Emily Rolan (Doner)

Emily  Rolan (Doner)
  • Assistant Professor


B.A with honors in Psychology, University of Missouri (2015)

M.S. in Human Development and Family Studies, Purdue University (2017)

Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies, Purdue University (2020)


Curriculum Vitae: Emily Rolan


I am guided by dynamic theories of development, including environmental and individual characteristics. For example, the relational-developmental-systems (RDS) theory suggests that individual characteristics (e.g., genetics and cognitive abilities) and environments (e.g., prenatal and sibling relationships) do not occur separately, but are interwoven in a bidirectional and dynamic process manipulating development. Secondly, I am drawn to the importance of sensitive developmental periods of great change, particularly the prenatal period and adolescence. Thirdly, my research is grounded in how transactional and bidirectional influences shape development across sensitive periods. My specific interests highlight the development of cognitive traits, sibling relationships, and delinquency.




My philosophy and goals for teaching are to: 1) create excitement about course material that leads students to reflect on and question their own thinking and experiences, 2) allow students to be active in their education by showing that their perspectives, thoughts, and feelings are valued and encouraged, and 3) help students critically think about and grasp concepts in a way that they can apply them to their own lives and careers beyond the classroom or the lab, in the service of improving the quality of life for individuals and families across the lifespan. The culmination of my teaching experiences highlight the importance of creating excitement for students surrounding class material, encouraging active learning, and promoting critical thinking skills through practice.


Personality Psychology 

Child Development 

Abnormal Psychology  

Diversity in Individual and Family Life 

Child and Family Psychopathology 

Adolescent Development