Liz Essel

Contributing Faculty
College of Psychology and Community Services
School of Psychology
Ph.D. Psychology

Dr. Essel obtained her BA in Psychology from University of Michigan and her MS and PhD in Human Development and Family Studies from Penn State University. She also completed a two year postdoctoral fellowship at Penn State where she conducted research on the effects of maltreatment, parenting, and individual differences (i.e., temperament) on preschool children's self-regulation development. She has over 10 years of teaching experience in the online environment and currently teaches in the Developmental Psychology Program at Walden as well as for Penn State World Campus in the Human Development and Family Studies Program.

Courses Taught

DPSY 8125 - Lifespan Development

DPSY 8111 - Themes and Theories in Developmental Psychology

DPSY 8121 - Development in the Digital Age


PhD, Pennsylvania State University

MS, Pennsylvania State University

BA, University of Michigan

Awards / Honors

1T32MH070327-03. NIMH Early Childhood Mental Heal, Pennsylvania State University, 2006

Translational Research in Child Neglect Consortium, , 2009

Building Careers in Research for Child Maltreatmen, , 2012


Essel, E. C., Skowron, E., Gatzke-Kopp, L. (2011). ). Children’s cardiac reactivity moderates the relationship between exposure to family violence and behavioral adjustment. . Child Maltreatment,

Van Epps, J., Skowron, E., Essel, E. C., Woehrle, P. A role for Bowen Family Systems Theory in guiding cross-disciplinary, translational research and effective intervention: Current developments and future directions. .

Skowron, E., Essel, E. C., Gatzke-Kopp, L., Teti, D., Ammerman, R. (2014). Early adversity, RSA, and inhibitory control: Evidence of children's neurobiological sensitivity to social context. . Developmental Psychobiology

Essel, E. C., Skowron, E., Stifter, C., Teti, D. (2013). Heterogeneity in maltreated and non-maltreated preschool children’s inhibitory control: The interplay between parenting quality and child temperament. . Infant and Child Development


Skowron, E., Essel, E. C. (2009). Child neglect, mother differentiation of self, and cardiovascular reactivity in low-income rural families. .