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Kenneth I. Pargament is a professor of psychology at Bowling Green State University. He received his Ph. D from the University of Maryland in 1977. He currently studies various relationships between religion, psychological well-being and stress, as well as other closely related subjects. He is also licensed in Clinical Psychology and has a private practice.
Pargament has published over 100 papers on the subject of religion and spirituality in psychology. He is world renowned for his scholarly contributions to the psychology of religion, and for providing clinically relevant scientific analyses of religion's role in mental health. Pargament has also written two books: The Psychology of Religion and Coping: Theory, Research, Practice (2001) and Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapy: Understanding and Addressing the Sacred (2007). Both of these seminal works provide a systematic program of empirical research, guided by theory, that is of practical relevance to helping professionals.
One of Pargament's best known areas of research has pertained to Religious Coping, which involves drawing on religious beliefs and practices to understand and deal with life stressors (Pargament, 1997). Pargament has also helped to design a questionnaire called the "RCOPE" to measure Religious Coping strategies. This invaluable tool links psychometrics and the psychology of religion, and has enabled virtually all research in this area to be conducted. Thus, Pargament's work has set the stage for a large scale program of research on this subject: currently there have been over 250 published studies on religious coping.
Pargament distinguishes between three types of styles for coping with stress: 1) Collaborative, in which people co-operate with God to deal with stressful events; 2) Deferring, in which people leave everything to God; and 3) Self-directed, in which people do not rely on God and try exclusively to solve problems by their own efforts.
- "Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapy: Understanding and Addressing the Sacred"
- "Religion and Coping: Theory, Research, Practice"
- "Forgiveness: Theory, Research, Practice" (Co-editor)