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Richard G. Cowden, Ph.D.

Richard G. Cowden, Ph.D., is a social-personality psychologist and Research Scientist for the Human Flourishing Program at Harvard University. He is broadly interested in psychological, social, and religious/spiritual dynamics that shape adaptive functioning, personal growth, and well-being. Much of his research agenda focuses on topics related to adversity (e.g., suffering), character strengths (e.g., forgiveness), and religion/spirituality (e.g., religious/spiritual struggles), and their implications for health and well-being in diverse cultures and contexts. He has written numerous scholarly articles and book chapters that address various aspects of human flourishing in a wide range of populations. He is a co-author of Place and Post-Pandemic Flourishing: Disruption, Adjustment, and Healthy Behaviors (Springer, 2021) and co-editor of Place, Spirituality, and Well-Being: A Global and Multidisciplinary Approach (Springer, 2023).

Selected Publications

  • Cowden, R. G., Seidman, A. J., Duffee, C., Węziak-Białowolska, D., McNeely, E., & VanderWeele, T. J. (2022). Associations of suffering with facets of health and well-being among working adults: Longitudinal evidence from two samples. Scientific Reports12(1), 20141.
  • Cowden, R. G., Pargament, K. I., Chen, Z. J., Davis, E. B., Lemke, A. W., Glowiak, K. J., Rueger, S. Y., & Worthington, E. L., Jr. (2022). Religious/spiritual struggles and psychological distress: A test of three models in a longitudinal study of adults with chronic health conditions. Journal of Clinical Psychology78(4), 544–558.
  • Cowden, R. G., Captari, L. E., Chen, Z. J., De Kock, J. H., & Houghtaling, A. (2022). Effectiveness of an intensive experiential group therapy program in promoting mental health and well-being among mass shooting survivors: A practice-based pilot study. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 53(2), 181–191.
  • Cowden, R. G., Nakamura, J. S., de la Rosa Fernández Pacheco, P. A., Chen, Y., Fulks, J., Plake, J. F., & VanderWeele, T. J. (2023). The road to postpandemic recovery in the USA: A repeated cross-sectional survey of multidimensional well-being over two years. Public Health217, 212–217.
  • Cowden, R. G., Chen, Z. J., Bechara, A. O., & Worthington, E. L., Jr. (2023). Associations of dispositional forgivingness with facets of well‐being among Colombian adults: A longitudinal outcome‐wide analysis. International Journal of Psychology58(2), 153–163.