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Faculty Profiles

Cynthia Neal Kimball faculty photo

Cynthia Neal Kimball, Ph.D.

Emerita Scholar in Residence

On Faculty since 1990

BGC M251


Dr. Cynthia Neal's interests have included a wide range of research questions, specifically the following: high-risk families, attachment theory (particularly as it relates to our relationship with God), emerging adults, and gender issues.

She enjoys her extended family which includes 5 grandchildren. Additionally, when she's not training for a marathon, you'll find her reading a wide variety of good books. She's involved in a small congregation which is very concerned with social justice issues, e.g., feeding the poor and advocating for the marginalized.

  • Research in Child Development
  • American Psychological Association - Division 36, Psychology of Religion and Spirituality and Division 5, Qualitative Research
  • Christian Association for Psychological Studies

University of New Mexico
Ph.D., Developmental Psychology, 1990

University of New Mexico
M.A., Developmental Psychology, 1988

University of New Mexico
B.A., University Studies, 1986

Emerging adults and the nature of their faith: A qualitative study
2013 Mid-Year Conference, Baltimore, MD, March 2013

Attachment, religiosity, and morality: Extending Kohlberg and Diessner
2012 American Psychological Association, Orlando, FL, August 2012

Everyday descriptions of religious and moral exemplars
2012 Conference of the Association for Moral Education, San Antonio, TX, November 2012

Moral exemplarity and moral behavior
2012 Mid-Year Research Conference on Religion and Spirituality of the American Psychological Association Division 36, Baltimore, MD

Attachment to God: Emerging adults reflecting on their spiritual relationship
2012 APA Div. 36 Mid-year Conference, Baltimore, MD, March 2012

Emerging adults’ religious orientation and search for meaning in self-concept and faith turning points
2012 APA Div. 36 Mid-year Conference, Baltimore, MD, March 2012

Committed questers: understanding religious maturity in emerging adults
2012 APA Div. 36 Mid-year Conference, Baltimore, MD, March 2012

  • Emerging Adult Identity
  • Emerging Adults
  • Psychology
  • Psychology of Human Sexuality

My current research is focused on 'Emerging Adults' and their transitions from college and beyond. My team and I are studying the effects of their attachments, identity, and religious worldviews on stress and coping. This research is both a quantitative and qualitative three year study. Through interviews with our study participants, we've been exploring their attachment to God, their faith coping strategies, level of connectedness to faith communities, changing view of self, and a myriad of other qualitative research questions. I also have a research team examining male and female stories of unwanted sexual experiences.

Dr. Neal Kimball has a qualitative research lab and provides research mentorship and qualitative research consultation to graduate students and faculty.

Attachment to God: A qualitative exploration of emerging adults' spiritual relationship with God, Journal of Psychology and Theology
Kimball, C. N., Boyatzis, C., Cook, K., Leonard, K., Flanagan, K. S., 2013

Meaning-making in emerging adults’ narratives: Role of identity, attachment, and religious orientation, Journal of Psychology and Christianity
Kimball, C. N., Cook, K., Boyatzis, C., Leonard, K., 2013

Parent-Child Dynamics and Emerging Adult Religiosity: Attachment, Parental Beliefs, and Faith Support, Psychology of Religion and Spirituality
Leonard, K., Cook, K., Boyatzis, C., Kimball, C.N., 2013

Attachment to God: A qualitative exploration of emerging adults' spiritual relationship with God, Journal of Psychology and Theology
Kimball, C. N., Boyatzis, C., Cook, K., Leonard, K., Flanagan, K. S., 2013

Parent-Child Dynamics and Emerging Adult Religiosity: Attachment, Parental Beliefs, and Faith Support, Psychology of Religion and Spirituality
Leonard, K., Cook, K., Boyatzis, C., Kimball, C.N., 2012

  • Personality (Undergraduate Senior Capstone)
  • Psychology of Human Sexuality
  • Psychology of the Family
  • Collaborative Research Teams
  • Internships