Research Projects

Current Research – Fall 2019 

Death Anxiety & Suicidal Ideation and Attempts

Death Anxiety & Caregiving Robots Among the Elderly

Death Anxiety & Organ Donation

Presenting the following research at the National Communication Association in November 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland:

Terror Management – Violence, Voice, and Victimhood: Activism and Social Justice in the Face of Survivorship – an invited talk by Dr. Harvell-Bowman

Young Existential Voters: Eliciting Mortality Salience as a Way to Control Emotions and Intent to Vote Towards a Political Candidate – Presented by Tonya Schoenbeck

Surviving as First-Year Students: Examining Nonverbal Behaviors Amongst College Freshmen Experiencing Suicidal Ideation – Presented by Dr. Harvell-Bowman

Survival After Death: An Examination of Mortality Salience, Paranormal Beliefs, Paranormal Media Consumption, and Paranormal Experiences – Presented by Christina Yocca


Selected Past Research

Of Love and Death: Death Anxiety, Attachment, and Suicide as Experienced by College Students – Dr. Harvell-Bowman, Dr. Critchfield, Kezziah Wilgus, Madeline Grove, and Gabriel Gilmore






Poster presented by Madeline Grove and Kezziah Wilgus at the 2019 Existential Preconference in Portland Oregon.





We enjoyed the trip to Portland and had a great breakfast with Dr. Tom Pyszczynski, Dr. Sheldon Solomon, and Dr. Kenneth Vail!



We always love to share our research with the JMU community at the Psychology Symposium as well as the SCOM Conference!



Brigham, M.P., Harvell-Bowman, L.A., & Szendey, O.R. (2017). Metaphorical Re-Framing as “Equipment for Living”: Confronting Death with Exuberance in the Exit Interviews of Heaven’s Gate Followers. Journal of Communication & Religion, 40(4), 72-90.