Adriana Molitor, PhD

Adriana Molitor
Phone: (619) 260-4747
Fax: (619) 260-6867
Office: Serra Hall 126

Associate Professor, Psychological Sciences

  • Dr. Molitor received her baccalaureate degree from the University of California at Riverside with a double major in psychology and human development.  She earned her masters and doctorate, with a specialty in developmental psychology, from Duke University and completed post-doctoral research training at the Yale University Child Study Center.

Dr. Adriana Molitor has been a member of the faculty since 2001.  Her teaching interests include general psychology and research methods courses as well as specialty courses addressing childhood, adolescence, aging, and social-emotional aspects of development.  The topics of her research include the dynamics of mother-child interactions, the impact of these interactions on emotional and social development, the problems encountered by at-risk groups, and the factors that optimize mother-child exchanges and emerging social skills.

Scholarly Work

Dr. Molitor’s scholarly interests focus on the the social and emotional aspects of human development.  Her research with colleagues has traditionally focused on at-risk populations such as very-low-birth-weight preterm infants and children of drug-using mothers.  Additionally, Dr. Molitor has a long-held interest in the ordinary developmental experiences associated with children’s optimal social functioning.  For example, past research has investigated dimensions of caregiver behavior that regulate young infants’ positive arousal. Dr. Molitor’s current research focuses on young children’s growing ability to self-regulate arousal associated with compliance, frustration, and anger.

Areas of Interest

Professor Molitor enjoys teaching students about the science of psychology and regularly serves as an instructor for courses such as Introductory Psychology and Advanced Research Methods/Lab. As a developmental psychologist, Dr. Molitor’s teaching interests include general courses in human development that address all ages including Infancy, Childhood and Adolescence, and Adulthood/Aging.  She also enjoys teaching specialized courses in human development such as Social Development, Play and Development, and Development Across Cultures.  Dr. Molitor is a recipient of a Mortar Board Outstanding Faculty Award at the University of San Diego.