Plenary lectures

The IAPR 2017 Congress is honored to present the following keynote speakers:

Dr. Valerie DeMarinis
Monday, 21.08.2016, 5:15pm

“Why Culture Matters: For public health, existential health, and health promotion”

Attention to and inclusion of public mental health in the area of public health has been strengthened over the past decade. Emphasis on public mental health promotion and on existential health as an integral part of such are developing strategies.  These strategies always need to be interpreted through specific cultural contexts and within each context levels of analysis for majority- and minority populations need consideration. More…

Dr. Kenneth I Pargament
Tuesday, 22.08.2017, 9:00am

“Culturally-Integrated Religious Coping:  Advances from 30 Years of Research and Clinical Practice”

It has been 20 years since the publication of the Psychology of Religion and Coping:  Theory, Research, Practice and the study of religious coping continues to be one of the dominant areas of attention in the field.  This presentation will review recent advances in research and practice in the area of religion and coping.  Prominent among these is the knowledge that has been gained from the growing number of investigations that go beyond Christian samples in the U. S. to focus on a more diverse set of samples drawn from other religious traditions and cultural contexts. More…

Dr. Tatjana Schnell
Wednesday, 23.08.2017, 9:00am

“Meaning in Life, Mental and Physical Health: Insights, Interpretation, Implementation”

An increasing number of studies attest to the crucial role of meaningfulness for mental and physical health. Meaningfulness emerges as a core mediator between a multitude of sources of meaning, such as religiosity, spirituality, unison with nature, etc., and health. It is positively associated with quality of life, self-regulation, basic psychological needs, physical functionality, and health behavior, and negatively related to depression, anxiety, perception of pain, and symptom burden. More…

Dr. Mohammad Khodayarifard
Thursday, 24.08.2017, 9:00am

“Religiosity enhancement in adolescents: Using life skills training”

A large amount of individual’s religious tendency and spiritual development including positive thinking capacity occurs during the adolescence. Study of religiosity and spiritual development among individuals especially teenagers has gained momentum in the last few years. Therefore, a valid and reliable instrument to measure religiosity among adolescents was constructed. After the development of the questionnaire and standardization process, the outcome was a Religiosity Scale for Iranian Adolescents the last version of which includes 36 items. More…

Dr. Khodayarifard is also fascilitating a workshop at 13:15 on Thursday August 24th:
“Exploring and concentrating on character strengths of oneself and the others in positive religious psychotherapy.”

IAPR Godin prize winner

Dr. Wade Rowatt
Plenary lecture Tuesday, 22.08.2017, 5:15pm

The IAPR jury is very pleased to announce that despite fierce competition (with several worthy recipients among the nominees) the IAPR 2017 Godin prize goes to Wade Rowatt, professor at Baylor University, Texas.

Wade Rowatt completed his Ph.D. in experimental psychology (social-personality specialization) at the Univ. of Louisville (1997) and his B.A. in psychology and philosophy at William Jewell College (1991). Throughout his research and academic career, he has been focused almost exclusively on psychology of religion. With his students and collaborators, he has developed an important research program on religion and prejudice that advanced much further, both theoretically and methodologically (types, predictors, underlying mechanisms, and religious forms of religious prejudice; both implicit and explicit measures; both experimental and survey research), our knowledge on a topic that is both classic for the field and socially important today. He has also past and ongoing work on the psychology of humility.

The Early Career Award

Dr. Patty van Cappellen
Plenary lecture  Wednesday, 23.08.2017, 5:15pm

The IAPR jury is very pleased to announce that despite fierce competition (with several worthy recipients among the nominees) the recipient of the 2017 early career award is Patty van Cappellen.

Patty received her PhD in Social Psychology from Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, in 2012 under the supervision of Vassilis Saroglou. Her dissertation dealt with the impact of positive emotions on religion and spirituality using a psychological and biblical approach. Since then, she moved to do a postdoc with Barbara Fredrickson on positive psychology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill where she became Research Assistant Professor. She is now Associate Director of the Interdisciplinary Behavioral Research Center at Duke University.

Dr. Patty Van Cappellen was selected because she has consistently performed original and high quality studies on important topics in the psychology of religion and spirituality, including awe, self-transcendence, submissive thoughts and behaviors, and prosociality. Her work also impressed by a recent, pioneering experiment demonstrating that intranasal administration of oxytocin facilitates spirituality, especially among people with certain oxytocin related genotypes. Patty has been an active participant in the field of the psychology of religion, and an active member of the IAPR for many years. To find more information about her research see: