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Travis Research Institute

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Spirituality and Health

Alexis D. Abernethy, PhD

Office

Psychology Building 137
Fuller Theological Seminary
180 N. Oakland Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91101-1714

Office

Psychology Building 143
Fuller Theological Seminary
180 N. Oakland Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91101-1714

Email

aabernet@fuller.edu

Phone

626.584.5359

 

Email

tinaarmstrong@fuller.edu

Phone

626.584.5649

 

External Collaborators

Karl Van Harn, DMin, Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services
Kimlin Ashing, PhD, City of Hope CCARE
Joseph Currier, PhD, University of South Alabama
Charlotte vanOyen-Witvliet, PhD, Hope College
Lindsey Root Luna, PhD, Hope College

Joshua Foster, PhD, University of South Alabama
Sarah Schnitker, PhD, Baylor University
Janet Carter, MDiv, Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services
Marwan Tabbara, MD, Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services
Katharine Putman, PsyD, Azusa Pacific University

Mission

The Spirituality and Health Lab is interested in two primary research questions: What dimensions of spirituality influence preventive health behaviors, disease, and psychological functioning? How and through what mechanisms does spirituality influence preventive health behaviors, disease, and psychological functioning? Three research teams are associated with this lab: Experiences of Spirituality and Health-Related Outcomes (ESHO); Spirituality, Cancer, and Health Disparities (SCAHD); and Spirituality, Culture, and Eating Disturbance (SCED).

PROJECT

Experience of Spirituality and Health-Related Outcomes (ESHO) Research Team

  • Spiritual Experiences in Worship: Cultural, Theological, and Psychological Perspectives
  • Music Worship Leader Project
  • Spirituality and Transformation in a Community-Based Group in the Bahamas
  • Forgiveness and Spiritual Distress in an Inpatient Psychiatric Setting
  • Examining Spirituality and Mental Health Outcomes in Psychiatric Patients
  • Clarifying How Views of the Afterlife, Hope, and Meaning Influence Suicidal Ideation in Psychiatric Inpatients

PROJECT

Spirituality, Cancer, and Health Disparities (SCAHD) Team

  • Reducing the Burden of Breast Cancer among African-American and Latina Survivors
  • Cultural Factors in Cancer Screening

PROJECT

Spirituality, Culture, and Eating Disturbance (SCED) Team

  • Exploring the Role of Spirituality in the Treatment of Eating Disorders
  • Spirituality and Asceticism in the Treatment of Eating Disorders

PROJECT

Spirituality, Culture, and Wellbeing (SCW) Team

  • Superwoman Schema and African American Christain Leaders

RECENT PUBLICATIONS

Abernethy, A. D., Grannum, G. D., and Allen, D. F. (2019). Spirituality and transformation in a community-based group in the Bahamas. Mental Health, Religion and Culture, 22(3), 227–243. https://doi.org/10.1080/13674676.2019.1579177

Currier, J. M., Foster, J. D., Witvliet, C. vanOyen, Abernethy, A. D., Root Luna, L. M., Schnitker, S. A., … Carter, J. (2019). Spiritual struggles and mental health outcomes in a spiritually integrated inpatient program. Journal of Affective Disorders, 249, 127–135. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2019.02.012

Schnitker, S. A., Ro, D. B., Foster, J. D., Abernethy, A. D., Currier, J. M., vanOyen Witvliet, C., … Carter, J. (2019). Patient patients: Increased patience associated with decreased depressive symptoms in psychiatric treatment. The Journal of Positive Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1080/17439760.2019.1610482

Abernethy, A. D., and Kim, S.-H. (2018). The Spiritual Transcendence Index: An Item Response Theory Analysis. International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 28(4), 240–256. https://doi.org/10.1080/10508619.2018.1507800

Abernethy, A. D., Currier, J. M., Witvliet, C. V. O., Schnitker, S. A., Putman, K. M., Root Luna, L. M., Foster, J. D., Spencer, A., Jones, H., VanHarn, K. J., and Carter, J. (2018). Understanding the roles of religious comfort and strain on depressive symptoms in an inpatient psychiatric setting. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality. Advance online publication. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/rel0000233

King, L. H., Abernethy, A. D., Keiper, C., and Craycraft, A. (2018). Spirituality and eating
disorder risk factors in African American women. Eating And Weight Disorders: EWD. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40519-018-0611-1

Abernethy, A. D., Allen, D. F., and Carroll, M. A. (2018). Adapting group therapy to address real world problems: Insights from groups offered in the Bahamas. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 68(1), 17–34. https://doi.org/10.1080/00207284.2017.1335582

Abernethy, A. D. (2017). Spirituality and health research: Incorporating a cultural lens.
Research in the Social Scientific Study of Religion, 28, 209-230.

Christman, L. K., Abernethy, A. D., Gorsuch, R. L., and Brown, A.W. (2014) Intrinsic
Religiousness as a mediator between fatalism and cancer-specific fear: Clarifying the
role of fear in prostate cancer screening. Journal of Religion and Health, 53 (3), 760-772.

People

Faculty and Principal investigator

Alexis Abernethy

Alexis D. Abernethy

Associate Provost for Faculty Inclusion and Equity

Professor of Psychology

BS, HOWARD UNIVERSITY
MA, PHD, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AT BERKELEY
TEAMS
EXPERIENCE OF SPIRITUALITY AND HEALTH-RELATED OUTCOMES (ESHO) RESEARCH TEAM
SPIRITUALITY, CANCER, AND HEALTH DISPARITIES (SCAHD) TEAM
SPIRITUALITY, CULTURE, AND EATING DISTURBANCE (SCED) TEAM

Students

nathan-flores

Nathan Flores

Nathan Flores, MA. is pursuing the Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Fuller. His current research focuses on examining the religious/spiritual, cultural and social factors related to health outcomes (e.g. quality of life, cognitive functioning, and depression) for Latina and African American breast cancer survivors. Nathan has worked in different university medical hospitals over the last two years helping improve the quality of life of adults and elderly with neurodegenerative disorders. He considers it a privilege to (re)discover meaning, purpose, and improved holistic functioning of people.

irina-rivera

Irina Rivera

Irina is pursuing her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. Her clinical/research interests involve awe, suffering, and spiritual transformation, specifically in culturally-tailored community groups.

breanna-abram

Breanna Abram

Breanna is a fourth-year student pursuing her PhD in Clinical Psychology. She is involved in research examining relationships between shame, forgiveness, vengefulness, and hostility in community contexts.

mary-jacob-matthew

Mary Jacob Mathew

Mary is a fourth-year student pursuing her PhD in Clinical Psychology. She is involved in research examining cultural, social, and spiritual factors that can influence health related quality of life and health disparities in Latina and African American breast cancer survivors. She is also involved in exploring the role of Spirituality and Asceticism in the Treatment of Eating Disorders.

patrick Jacques

Patrick Jacques

Patrick E. Jacques is pursuing a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and an MA in Theology. His academic research centers on social connectedness, resilience, hope, gratitude, and their capacity to enhance spirituality and worship experiences. He seeks to make psychoeducation more accessible to marginalized and racialized groups.

rose-so

Rose So

Rose So, M.A., is a third-year PsyD student. Her clinical interests involve the effects of body dissatisfaction on the quality of relationships and how spirituality may affect these relationships.

Heather Jones

Heather is pursuing her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and is currently on internship at Wichita Collaborative Psychology Internship Program / Wichita State University Counseling and Testing Center / South Central Mental Health Counseling Center in Kansas. Her research interests include the associations among self-forgiveness, depression, religious strain in psychiatric inpatients.

 

Faculty

Tina Armstrong

Tina Armstrong

Director of Clinical Training and Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology

BA IN THEATER, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AT LOS ANGELES
EDM IN HUMAN DEVELOPMENT AND PSYCHOLOGY, HARVARD GRADUATE SCHOOL OF EDUCATION, CAMBRIDGE, MA
MA IN CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY, FULLER THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY, PASADENA, CA
MA IN THEOLOGY, FULLER THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY, PASADENA, CA
PHD IN CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY, FULLER THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY, PASADENA, CA
TEAM
EXPERIENCE OF SPIRITUALITY AND HEALTH-RELATED OUTCOMES (ESHO) RESEARCH TEAM
TEAM
SPIRITUALITY, CULTURE, AND WELLBEING (SGW) RESEARCH TEAM

Students

seanita-scott

Seanita Scott

Seanita Scott, MA is a third year PsyD student. She’s deeply passionate about the mental health and wellness of African American women. Her research explores the impact of the Superwoman Schema and Performance Based Identity among Black women in Christian leadership. 

jordan-lara

Jordan Lara

Jordan is a first year PsyD student. Her cross-cultural experiences abroad has furthered her passions in bridging the gap between Hispanic and American cultures. She has worked in aging facilities, school sites, and rehabilitation institutions. She is especially interested in the dynamics of privilege, immigration, and therapy conducted in Spanish.

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Contact Us
Staff

Jim Cummings, MDiv, MA
Research Administrator
jamescummings2@fuller.edu

Office Hours

Monday–Friday
8 am–5 pm

Address

Room 326
180 N. Oakland Ave

Pasadena, CA 91182