Distinguished Research Professor, Department of Psychology, Clinical Psychology
B.A., Rice University;
M.A., Ph.D., University of Houston, 1992

Phone: (419) 372-0282
Office: Room 351, Psychology Building
Lab Page: R-SPiRiT lab  Psychology of Spirituality and Relationships

Taking Graduate Students? Yes
Sponsoring Undergraduate Research? Occasionally

Research Interests:

  • Psychology of religion and spirituality, especially as it applies to dating, marriage, romantic unions, pregnancy, parenting, sexuality, divorce, and other close relationships
  • Relational spirituality

I specialize in theory and empirical research on relational spirituality which refers to ways religious/spiritual cognitions and behaviors about close relationships can impact individual and relational health, for better and worse, across the lifespan. My research team aims to disentangle specific ways religiousness/spirituality can undermine or enhance the well-being of individuals as they strive to form and maintain healthy relationships and exit or reform dysfunctional relationships. This includes romantic unions and marriage, the transition to parenthood, parenting, couples' sexuality, romantic break-ups and divorce, sexual abuse, interpersonal violence, and friendships. Key constructs include sanctification, spiritual intimacy, desecration and sacred loss, religious/spiritual one-upmanship, positive religious/spiritual coping, and religious/spiritual struggles, See BGSU’s web site on the Psychology of Spirituality and Family Relationships for more information on scientific research on the helpful and harmful roles on relational spirituality across the lifespan.

For more information on research that I conduct with colleagues and students at BGSU on Relational Spirituality, please go to our The Psychology of Spirituality and Relationships website. This website features scientific research on the helpful and harmful roles that religion and spirituality can play in family and intimate relationships, with a special focus on our in-depth study on the transition to parenthood.

Lists of studies located for "Religion in families 1999-2009:  A relational spirituality framework"

Selected Publications:

Mahoney, A., Pargament, K. I., & DeMaris, A. (2020 online). Spiritual intimacy, spiritual one-upmanship, and marital conflict across the transition to parenthood. Journal of Family Psychology. DOI: 10.1037/fam0000795

McGraw, J. S., Chinn, J. & Mahoney, A. (2020 online). Historical, doctrinal, and empirical insights into latter-day saint sexual minorities’ psychological and interpersonal functioning. Journal of GLBT Family Studies, 1-28.

McGraw, J. S., Peer, S. O., McManimen, S. Chinn, J. & Mahoney, A. (2020). Comparison of lifetime suicide attempts and recent suicidal/self-harming thoughts among sexual minority and heterosexual Utahns: Results from a population-based survey. Archives of Suicide Research, 1-7. DOI: 10.1080/13811118.2020.1806159.

Courses Taught:

  • PSYC 3080 Introduction to Clinical Psychology (undergraduate)
  • PSYC 4060 Developmental Psychopathology (undergraduate)
  • PSYC 6090/6100 Basic Clinical Skills (graduate)
  • PSYC 7090 Advanced Clinical Research & Practice (graduate)
  • PSYC 7800/7810 Advanced Child & Family Psychological Assessment (graduate)
  • PSYC  7800/7810 Advanced Child & Family Therapy (graduate)

Updated: 01/30/2024 04:07PM