Psychology and Spirituality Research Lab

Psychology and Spirituality Research Lab

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Ward Davis

Ward Davis directs the Psychology and Spirituality Research Lab (PSRL), which is a research team in the Psychology Department at Wheaton College. PSRL is comprised of Wheaton graduate and undergraduate psychology students. The mission of PSRL is to advance the scientific study of spirituality to promote health and well-being. At PSRL our research and resources focus on the intersection between psychology and spirituality, with an emphasis on positive psychology and Christian spirituality. Our activities primarily include: (a) writing scholarly articles and book chapters; (b) conducting original research and disseminating our findings; and (c) offering downloadable resources for use by scholars, scientists, practitioners, and leaders, as well as the interested public.

If you are interested in the scientific study of positive psychology and Christian spirituality, attracted to the scholarly and clinical integration of psychology and spirituality, or intrigued by how the study of psychology can help the Church, then the PSRL may be a great fit for you.

Some of our current research projects are focused on the following topics:

  • disaster survivors’ spirituality and posttraumatic growth (grant-funded research in collaboration with the Wheaton College Humanitarian Disaster Institute [HDI])
  • occupational and mental health among humanitarian aid workers and leaders (grant-funded research also in collaboration with HDI)
  • effectiveness of wilderness therapy and other outdoor experiential therapies
  • effectiveness of a long-term residential psychospiritual program
  • self-compassion and spirituality among young adult Christians
  • pornography use, mental health, and spirituality among young adult Christians
  • spirituality, mental health, and acculturation among Asian/Asian-American Christians
  • religion, spirituality, and suicidal behavior among inpatient adolescents
  • spirituality of adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse
  • spirituality, virtues, and mental health in Christian couples

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