Relational Spirituality and Psychology Research Team: R-SPiRiT

Faculty Director: Annette Mahoney, PhD

Current Graduate Students: Jessica Chinn, Daniel Flint, James McGraw, Allison Riley, Julie Pomerleau, Serena Wong

R-SPiRiT is an ecumenical research team dedicated to using psychological methods to examine ways religion/spirituality may impact interpersonal relationships (e.g., dating, sexuality, parenting, coupling and uncoupling), for better or worse, and also thereby affect individual adjustment.  

Major Domains of Interest Include:

  • Religion/spirituality and close relationships,¬†including marital and romantic and sexual relationships, parenting, break ups and divorce, and adult and child adjustment tied to relational issues.
  • Religious/spiritual resources to cope with interpersonal problems, particularly turning to a felt connection to God/Higher Power(s) or religious or spiritual community
  • Religious/spiritual struggles in coping with interpersonal problems, particularly experiencing difficulties in a felt connection to God/Higher Power(s) or with with interpersonal issues
  • Sanctification (perceiving aspects of life - particularly close relationships - as having spiritual significance and character - includes Manifestation of God as well as Sacred Qualities)
  • Sacred Loss & Desecration (perceiving sacred aspects of life - particularly close relationships - to have been lost or intentionally violated)
  • Demonization (perceiving aspects of life - particularly relational difficulties - as having demonic significance and character - includes Manifestation of the Devil as well as Demonic Qualities)
  • Psychospiritual interventions


R-SPiRiT reflects an evolution of a BGSU based research team that has been known as SPiRiT which Dr. Kenneth I. Pargament established over 35 years ago. When Dr. Annette Mahoney joined the faculty in 1994, she started to participate in this group and for approximately 2 decades, Drs. Pargament and Mahoney co-directed this group. Dr. Pargament retired from BGSU in 2015. Although he remains active in some BGSU projects, he is no longer accepting new graduate students. Dr. Mahoney's primary focus is now "relational spirituality."  

Faculty affiliated with the Transition to Parenthood Study: Annette Mahoney, PhD; Kenneth I. Pargament, PhD; Alfred DeMaris, PhD

Updated: 03/17/2021 11:14PM