating physiological arousal: Piecewise latent growth curve modeling. Developmental Science.

Bassok, D., Finch, J. E., Lee, R. H, Reardon, S. F., & Waldfogel, J. (2016). Socioeconomic gaps in early childhood experiences, 1998 to 2010. AERA Open, 2(3), 1-22.

Finch, J. E., Johnson, A. D., & Phillips, D. A. (2015). Is sensitive caregiving in child care associated with children’s early effortful control skills? An exploration of linear and threshold effects. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 31(2), 125-134.

Dissertation Committee: Jelena Obradović, Sean Reardon, Deborah Stipek

Dissertation Title: Executive Functions in Elementary School: Contextual Influences and Links with Adaptive Functioning

Research interests: early child development, self-regulation skills, executive functions, child and family policy, resilience, socioeconomic inequality


Ph.D. in Developmental and Psychological Sciences, Stanford University (Expected 2018)
B.A in Psychology and Mathematics, Georgetown University (2013)

Contact Info:
Stanford University - Center for Education Policy Analysis
520 Galvez Mall, CERAS 406
Stanford, CA 94305

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