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Zoe E. Taylor, PhD

Research Interests

Family processes and relationships; risk and resilience; child competence; psychobiobehavioral processes; diversity and culture; temperament and personality; socioemotional development; middle childhood; adolescence


I joined the Purdue faculty in the fall of 2013 after completing a postdoctoral position in the Department of Psychology at Arizona State University. I received my Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies at the University of California, Davis in 2010.

My research examines psychological, environmental, and biological processes that contribute to socio-emotional development in children and adolescents. In particular I am interested in processes that relate to resiliency and coping in vulnerable or at risk children and families (especially those who are struggling economically, live in impoverished areas and-or are underrepresented, such as minority ethnic groups and single parents). One specific focus of my work is to examine processes that relate to supportive, involved, and warm parenting, or that disrupt harsh or negative parenting behaviors. Another focus of my research is the development of positive dispositional traits such as ego-resiliency, optimism, effortful control and empathy that are in turn associated with competence, adjustment and positive behaviors in children and their parents.

My work examines development in early childhood, middle childhood and adolescence, as well as emerging adulthood. However, I am particularly interested in development during transitional periods, such as the time between late childhood and early adolescence (the tweens!). In a nutshell, I am interested in how individuals and families succeed, stay healthy, and do well despite hardships, transitions and challenge.

Selected Publications

  • Taylor, Z. E., Eisenberg, N., & Spinrad, T. L. (2014, October 20). Respiratory sinus arrhythmia, effortful control, and parenting as predictors of children’s sympathy across early childhood. Developmental Psychology. Advance online publication. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0038189
  • Taylor, Z. E., Eisenberg, N., VanSchyndel, S. K., Eggum-Wilkens, N. D., & Spinrad, T. L. (2013). Children’s negative emotions and ego-resiliency: Longitudinal relations with social competence. Emotion. Online publication. doi:10.1037/a0035079
  • Taylor, Z. E., Doane, L. D., & Eisenberg, N. (2013). Transitioning from high school to college: Relations of social support, resiliency, and maladjustment during emerging adulthood. Emerging Adulthood. Online publication. doi:10.1177/2167696813506885
  • Taylor, Z. E., Eisenberg, N., Spinrad, T. L., Eggum, N. D., & Sulik, M. J. (2013). The relations of ego-resiliency and emotion socialization to the development of empathy and prosocial behavior across early childhood. Emotion, 13(5), 822-831. doi:10.1037/a0032894
  • Taylor, Z. E., Sulik, M. J., Eisenberg, N., Spinrad, T. L., Silva, K. M., Lemery-Chalfant, K., Stover, D.A., & Verrelli, B. C. (2013). Development of ego-resiliency during early childhood: An examination of polymorphisms in the serotonin transporter gene and observed parenting. Social Development. Online publication. doi:10.1111/sode.12041
  • Taylor, Z. E., Eisenberg, N., Spinrad, T. L., & Widaman, K. F. (2013). Longitudinal relations of intrusive parenting and effortful control to ego-resiliency during early childhood. Child Development, 84(4),1145-1151. doi:10.1111/cdev.12054
  • Taylor, Z. E., Spinrad, T. L, VanSchyndel, S. K., Eisenberg, N., Huynh, J., Sulik, M. J., & Granger, D. A. (2012). Sociodemographic risk, parenting, and effortful control: Relations to salivary alpha-amylase and cortisol in early childhood. Developmental Psychobiology, 55(8), 869-880. doi:10.1002/dev.21079
  • Taylor, Z. E., Larsen-Rife, D., Widaman, K. F., & Conger, R. D. (2012). Familism, marital conflict and parenting in Mexican-origin families: A cultural-contextual framework. Journal of Marriage and Family, 74(2), 312-327. doi:10.1111/j.1741-3737.2012.00958.x
  • Taylor, Z. E., Widaman, K. F., Robins, R. W., Jochem, R., Early, D. R., & Conger, R. D. (2012). Dispositional optimism: A psychological resource for Mexican-origin mothers experiencing economic stress. Journal of Family Psychology, 26(1), 133-139. doi:10.1037/a0026755
  • Taylor, Z. E., Larsen-Rife, D., Conger, R. D., Widaman, K. F., & Cutrona, C. E. (2010). Life stress, maternal optimism, and adolescent competence in single mother, African American families. Journal of Family Psychology, 24, 468-477.

Book Chapters

  • Taylor, Z. E., & Conger, R. D. (2014). Risk and resilience processes in single mother families:
    An interactionist perspective. In Z. Sloboda & H. Petras (Eds.), Defining prevention science, advances in prevention science (pp. 195-217). New York: Springer Science + Business Media. doi:10.1007/978-1-4899-7424-2_9  
  • Eisenberg, N., Spinrad, T. L., & Taylor, Z. E. (in press). Sympathy. In van Hooft & N. Saunders
    (Eds.) The handbook of virtue ethics.


Ph.D., 2010, Human Development and Family Studies, University of California, Davis
M.S., 2008, Child Development, University of California, Davis
B.A., 1998, Community Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz
B.A., 1998, Sociology, University of California, Santa Cruz

Courses Recently Taught

  • HDFS 210: Introduction to Human Development
  • HDFS 332: Stress Points in Contemporary Families

Professional Service

Ad Hoc Reviewer

Child Development, Developmental Psychology, Journal of Family Psychology, Psychoneuroendocrinology, Social Development