Faculty and Staff

Gabriela Martorell

Gabriela Martorell

Professor of Psychology


B.S., University of California, Davis
M.A., Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara

Office Location: Social Sciences 105
Phone: 757-757-455-8844
Email: gmartorell@vwu.edu
Department/s: Psychology

Gabriela Alicia Martorell was born in Seattle, Washington, but moved as a toddler to Guatemala. At eight, she moved back to the United States and lived in Northern California until leaving for her undergraduate training at University of California, Davis. After obtaining her B.S. in Psychology, she earned her Ph.D. in Developmental and Evolutionary Psychology at University of California, Santa Barbara. Since that time, she has taught at a number of institutions including Portland State University, Norfolk State University, and her current full-time position at Virginia Wesleyan College. Gabriela has taught courses in introductory psychology, research methods, lifespan human development, infant development, child development, adolescent development, adulthood and aging, cultural issues in psychology, evolutionary psychology, original research project and developmental psychopathology, as well as community-based learning courses where students have been placed in early childhood education and hospice settings. She is currently the recipient of a Batten Professorship for Excellence as well as Co-Investigator for a National Science Foundation grant focused on student retention and success in science, technology, engineering, and math. Additionally, she has published three textbooks and is currently working on a fourth. She also conducts child development training for the Virginia Beach CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) branch, teaches courses for the ODU Institute of Learning in Retirement, and is currently Co-Chair of the Institutional Review Board for VWC. In line with her beliefs about the strong links between physical and psychological health, she is also a group fitness instructor at the YMCA of Hampton Roads. Gabriela is committed to teaching, mentoring and advising.


Bugental, D. B., Olster, D. H. & Martorell, G. A. (2003). A developmental neuroscience perspective on the dynamics of parenting. In L. Kuczynski (Ed.), Handbook of Dynamics in Parent-Child Relationships. Thousand Oaks: Sage.


Myrick, S. E. & Martorell, G. A. (2010). Sticks and stones may break my bones: Protective factors against perceived discrimination on social competence in adolescence, Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 18, 487-501.

Martorell, S. & Martorell, G. A. (2006). Bridging uncharted waters in Georgia: Down syndrome association of Atlanta outreach to Latino/a families. American Journal of Community Psychology, 37, 1827-1833.

Martorell, G. A., Bugental, D. B. (2006). Maternal variations in stress reactivity: Implications for harsh parenting practices with very young children. Journal of Family Psychology, 20(4), 641-647.

Bugental, D. B., Martorell, G. A. & Barraza, V (2003). The hormonal costs of subtle forms of infant maltreatment. Hormones and Behavior, 43, 237-244.

Lin, E. K., Bugental. D. B., Turek, V., Martorell, G. A. & Olster, D. H. (2002). Children?s vocal properties as mobilizers of stress-related physiological responses in adults. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28, 346-357.

Bugental, D. B. & Martorell, G. (1999). Competition between friends: The joint influence of perceived power of self, friends and parents. Journal of Family Psychology, 13, 1-14.


Martorell, G. A. (2018). LifeNew York: McGraw-Hill. 

Martorell, G. A., Papalia, D. & Feldman, R. (2015). Experience Human Development. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Martorell, G. A., Papalia, D.& Feldman, R. (2013). A Child's World. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Martorell, G. A. (2012).Child. New York: McGraw-Hill


Associate Producer, McGraw-Hill, Study Smart. Short films describing concepts in developmental psychology, 2013.

Associate Producer, AKLearning, Milestones of Development. Short films illustrating concepts in developmental psychology, 2007-2012.

Educational consultant, Dark Blue Morning Productions, Discovering Psychology. Short films illustrating concepts in psychology, 2008.

Educational consultant, Dark Blue Morning Productions, World of Psychology. Cross-cultural examination of themes in psychology, 2008.

Associate producer, McGraw-Hill. Faces of Abnormal Psychology, volume 2. Clinical profiles of 11 individuals suffering from psychopathology, 2003.

Developmental Psychology
Evolutionary Psychology

Grand Opening for Center for Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning (INTEL)

New space in the Batten Center provides opportunities for technological innovation and wireless collaboration

This represents a sample of recent courses taught by this professor. For the most current course information, consult WebAdvisor "Search for Courses".


Introduction to Psychology II;Introduction to Psychology II;Original Research Project;Infant Development


Introduction to Psychology I


Introduction to Psychology I;Introduction to Psychology I;Child Development;Tpc: Culture and Development