Katherine Nelson-Coffey is an associate professor of psychology in the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences. She received her doctorate in social and personality psychology from the University of California, Riverside and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Mary Washington. Prior to joining Arizona State University in 2022, she was an assistant and associate professor in the Department of Psychology at Sewanee: The University of the South and an Arnold Gesell Visiting Scholar in Parent and Child Development and Assistant Professor Adjunct at Yale University Child Study Center.
Nelson-Coffey’s research bridges developmental, social, and positive psychology to investigate how and why close relationships are related to happiness and well-being. Dr. Nelson-Coffey investigates how specific relationship-promoting behaviors, such as gratitude and kindness, lead to increases in happiness. In addition, she explores how and why becoming a parent is related to changes—both positive and negative—in well-being. She investigates these topics with a variety of methods, including randomized controlled interventions, longitudinal studies, daily experience studies, and cross-sectional surveys of nationally representative samples. In 2021, Nelson-Coffey was named a Rising Star by the Association for Psychological Science for her research on these topics. Nelson-Coffey’s research has been published in Psychological Bulletin, Psychological Science, Emotion, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Psychoneuroendocrinology, and other journals and featured in numerous media outlets, including The Washngton Post, The Chicago Tribune, Shape Magazine, Pacific Standard, and other outlets.
Ph.D. Social/Personality Psychology, University of California, Riverside 2015
M.A. Social/Personality Psychology, University of California, Riverside 2011
B.S. Psychology, University of Mary Washington 2008