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Dr. Lars O. White, Ph.D.

Research focus

  • Childhood maltreatment and neurobiological sequelae
  • Influence of attachment representations on development
  • Sevelopmental neuroscience / psychophysiology
  • Psychoanalytic child psychotherapy

Official position

Leader of the research group (permanent full-time position)​​​


Department for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Leipzig University​​​

Business address

Liebigstr. 20a
04103 Leipzig


Academic education and degrees


​Ph.D. (Dr. phil.), Psychology, University of Leipzig in collaboration with Max-Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology (MPI-EVA)​​​​


M.Sc. Developmental Neuroscience and Psychopathology University College London, UK and Yale University, USA


​B.Sc. Psychology, University of Manchester, UK​


Professional career

Since 2018

Leader of the research group, University of Leipzig

Since 2017

IMPRS PhD supervisor and Guest researcher at the Max-Planck-Institute of Cognitive and Brain Science (MPI-CBS)

2016 - 2018

Senior Researcher and Clinical Psychologist, University of Leipzig

Since 2012

Deputy Consortium Leader of AMIS, University of Leipzig

2009 -2015

Research fellow, University of Leipzig


Honors, awards and positions


WAIMH New Investigator Award, ​awarded by World Association of Infant Mental Health (WAIMH) ​


Post-doc supervisor as​ part of "Pre-doc Award" Program, Supervision and funding for prospective PhD student


​SRCD Early Career Travel Award, ​​​awarded by the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD)



Moderator of the 2nd annual Wilhelm Wundt Dialogue 2018, on "Attachment Theory: Past, Present & Future" between Heidi Keller & Ross Thompson at the Leipzig Research Center for Early Child Develoment (LFE)​​


British Psychological Society Undergraduate Award,  ​awarded to Valedictorian in Psychology at University of Manchester ​​​​


Current Journal Editorial positions 

2020 - 2021

Attachment & Human Development, Co-Editor of Special Issue on "Social Neuroscience of Human Attachment" to appear in 2021​


​10 most important peer-reviewed papers (10 out of 38, Scopus h-index: 10)

  1. White, L. O., Bornemann, B., Crowley, M. J., Sticca, F., Vrticka, P., Stadelmann, S., Otto, Y., Klein, A.M., & von Klitzing, K. (2020). Exclusion expected? Cadiac slowing upon peer exclusion links preschool parent representations to school-age peer relationships. Child Development,​ in press

  2. von Klitzing, K., ​&  White, L. O. (2020). Fathers in child psychotherapy. In Fitzgerald, H., von Klitzing, K., Cabrera, N., Scarano de Mendonca, J. Skjothaug, Th. (Eds.),​ Handbook of Fathers and Child Development: Prenatal to preschool. Springer: New York.​

  3. White, L. O., Schulz, C.S., Schött, M., Kungl, M., Keil, J., Borelli, J.L. & Vrticka, P. (2020). A Social Neuroscience Approach to Interpersonal Interaction in the Context of Disruption and Disorganization of Attachment. Frontiers in Psychiatry.

  4. Keil, J., Perren, S., Schlesier-Michel, A., Sticca, F., Sierau, S., Klein, A. M., Steinbeis, N., von Klitzing, K., & White, L. O. (2019). Getting less than their fair share: Maltreated youth are hyper-cooperative yet vulnerable to exploitation in a public goods game. Developmental Science, 22(3), e12765. doi: 10.1111/desc.12765

  5. White, L. O., Ising, M., von Klitzing, K., Sierau, S., Michel, A., Klein, A. M., Andreas, A., Keil, J., Quintero Garzón, L., Müller-Myhsok, B., Uhr, M., Gausche, R., Manly, J. T., Crowley, M. J., Kirschbaum, C., & Stalder, T. (2017). Reduced hair cortisol after maltreatment mediates externalizing symptoms in middle childhood and adolescence. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 58, 998-1007.

  6. Sierau, S., Brand, T., Manly, J. T., Michel, A., Klein, A. M., Andreas, A., Resch, L., Keil, J., Binser, M.J., von Klitzing, K. & White, L.O. (2017). A multi-source approach to assessing child maltreatment from records, caregivers, and children. Child Maltreatment, 22, 45-5.

  7. Keil, J., Michel, A., Sticca, F., Leipold, K., Klein, A. M., Sierau, S., von Klitzing, K., & White, L. O. (2017). The Pizzagame: A virtual public goods game to assess cooperative behavior in children and adolescents. Behavior Research Methods, 49, 1432-1443.

  8. White, L. O., Klein, A. M., Kirschbaum, C., Kurz-Adam, M., Uhr, M., Müller-Myhsok, B., Hoffmann, K., … von Klitzing, K. (2015). Analyzing pathways from childhood maltreatment to internalizing symptoms and disorders in children and adolescents (AMIS): A study protocol. BMC Psychiatry, 15, 1-18. doi: 10.1186/s12888-015-0512-z

  9. White, L. O., Wu, J., Borelli, J. L., Mayes, L. C., & Crowley, M. J. (2013). Play it again: Neural responses to reunion with excluders predicted by attachment patterns. Developmental Science, 16, 850-863. doi: 10.1111/desc.12035

  10. White, L. O., Wu, J., Borelli, J. L., Rutherford, H. J. V., David, D. H., Kim–Cohen, J., Mayes, L. C., & Crowley, M. J. (2012). Attachment dismissal predicts frontal slow-wave ERPs during rejection by unfamiliar peers. Emotion, 12, 690 - 700. doi: 10.1037/a0026750​​​​

Foto: Laura Schulz


Semmelweisstraße 10, Haus 13
04103 Leipzig
0341 - 97 24539